Feb. 21, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. -Washington State Head Coach Tony Bennett has been named one of 15 finalists for the 2007 Jim Phelan Coach of the Year award, announced Feb. 20. Bennett is in his first season as the men's basketball head coach and has already garnered 22 wins, the most since the Cougars finished the 1991-92 season 22-11.
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 Atlanta.
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.
Previous winners are Ben Howland (UCLA, 2006), Tubby Smith (Kentucky, 2005), Phil Martelli (St. Joseph's, 2004) and Mark Slonaker (Mercer, 2003).
This year's finalists are : Jim Baron (Rhode Island), John Calipari (Memphis), Billy Donovan (Florida), Mark Fox (Nevada), Billy Gillispie (Texas A&M), Seth Greenberg (Virginia Tech), Ben Howland (UCLA), Todd Lickliter (Butler), Chris Lowery (Southern Illinois), Gregg Marshall (Winthrop), Thad Matta (Ohio State), Bo Ryan (Wisconsin), Kevin Stallings (Vanderbilt) and Cliff Warren (Jacksonville).