NEW ORLEANS, LA – The University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari, one of only two multiple Naismith winners, is among four finalists for the 2010 Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year as announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club Thursday.
The first-year Kentucky coach has led his squad to 32-2 record (14-2 in conference), and the Southeastern Conference tournament championship – the school’s first since 2005. He has now captured five consecutive conference tournament championships and regular season titles as a head coach. He also won 30 games for the fifth straight year, the only coach in NCAA Division I history to do so. Calipari won the Naismith award most recently at Memphis (2008) and also at Massachusetts (1996). The resurgent Wildcats earned the number-one seed in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament.
Calipari is joined by three would-be first-time Naismith honorees in Steve Alford (New Mexico), Jim Boeheim (Syracuse) and Frank Martin (Kansas State). Those four 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 voted on 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.