Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin was named one of eight finalists for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award on Monday.
The winner will be announced next Monday.
The finalists are the coaches of the Power Five conference champions and two other conference champions: Harsin, Art Briles (Baylor), Jimbo Fisher (Florida State), Justin Fuente (Memphis), Mark Helfrich (Oregon), Urban Meyer (Ohio State), Gary Patterson (TCU) and Nick Saban (Alabama).
The award is presented by the Football Writers Association of America, whose members vote for the winner.
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Harsin, in his first year at Boise State and second year as a head coach, led the Broncos to an 11-2 record and the first outright Mountain West championship in school history. The Broncos won their last eight games after a seven-turnover meltdown at Air Force that put them at 3-2. They also have improved by three games over last season.
Harsin faces stiff competition for the award. Fisher led the Seminoles to their second straight undefeated regular season despite constant distractions surrounding the program, Meyer led Ohio State to the Big Ten title while starting three different quarterbacks and Fuente took Memphis to its first conference title since 1971.
Boise State sophomore safety Chanceller James underwent surgery on an anterior cruciate ligament Monday, according to teammates on Twitter. James was injured on the first series Nov. 22 at Wyoming.
Coach Bryan Harsin has said only that James is out for the rest of the season.
James missed the entire 2013 season with a torn ACL. He became a starter late in the season and contributed 36 tackles.
Senior Corey Bell, who lost his job to James and regained it when James was injured, said last week that he was “sad” to see the injury.
“He’s been one of those guys I really grew close to over the course of the year,” Bell said. “He’s one of those guys I really wanted to see succeed. You never want to see a guy have two knee injuries in a career.
“I really hope he heals up quick. He’s going to be an important part of Boise State in the future.”
Former Boise State coach Chris Petersen was asked Sunday by a reporter in Seattle whether he took an interest in Boise State’s Mountain West championship game:
“I always take interest in it,” Petersen said. “I know all those coaches. I know all those kids we recruited over there. I did see some of it. I didn’t see it all. And I’m thrilled for them. I mean that sincerely. It’s awesome. They’re going back to Arizona. They’ll have a great time there and I’m happy for them, I really am.”
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