Deciding who the best coach is can be very subjective, especially when it comes to the criteria.
Is it about the best Xs and Os guy who can put together a great game plan, get his guys ready to play and make in-game adjustments? Or is it the coach that flipped a program from way below .500 to way above .500? Maybe it's the guy who just keeps winning.
Well, we'll let the fans decide on who they think deserves the FCS Coach of the Year honor.
Voting closes Dec. 21 at noon, Pacific.
Aaron Best – Eastern Washington
Best has led the Eagles to the national title game with a 12-2 record in his second season as head coach. His philosophy of a more balanced offense and a tougher defense has paid off quickly.
Bob Surace – Princeton
The Tigers were dominant this year, going 10-0 after a 5-5 record last season. Princeton was well balanced under Surace, scoring 47.0 points per game (1st in the FCS) and allowing 13.0 points per game (4th in the FCS).
Chris Klieman – North Dakota State
Klieman just keeps winning. The Bison enter the national championship game with their best record under Klieman at 14-0. He took over a program in 2014 that won three straight national titles and has somehow elevated it. Klieman is off to Kansas State next season, but he's kept his locker room unified.
Dan Hawkins – UC Davis
In his second season as head coach, Hawkins has taken the Aggies from the bottom of the Big Sky to the top of the conference and the FCS. UC Davis made the FCS playoffs for the first time in program history and narrowly lost 34-29 to EWU in the quarterfinals, a team it lost to 59-20 just a month earlier.
Curt Mallory – Indiana State
Mallory led the biggest turnaround in the FCS this season. The Sycamores went 0-11 in his first year as head coach in 2017. They then went 7-4 overall this season and 5-3 in the MVFC. Indiana State was one of the first teams to get left out of the playoffs.
Joe Harasymiak – Maine
After a couple so-so seasons under Harasymiak, the Black Bears exploded onto the national scene this year. It started with a dominating win against No. 7 New Hampshire followed by an FBS win against Western Kentucky. Maine finished 7-1 in the CAA and 10-4 overall, falling to EWU in the semifinals.
John Stiegelmeier – South Dakota State
After making the semifinals with an incredibly talented 2017 senior class, not many expected the Jackrabbits to bounce back like they did this year. But SDSU proved its ability to reload thanks to recruiting and didn't take any steps back. The Jacks returned to the semifinals, losing to NDSU, and have established themselves as a top program in the FCS under Stiegelmeier.
Randy Sanders – East Tennessee State
In his first season as head coach, Sanders took the Bucs to a place they haven't been to in a long, long time: the FCS playoffs. Coming off a 4-7 season, ETSU went 8-4 overall this year and 6-2 in the SoCon. The Bucs lost a heartbreaker in the first round of the playoffs to Jacksonville State, 34-27.
Sam Washington – North Carolina A&T
Another first-year head coach who made a big splash early. The Aggies began the year with a win against No. 6 Jacksonville State and then against FBS East Carolina. After a couple of losses midway through the season, Washington got his team back on track and all the way to a 24-22 Celebration Bowl win against Alcorn State.
Tom Matukewicz – Southeast Missouri State
SEMO entered this year coming off back-to-back 3-8 seasons. The Redhawks took a giant leap forward, going 9-4 overall, 6-2 in the OVC and 6-0 at home. They got their first-ever FCS playoff win in the first round against Stony Brook before falling to No. 2 Weber State