Calipari Named Jim Phelan National Coach Of The Year Finalist
March 12, 2008
BOSTON, Mass. - University of Memphis head coach John Calipari has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2008 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year award, collegeinsider.com announced Wednesday. It is the second-consecutive year Calipari is up for the honor, as he was a Jim Phelan Coach of the Year finalist in 2007.
Earlier on Wednesday, Calipari was selected as one of four finalists for the 2008 Naismith Coach of the Year award, given by the Atlanta Tip-Off Club. 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 nine finalists for the 2008 Jim Phelan Coach of the Year award are: Texas' Rick Barnes, Drake's Keno Davis, Davidson's Bob McKillop, Xavier's Sean Miller, Purdue's Matt Painter, Tennessee's Bruce Pearl, Wisconsin's Bo Ryan, Butler's Brad Stephens and Georgetown's John Thompson III.
Calipari, who is also a nominee for the USBWA's 2007-08 Henry Iba Award, was named Conference USA Coach of the Year at a Wednesday press conference at FedExForum.
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 Jim Phelan Award is given annually to the nation's top coach, as voted on by the 20-member panel. The winner will be presented with the award at the Final Four in San Antonio.
Prior to 2003 the award was known simply as the CollegeInsider.com national coach of the year. It was renamed to honor longtime Mount St. Mary's head coach Jim Phelan who retired following the 2002-03 season.
The previous winners of the award are Tony Bennett (Washington State) in 2007, Ben Howland (UCLA) in 2006, Tubby Smith (Kentucky) in 2005, Phil Martelli (St. Joseph's) in 2004 and Mark Slonaker (Mercer) in 2003.