WEST MIAMI-DADE (CBS4) -Florida International University’s football team has another reason to brag tonight. It’s coach and wide receiver received top honors in it’s conference.

Head Coach Mario Cristobal and receiver T.Y. Hilton have been named the Sun Belt Conference’s Coach and Player of the Year, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald. It is the first time in the school’s history that a Golden Panther has received the award.

The awards come nearly two weeks after the team became conference champions and became eligible for a bowl, another first in the football program’s history.

While Cristobal’s recognition was expected, Hilton’s was much more of a surprise.

The Miami Springs High graduate didn’t lead the conference in any major category, but his key plays, like the 42 yard run that lifted FIU over Arkansas State late last month, made him a standout.

Cristobal’s 6-2 season with the team no doubt will determine his future as the leader of the Golden Panthers. He is in the 4th year of a five year deal. Athletic Director Pete Garcia is expected to address a possible contract extension for Cristobal after the team plays Toledo in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit on December 26th.

(© MMX CBS Television Stations. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report)


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