ATLANTA (March 16, 2011) – Four would-be first-time winners headline the four finalists for
the 2011 Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today.
Mike Brey (Notre Dame), Steve Fisher (San Diego State), Thad Matta (Ohio State) and Dave
Rose (BYU) make up the final ballot for the most prestigious national award presented annually
to the top men’s college basketball coach. The winner will be announced in early April.
The finalists were determined by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s National Voting Academy, comprised
of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. The
academy based its criteria on coaching performances this season. The vote was tabulated and
certified by the accounting firm of Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP. HA&W is the largest
independent accounting firm in Georgia and one of the top 50 firms in the United States.
“Based on the success of their programs, there is little doubt as to who have done remarkable
coaching jobs this season,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
“We look forward to watching this play out and then honoring the winner with the most
prestigious coaching award in all of college basketball.”
ABOUT THE FINALISTS:
Brey led a team picked in the preseason to finish seventh to a 14-4 Big East record, good
enough for 2nd place. The Irish finished the regular season at 26-6, the most wins in school
history, and enter the NCAA Men’s Division I Championship with a No. 2 seed in the Southwest
Region. Brey was named the BIG EAST’s top coach for a third time in the last five seasons,
having also won the award in 2006-07 and 2007-08. With a 112-72 (.609) record in BIG EAST
regular seasons, Brey is sixth on the all-time BIG EAST coaches’ victory list.
In his 12th season at San Diego State, Fisher led the Aztecs to a 32-2 record, including a 14-2
mark in the Mountain West Conference (MWC), where they were co-champs along with BYU.
He also led the team to a MWC Tournament championship, and for his efforts was named the
2011 MWC Coach of the Year. He owns a 230-151 at the school, and a 414-233 overall
coaching record, including the 1989 NCAA Championship while at Michigan. The Aztecs enter
the NCAA Men’s Division I Championship with a No. 2 seed in the West Region.
With a 32-2 record, the Buckeyes finished the season as the No. 1-ranked team in the polls.
The 32 wins is the second most in school history after starting the season 24-0. Ohio State
claimed both the regular season and postseason Big Ten titles while entering the NCAA Men’s
Division I Championship as the No. 1 seed in the East Region, as well as No. 1 overall. Matta
is one of just two coaches nationally to post 20 or more wins in each of his first 11 seasons as a
head coach, including stops at Xavier and Butler. In his seven seasons in Columbus, he
currently has a record of 188-56.
Sixth-year head coach Dave Rose has led the BYU basketball to a 30-4 record and a share of
the Mountain West Conference regular season title with San Diego State (14-2 league mark).
The 30 victories tie a program record for wins set last season and nine-straight weeks in the top
10 is also a program first. The conference title marks the fourth in six years and in the two
seasons BYU has not won the conference title under Rose, the Cougars have finished second
place in the league standings. Under Rose’s direction, BYU is the only program in the country
to earn both academic recognition from the NCAA and a tournament bid in each of the last four
seasons. The Cougars boast the No. 3 seed in the Southeast Region in the NCAA Men’s
Division I Championship.
Last year, Syracuse University’s Jim Boeheim claimed the Naismith Men’s Coach of the Year
award, the fourth in a decade for the Big East Conference.
For more information, visit www.naismithawards.com.
ABOUT THE ATLANTA TIPOFF CLUB
The Atlanta Tipoff Club, an Atlanta Sports Council property, 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, founded during the 1956-57 season, has presented the
Naismith Trophy every year since UCLA’s Lew Alcindor first won the award in 1969. Old
Dominion’s Anne Donovan won the inaugural Women’s Naismith Trophy in 1983.
The Naismith Award has become the most prestigious award in all of college basketball,
recognizing the Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Player of the Year, Men’s and
Women’s College Basketball Coach of the Year, as well as awards for outstanding achievement
in high school basketball, officiating, and contribution to the game.