Penn State Football

Penn State football: Lions’ Bill O’Brien a finalist for Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award

Bill O’Brien’s name is becoming a staple of 2012 coaching awards lists.

O’Brien joins eight other coaches as a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. The winner will be revealed Dec. 13.

Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, Kansas State’s Bill Snyder, Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, Utah State’s Gary Andersen, Florida’s Will Muschamp, Stanford’s David Shaw, Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin and former Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren are the other finalists.

O’Brien guided the Nittany Lions to an 8-4 record in his first season. He was named consensus Big Ten Coach of the Year last week.

His team flourished, despite the announcement of major NCAA sanctions against Penn State. The sanctions resulted in running back Silas Redd, wide receiver Justin Brown and kicker/punter Anthony Fera transferring to other schools.

The Eddie Robinson award is named after the legendary Grambling State coach and sponsored by the Football Writers Association of America and Fiesta Bowl. Robinson won 408 games.

Former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno won the award three times, in 1978, 1982 and 1986.