Maine head coach Joe Harasymiak, right, looks at an official during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Connecticut in Sept. 2016, in East Hartford, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

University of Maine head football coach Joe Harasymiak has been named a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Award, given annually to the national coach of the year in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision.

In his third year as the Black Bears coach, Harasymiak guided the team to the Colonial Athletic Association outright championship with a 7-1 league mark, and an 8-3 overall record. On Sunday, Maine was seeded seventh in the upcoming FCS playoffs, which earned the Black Bears a first-round bye and a home playoff game on Dec. 1. The conference championship and the playoff berth were Maine’s first since 2013.

The Eddie Robinson Award will be presented at the STATS FCS awards banquet on Jan. 4 in Frisco, Texas, site of the national championship game. Fifteen coaches were named finalists on Monday.

“It is extremely humbling to be in the same conversation as all of these great coaches,” Harasymiak said. “The only reason this happened is because of the great coaches and players I get to be around every day.”

In addition, senior linebacker Sterling Sheffield has been named a finalist for the STATS Buck Buchanan Award, given annually to the top defensive player in the FCS.

And two Maine players were honored by the CAA on Monday. Earnest Edwards, who returned two kickoffs for touchdowns in last Saturday’s 27-26 win over Elon, was named CAA special teams player of the week. Ramon Jefferson, who gained 130 rushing yards in that victory, was named CAA rookie of the week.

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