Calipari One Of Four Finalists For 2008 Naismith Coach Of The Year
March 12, 2008
ATLANTA, Ga. - University of Memphis head coach John Calipari has been named one of four finalists for the 2008 Naismith Coach of the Year award, the Atlanta Tip-Off Club announced Wednesday. Calipari received the Naismith Coach of the Year honor for the 1995-96 season, the same year his UMass squad advanced to the NCAA Final Four.
The other three finalists for the 2008 Naismith Coach of the Year award are Drake's Keno Davis, Purdue's Matt Painter and Tennessee's Bruce Pearl. The winner will be announced during the 2008 NCAA Men's Final Four in San Antonio, Texas.
Calipari, who is also a nominee for the USBWA's 2007-08 Henry Iba Award, was named Conference USA Coach of the Year earlier on Wednesday.
Calipari, guided the Tigers to a 30-1 regular season record and a 16-0 mark in C-USA play. With his 30 wins this season, Calipari became only the second coach in NCAA Division I history to post three-straight, 30-win campaigns (33-4 in 2005-06 and 2006-07, 30-1 in 2007-08). Kentucky's Adolph Rupp accomplished the feat from 1947-49.
Memphis, which was ranked No. 1 for five-consecutive weeks, has been in the No. 1 or No. 2 spots in the polls for a school-record 15-straight weeks this year. Calipari is also one of five coaches in NCAA Division I history to lead two different programs to a No. 1 national ranking (UMass, Memphis).
Calipari directed the Tigers to a third-straight C-USA regular season title in 2007-08. It is the first time in the program's history that Memphis has claimed three-consecutive regular season crowns.
In late February, Calipari won his 400th game as a collegiate head coach, and his record stands at 404-135. He is only the second head coach in the history of NCAA Division I basketball to reach the 400-win plateau in his first 16 seasons as a collegiate head coach. Roy Williams is the other coach to do so.
The Naismith Coach of the Year finalists were chosen through a vote by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, who narrowed the mid-season list of 25 candidates down to the final four. The Board, which is comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country, based its criteria on coaching performances this season.