Semifinalist List Includes 11 College Coaches from Eight Conferences Nationwide
ATLANTA (March 11, 2019) – Today, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced the semifinalists for the 2019 Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year Award, which includes 11 candidates due to ties in the voting process. Seven coaches are seeking their first such honor, including Rick Barnes (Tennessee), Chris Beard (Texas Tech), Tom Izzo (Michigan State), Nate Oats (Buffalo), Matt Painter (Purdue), Kelvin Sampson (Houston) and Mike Young (Wofford). The other four candidates are former Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year award winners with three coaches who have won at different colleges than where they currently coach.
Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett, who won the award in 2007 at Washington State and in 2018 at Virginia, would be the first back-to-back winner in the history of the men’s award. While Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari also looks to make history with what could be his fourth honor, following wins in 1996 at Massachusetts, in 2008 at Memphis and in 2015, where he joined Tubby Smith (2003) and won the second men’s award coaching for Kentucky. Should Roy Williams win, he would join North Carolina winners Dean Smith (1993) and Bill Guthridge (1998) and win his second trophy since 1997 when he won at Kansas. Mark Few is also hoping to win his second Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year award at Gonzaga after previously winning in 2017.
“With the regular season complete, the competition for Werner Ladder Naismith Trophy Coach of the Year will pick up as tournament play begins,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “We’re looking forward to watching these candidates lead and push their teams to excel through post season.”
The four finalists for the Werner Ladder Naismith Trophy for Men’s College Coach of the Year will be announced on March 20. Fans will be able to support their favorite coach by visiting naismithtrophy.com/vote between March 22-April 3, to cast their ballot, and the fan vote will account for five percent of the overall final vote. Then, on April 7, 2019, the 2019 Werner Ladder Naismith Trophy for Men’s College Coach of the Year will be awarded at the Naismith Awards Brunch presented by Mortenson, during the Final Four in Minneapolis.
“The Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year semifinalists have each excelled in coaching their teams throughout the regular season,” said Stacy Gardella, vice president of brand marketing at WernerCo. “We look forward to watching these coaches inspire their teams and wish them luck as they approach the tournament.”
2019 Werner Ladder Naismith Men's College Coach of the Year Semifinalists
|FIRST NAME||LAST NAME||SCHOOL||CONFERENCE|
|Chris||Beard||Texas Tech||Big 12|
|Tom||Izzo||Michigan State||Big Ten|
The four finalists will be chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s national voting academy, comprised of leading journalists from around the country, current and former head coaches, former award winners and conference commissioners, all of whom base their selections on outstanding coaching performances during the 2018-19 college basketball season. The vote will be tabulated and certified by Aprio, a premier, CPA-led business advisory firm.
For more information, visit www.naismithtrophy.com.
ABOUT THE ATLANTA TIPOFF CLUB
Founded during the 1956-57 season, the Atlanta Tipoff Club is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club administers the Naismith Awards, the most prestigious national honors in all of college and high school basketball. Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, the family of Naismith Awards annually recognizes the most outstanding men’s and women’s college and high school basketball players and coaches. Other Naismith Awards are presented to the men’s and women’s college basketball defensive players of the year, as well as lifetime achievement awards to basketball officials and outstanding contributors to the game. UCLA’s Lew Alcindor received the first Citizen Naismith Trophy in 1969, while the late Anne Donovan (Old Dominion) was the inaugural women’s recipient in 1983. Corporate partners of the Naismith Awards include Bona, Citizen Watch Company, Jersey Mike’s and Werner Ladder.
ABOUT WERNER LADDER COMPANY
Werner, the official ladder of NCAA® March Madness® and the world leader in ladders offers a complete line of climbing products designed for working at heights. The portfolio includes ladders, attic ladders, scaffolding, pump jacks, stages, planks, stepstools, accessories and fall protection equipment including harnesses, lanyards, anchors and compliance kits. From ladders to fall protection, WERNER provides a full line of climbing equipment that’s engineered to give you maximum safety, durability and productivity at every height. All Werner products meet or exceed applicable international safety standards. For more information, visit www.wernerladder.com.
Jackson Spalding for the Atlanta Tipoff Club