CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – In what will go down as one of the closest ballots in award history, SFA head coach J.C. Harper finished second to Prairie View A&M's Henry Frazier III for the Eddie Robinson Award, given annually to the nation's top FCS head coach. Harper finished second to Frazier by a total of two points.
"It's truly an honor just to be considered for the award," said Harper. "I'm blessed to be surrounded by great people. I have a great staff that works very hard to make sure that SFA is the best it can be. Our senior leadership was tremendous this year. This program is surrounded by an administrative staff led by our University President, Dr. Baker Pattillo, and Director of Athletics, Robert Hill, who are all committed to winning. I could not be considered for the award without all of these factors."
After an 0-11 campaign during his first season as head coach in 2007, Harper began the process of building the Lumberjack program. In just two short seasons, Harper took SFA from worst to first winning the Southland Conference title, and putting the program in the NCAA FCS playoffs for the first time since the 1995 season.
SFA finished the year with a 10-3 overall record and advanced to the second round of the playoffs. It was only the fourth time in school history that SFA has reached double-figure wins in a season, and the first time since 1995.
Following the season SFA placed 20 athletes on the 2009 All-Southland Conference teams, including the SLC Co-Player, Co-Defensive Player, and Newcomer of the Year awards. Harper also became the second coach in school history to be named SLC Coach of the Year.