FAIRFIELD, Conn - Sacred Heart Head Football Coach Mark Nofri was named a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award, given to the Football Championship Subdivision Coach of the Year Wednesday by The Sports Network. Coach Nofri led the Pioneers to a 10-2 regular season record on their way to the Northeast Conference Championship and a berth into the FCS Playoffs.
Picked to finish last in the conference after a dismal 2-9 season in 2012, Nofri and the Pioneers completed the biggest turnaround in the country this season (+8 wins), defeating teams by an average of 20 points per game. SHU had not won more than five games since 2008. The 2013 Pioneers scored 423 points in the regular season, second most in school history and clinched the NEC Title with one week to play in the season. Nofri was the interim coach last season, following 18 years as an assistant coach at Sacred Heart. Earlier this season, quarterback R.J. Noel (Lowell, MA) was named a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award, given to the best first-year player in the FCS.
Sacred Heart will find out their FCS Playoff opponent on Sunday, when it is announced live on ESPNU at 11:30 am.