Eagles ranked No. 4 in preseason FCS Coaches Poll - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Eagles ranked No. 4 in preseason FCS Coaches Poll

Courtesy: Twitter/ @EWUFootball Courtesy: Twitter/ @EWUFootball

The Eastern Washington Eagles have been ranked No. 4 in the preseason FCS Coaches Poll released on Tuesday. James Madison (No. 1), North Dakota State (No. 2) and Sam Houston State (No. 3) were all ranked above the Eagles by the FCS coaches. The Eagles were ranked No. 5 in the STATS preseason Top 25 Poll that was released on Monday.

Courtesy: NCAA.com

Others receiving votes: Fordham (63), Albany (62), Western Illinois (54), Montana (51), Northern Arizona (42), McNeese State (34), San Diego (33), Tennessee State (26), Kennesaw State (17), William & Mary (16), Harvard (16), South Dakota (14), Saint Francis (8), Southeastern Louisiana (7), Dayton (7), Nicholls State (6), Princeton (5), Prairie View A&M (5), Colgate (5), Towson (2), Eastern Illinois (2), Southern (2), Southern Utah (2), Mercer (1).

Eastern Washington finished the 2016 season with a 12-2 record, highlighted by an 11-game winning streak. The Eagles entered the FCS Playoffs as the No. 2 seeded team in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs, but suffered a heartbreaking loss against Youngstown State in the semifinals. Eastern ended the year ranked fourth in the final poll that came out at the conclusion of the 2016 season.

Aaron Best will be the new face at head coach for the Eagles, as Beau Baldwin accepted the offensive coordinator position at the University of California during the offseason. The Eagles return quarterback Gage Gubrud who will try and bring Eastern Washington its fifth Big Sky title in the last six years. Gubrud threw for an FCS single-season record 5,160 yards in 2016 and is one of 14 returning starters for the Eagles this season.

Eastern Washington will open up the 2017 season against Texas Tech on Sept. 2 and will begin Big Sky Conference play on Sept. 23 against the Montana Grizzlies.

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