The award is given annually by CSN, the largest and oldest news service solely devoted to publishing original content and other information of the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision.
Kidd was born in Corbin, Kentucky in 1931 and played quarterback at Eastern Kentucky from 1950-53. He was hired as Eastern's head football coach in 1964. In 1967, Kidd led the Colonels to the first of 16 Ohio Valley Conference titles during his tenure, as well as a victory in the Grantland Rice Bowl over Ball State.
After being classified in the new Division I-AA (now Division I FCS) in 1978, EKU and Kidd made appearances in four straight national championship games, winning in 1979 and 1982, and finishing as runner-up in 1980 and 1981.
Following the national championships, Kidd's teams never suffered a losing campaign. He led the school to 18 playoff appearances, including a stretch of making the postseason in 16 out of 17 seasons.
In total, Kidd led the Colonels to 16 Ohio Valley Conference titles and a national record 17 NCAA Division I-AA playoff appearances in 39 years. He won the OVC Coach of the Year honor ten times and was previously twice honored as the NCAA Division I-AA national coach of the year.
Over the course of his career, Kidd had a record of 315-123-8, a .715 winning percentage. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2003.
At retirement, Kidd was the sixth all-time winningest coach in NCAA history with 315 victories. He recorded 37 non-losing seasons, including a streak of 25 straight seasons with a winning record. Kidd coached 55 All-Americans, 202 First Team All-OVC selections and 41 student-athletes who signed National Football League contracts.
A member of the OVC, EKU and Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame, the Colonels' stadium was named Roy Kidd Stadium in his honor. The street that fronts the stadium has been renamed "Roy and Sue Kidd Way" in honor of Kidd and his wife, Susan Purcell Kidd.
The Ohio Valley Conference coach of the year award is one of many other honors bestowed in his name. The Roy & Sue Kidd Scholarship is also awarded at EKU for a football manager.
Founded in 2001, CSN annually names national coach, offensive, and defensive honors, pre-season and post-season All-America teams, national weekly student-athletes honors, and maintains the Gridiron Power Index (GPI) ranking of teams which the NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee has used as a tool for the selection of teams since 2008.
All awards are announced the week following the NCAA Division I Football Championship Game.