Baldwin, Walsh share Big Sky Coach of the Year

OGDEN, Utah — For the first time since 2005, the Big Sky Conference has co-football Coaches of the Year. Eastern Washington’s Beau Baldwin and Cal Poly’s Tim Walsh shared the honor.

The selection was made by the league coaches Monday and announced on Wednesday. It’s the first Big Sky Coach of the Year honor for both coaches.

Baldwin guided the Eagles to a 9-2 regular-season and a share of the conference title with a 7-1 record. EWU’s regular season included a win over FBS Idaho, and a road win at Montana State.

Baldwin, in his fifth season with the Eagles, has compiled a 42-18 overall record. He is 30-10 in conference games. Walsh has an overall coaching record of 52-21, including his one season at Central Washington.

“It means a lot to be honored by your peers,’’ Baldwin said. “The level of coaching in this conference is outstanding. It’s a challenge each and every week for each of us. It is humbling to be honored along with Coach Walsh, who is also very deserving.’’

Eastern Washington, which won the 2010 National Championship under Baldwin, will take the No. 2 seed to the playoffs. EWU will face the winner of Saturday’s game between Colgate and Wagner on Dec. 1 in Cheney.

Baldwin is the fourth EWU coach to win the Big Sky Coach of the Year. Dick Zornes claimed the honor in 1992, followed by Mike Kramer in 1997. Paul Wulff was the Coach of the Year in 2001, 2004 and 2005.

Walsh guided Cal Poly to a 7-1 conference record and a 9-2 mark in the Mustangs first season in the Big Sky Conference. Cal Poly earned an at-large bid to the playoffs and will face Sam Houston State on Dec. 1 in Huntsville, Texas.

Walsh has compiled a 25-19 record in four seasons at Cal Poly. Walsh spent 14 seasons as a head coach at Portland State, including 11 in the Big Sky Conference. He has an overall record of 143-101 in 22 seasons as a head coach, including four at Sonoma State.

Cal Poly started the season with seven consecutive victories, including a 24-22 road win over Wyoming of the Mountain West Conference.

“Anytime you get a Coach of the Year, it probably means you have a great team,’’ Walsh said. “It’s about the dedication of the player, and our players have been dedicated. This is really a credit to the players we have and the assistant coaches.’’

Cal Poly ranks third in the nation in rushing yards per game with an average of 334.3 per game. The Mustangs have set a single-season Big Sky rushing record with 3,343 yards.

Both Walsh and Baldwin are finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award, presented annually by The Sports Network to the top coach in the FCS.

— Big Sky Conference



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