CHATTANOOGA, TN (GoMocs.com) -- For the second year in a row, Chattanooga Mocs head football coach Russ Huesman is among the 21 finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award, given to the FCS National Coach of the Year.
Huesman guided the Mocs to a school-record-tying 9-3 mark and the first-ever undefeated Southern Conference season at 7-0. Chattanooga is in the FCS Playoffs for the first time since 1984 and hosting a home game for the first time in school history.
The Mocs rolled through SoCon play, winning by an average margin of 26.3 points per game. Since Chattanooga joined the league in 1977, that margin of victory is second only to Marshall's 26.9 in 1996. The Mocs led the SoCon in scoring offense (35.1), scoring defense (18.5) and total defense (281.9).
A two-time SoCon Coach of the Year (2009 & 2013), Huesman is 40-28 (.588) in his six years at Chattanooga after being hired as the 22nd head coach at UTC on Dec. 22, 2008. The Mocs won exactly 37 games in the 11 previous seasons to his arrival in 2009 (37-87).
A 1983 graduate of UTC and a former defensive back, Huesman guided Chattanooga to a 6-5 mark in 2009, equaling the number of wins UTC had seen in the previous three years combined. Huesman is 38-21 against FCS teams with 14 of those losses coming against ranked opponents, including nine in the top 10. He is 30-17 (.638) in SoCon action, 21-10 (.677) at home and 19-18 (.514) on the road. The program won 29 league games (29-63) and 17 road games in the 12 seasons prior to his arrival in 2009.
Huesman spent 25 seasons building a reputation as one of the top defensive-minded assistant coaches in the country before joining UTC. He had five seasons as the defensive coordinator at the University of Richmond before joining UTC and also coached at Memphis (1998-2003) and William & Mary (14 yrs), serving as the defensive coordinator for the 1996-97 seasons. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Huesman played prep football at perennial power Moeller High School, where he lettered for four years under head coach Gerry Faust.