March 16, 2013
MANHATTAN, Kan. - Head coach Bruce Weber has been named one of 20 finalists for the 2013 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year award, CollegeInsider.com announced earlier this week.
Weber is joined on the finalist list by Dana Altman (Oregon), John Beilein (Michigan), Mike Brey (Notre Dame), Rick Byrd (Belmont), Jim Crews (Saint Louis), Keith Dambrot (Akron), Kermit Davis (Middle Tennessee), Billy Donovan (Florida), Anthony Evans (Norfolk State), Mark Few (Gonzaga), Travis Ford (Oklahoma State), Ben Howland (UCLA), Jim Larranaga (Miami), Rick Pitino (Louisville), Bo Ryan (Wisconsin), Bill Self (Kansas), John Thompson III (Georgetown), Buzz Williams (Marquette), Jay Wright (Villanova).
The Jim Phelan Award is presented annually to the nation's top Division I coach. 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.
One of just three first-year head coaches to win the Big 12 regular season title, Weber was selected as the Big 12 Coach of the Year by the league coaches and The Associated Press earlier this week. He is just the sixth K-State head coach to earn conference Coach of the Year honors and the second in the Big 12 era, following Tex Winter (1958, 1959, 1960), Cotton Fitzsimmons (1970), Jack Hartman (1975, 1977), Dana Altman (1993) and Frank Martin (2010). He also collected league Coach of the Year accolades for the third time in his career in his third different league after winning the honor in the Missouri Valley in 2002-03 and the Big Ten in 2004-05.
Weber has led the No. 11/12 Wildcats to a 27-6 overall record and a 14-4 mark in Big 12 play, which included a tie for their first conference title in 36 seasons and a berth in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship game on Saturday. The 27 wins are the most-ever in the regular season and just the school's fifth 25-win season, while the 14 conference wins tie the 1958-59 team for the most in school history. The league title is the 18th regular-season title in school history and the first since winning the Big Eight Championship in 1977.
The 2013 recipient will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com awards banquet in Atlanta.
K-State plays No. 7/6 Kansas in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship on Saturday at 5 p.m. on ESPN.