After directing the Eastern Washington University football team to a 9-2 record and its sixth Big Sky Conference title in school history, head coach Beau Baldwin has been selected as the league’s co-Coach of the Year in a vote of the Big Sky’s fellow head coaches. He shares the award with Cal Poly head coach Tim Walsh.
In receiving the honor for the first time, Baldwin is the fourth coach in school history to win the award. His predecessor, Paul Wulff, won in 2001, 2004 and 2005. Current Idaho State head coach Mike Kramer won in 1997 and Dick Zornes was Eastern’s first in 1992. The Eagles won league titles and advanced to the playoffs in all of those years except for 2001.
Eastern, the NCAA Division I Champion in 2010 with Baldwin at the helm, enters the 2012 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs with a 9-2 record. The Eagles received the No. 2 seed in the championship and will play either Wagner or Colgate on Dec. 1 at 3 p.m. Pacific time at Roos Field in Cheney, Wash.
“It’s a very well-deserved honor for both coach Baldwin and his staff,” said Eastern athletic director Bill Chaves. “This award is not only about this season, but about what he and his staff have been able to do for the past five years.”
Baldwin has now been a part of four Big Sky Conference championships as either an Eastern assistant coach (2004, 2005) or head coach (2010, 2012). In addition, he has been a part of five FCS Playoff berths – two as an assistant (2004, 2005) and three in four seasons as head coach (2009, 2010, 2012). Eastern has advanced to the FCS Playoffs a total of nine times in school history.
He coached in his 100th Eastern game when the Eagles rallied to beat Montana 32-26. He is now 42-18 in four-plus seasons as a head coach (2008-12), and was 25-22 as an EWU assistant coach for four seasons (2003-06), for a collective total of 67-40. His .750 winning percentage in Big Sky Conference games (30-10) is the best-ever by an Eastern head coach and currently ranks eighth in the 50-year history of the Big Sky Conference. His .700 percentage overall is 11th.
Baldwin is also one of 20 coaches on the voting list for the Eddie Robinson Award, given to the national coach of the year in FCS. Adams is one of 20 players on the ballot for the Jerry Rice Award, given to the top freshman in FCS.
After guiding Eastern to the 2010 NCAA Division I Championship, Baldwin was honored nationally as the College Sporting News Coach of the Year and the American Football Monthly Coach of the Year. He was also honored regionally by the Inland Northwest Sportswriters and Broadcasters (SWABS) as Coach of the Year. In addition, Baldwin was a Liberty Mutual FCS Coach of the Year finalist, as well as for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award presented by The Sports Network.
Now in his 19th season as a coach, his previous 18 seasons included 10 at Central Washington University and eight at Eastern. He also played quarterback for four seasons at CWU.
Baldwin has coached on teams that have won two national titles (NCAA Division I in 2010; NAIA in 1995) and seven conference championships (Big Sky Conference in 2004, 2005, 2010 and 2012); Great Northwest Athletic Conference in 2002; Columbia Football Association in 2000 and 1998).
He has coached in 18 postseason playoff games so far (record of 11-6-1), including five appearances (including 2012) in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs (record of 5-3), two appearances in the NCAA Division II Playoffs (record of 2-2) and two appearances in the NAIA Playoffs (record of 4-1-1).
Eastern led the FCS in passing offense in 2012, averaging 368.5 yards per game. In his previous four years as Eastern’s head coach, the Eagles have ranked in the top 10 in FCS in passing offense three times (Eastern is currently 10th in 2012) and total offense twice. In EWU’s last eight seasons (1994-2011), including seven with Baldwin on the coaching staff, EWU has ranked in the top 10 in passing six times and total offense on five occasions.
Baldwin received his bachelor’s degree from Central Washington University in 1996. He is formerly from Tacoma, Wash., and graduated from Curtis High School in 1990. His wife Nicole is from Spokane, Wash., and is a 2001 graduate of Eastern. They have two daughters – Mia Janae (7) and Macie Patricia (5).