Also named the Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year by the Associated Press on Monday, Sumlin was joined on the finalist list by Gary Andersen (Utah State), Bill O'Brien (Penn State), Dave Doeren (Northern Illinois), Brian Kelly (Notre Dame), Urban Meyer (Ohio State), Will Muschamp (Florida), David Shaw (Stanford) and Bill Snyder (Kansas State).
Sumlin, in his fifth year as a collegiate head coach, led the Aggies to a 10-2 record and a berth in the 2013 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. It was Texas A&M's first 10-win season since 1998 and the 12th in program history. The Aggies compiled a 6-2 conference record in their first year in the rugged Southeastern Conference. Sumlin's 10 wins were the most by a first-year Texas A&M head coach, bettering the eight wins compiled by R.C. Slocum in 1989 and D.X. Bible in 1917. The Aggies posted a perfect 6-0 record in games away from Kyle Field, which raised Sumlin's personal road winning streak to 12 games dating back to his days at the University of Houston.
Sumlin was a finalist for the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Coach of the Year in 2011 after UH's record-setting 12-win season, and he was named a Paul "Bear" Bryant Coach of the Year finalist in 2009 after leading the Cougars to a 10-4 record that included wins over Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Mississippi State.
The FWAA has honored a major college coach with its Coach of the Year award since 1957. Robinson, a coaching legend at Grambling State University, has been the FWAA's coaching namesake for the past 15 years. The Fiesta Bowl joined with the FWAA a year later as the sponsor of the award.
The late Robinson is the second-winningest coach in Division I history (408). Robinson, who passed away on April 3, 2007, won 70.7 percent of his games during his illustrious career. Robinson's teams won or tied for 17 Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) championships after joining the league in 1959. His Tigers claimed nine Black College Football Championships during his career spent all at the same school.