Spack Named A Finalist For The Eddie Robinson Award
Nov. 19, 2012
PHILADELPHIA - After leading his team to an 8-3 record and its first playoff appearance since 2006, Illinois State head football coach Brock Spack was named one of 20 finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award Monday by The Sports Network. The award is presented annually for the national coach of the year in the Football Championship Subdivision.
The Sports Network established the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award in 1987, and it has been presented annually to the top coach in FCS football. The award is named after Robinson, who retired as college football's then all-time winningest coach with a record of 408-164-15. He surpassed the legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant for most victories on Oct. 5, 1985, when Grambling State defeated Prairie View A&M. He won his unprecedented 400th game on Oct. 7, 1995, against Mississippi Valley State.
Spack joins North Dakota State head coach Craig Bohl as Missouri Valley Football Conference representatives on this year's list. They are joined by Dino Babers (Eastern Illinois), Beau Baldwin (Eastern Washington), Dick Biddle (Colgate), Monte Coleman (Arkansas-Pine Bluff), Clint Conque (Central Arkansas), Walk Hameline (Wagner), Kevin Higgins (The Citadel), Brian Jenkins (Bethune-Cookman), Joe Moglia (Coastal Carolina), Joe Moorhead (Fordham), Karl Morgan (Mississippi Valley State), Chuck Priore (Stony Brook), Danny Rocco (Richmond), Jason Simpson (UT Martin), Bob Surace (Princeton), Andy Talley (Villanova), Jeff Voris (Butler) and Time Walsh (Cal Poly).
In his fourth season at the helm of the program, Spack and the Redbirds earned a first-round bye in the 2012 NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoffs and will head to Appalachian State on Dec. 1 for a matchup with the Mountaineers in the second round. ISU got out to a quick 5-0 start, its best since 1967, and posted a perfect 5-0 road record during the season. Included in those road wins were a 31-14 victory at Eastern Michigan and a 17-10 triumph at No. 14 ranked Indiana State.
Spack has compiled a 27-17 overall in four seasons as the head coach of the Redbirds and is 19-13 in MVFC play. He has led the team to four-straight winning seasons, becoming the first coach to achieve that feat since Edwin Struck led ISU to six-straight winning campaigns from 1945-50, and his teams have been ranked in the national polls for 18-straight weeks dating back to last season.
Much of that success has been due to Spack taking over the Redbird defense as defensive coordinator prior to the 2011 season. After finishing the 2010 season with a defense that ranked No. 112 out of 117 teams (446.27 ypg), Spack called the shots for the 2011 Redbird defense that finished the season No. 9 out of 120 teams (294.82 ypg). ISU finished with the No. 5 rushing defense in the country (85.73 ypg) and allowed just 19.18 points per game, ranking them 13th in the FCS in scoring defense, up from a No. 113 ranking in 2010 after giving up 39.64 points per game to opponents.
Those numbers have stayed consistent in 2012, as the Redbird defense ranks No. 3 in the country in pass efficiency defense and No. 15 overall in total defense. ISU also ranks in the top five in a tie for fourth place with 35 sacks on the year, which ties for sixth-most on the Redbirds single-season charts.
GoRedbirds.com: Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.