Tucker led the Spartans, picked by media members in the preseason to be among the worst teams in the Big Ten East, to a 10-2 season and an appearance in the Peach Bowl in just his second season.
MSU was on the fringe of qualifying to the College Football Playoff until its blowout loss to Ohio State. A thrilling victory vs. Michigan is still a highlight for Tucker and Co. Tucker was already named the Big Ten Coach of the Year and is a finalist for the AFCA national coach of the year.
The other Eddie Robinson award finalists include all four coaches in the CFP and former MSU defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi: Narduzzi (coach at Pitt), Blake Anderson (Utah State), Dave Aranda (Baylor), Luke Fickell (Cincinnati), Thomas Hammock (Northern Illinois), Billy Napier (Louisiana), Nick Saban (Alabama), Kalani Sitake (BYU), Kirby Smart (Georgia), Jeff Traylor (UTSA) and Kyle Whittingham (Utah).
The FWAA has presented a coaching award since 1957 and named the award after the legendary Grambling State coach Eddie Robinson in 1997. The 2021 winner will be announced Dec. 20.
Your subscription makes work like this possible. Get exclusive subscriber content and more here.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan's Jim Harbaugh, MSU's Mel Tucker finalists for coach of year