West Virginia University men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins was honored with the 2015 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year award, it was announced this week in Indianapolis. The award is presented annually to the top coach in Division I men’s basketball.
Huggins led the Mountaineers to 25 victories and an appearance in the NCAA Sweet 16. Huggins, who ranks 12th all-time in Division I victories, has recorded 765 victories in 33 years as a head coach. It is the sixth time in his coaching career that he has been named national coach of the year.
The other finalists included Dana Altman (Oregon), Tony Bennett (Virginia), Mike Brey (Notre Dame), John Calipari (Kentucky), Jim Engles (NJIT), Mark Few (Gonzaga), Chris Holtmann (Butler), Larry Krystkowiak (Utah), Gregg Marshall (Wichita State), Bob McKillop (Davidson), Archie Miller (Dayton), Sean Miller (Arizona), Bo Ryan (Wisconsin), Mark Turgeon (Maryland) and Jay Wright (Villanova).
The award is named in honor of Jim Phelan who coached his entire career at Mount Saint Mary’s University. He led the Mountaineers to the 1962 NCAA Men’s Division II Basketball Championship.
When he retired in 2003, after coaching for 49 years, he amassed 830 wins (overall record of 830-524) in over 1,300 games in all divisions. In those 49 years, 19 of his teams amassed 20 or more wins in a season.
Previous Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award Winners include: 2014: Tim Miles, Nebraska; 2013: Dana Altman, Oregon; 2012: Mike Brey, Notre Dame; 2011: Stew Morrill, Utah State; 2010: Jamie Dixon, Pitt; 2009: John Calipari, Memphis; 2008: Bo Ryan, Wisconsin; 2007: Tony Bennett, Washington; 2006: Ben Howland, UCLA; 2005: Tubby Smith, Kentucky; 2004: Phil Martelli, Saint Joseph’s; 2003: Mark Slonaker, Mercer.