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March 30, 2007

view the 2007 Jim Phelan Award

After leading Washington State to one of the biggest turnarounds in college basketball, head coach Tony Bennett has been named the recipient of the 2007 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year award.

Named after the legendary Mount St. Mary’s head coach Jim Phelan who won over 800 games and coached in more games then any the history of college basketball, the award is presented annually the top coach in America, as determined by a 20-member voting panel. The voting was completed on March 1.

“Tony Bennett took a group of good players and molded them into a great team,” says collegeinsider.com’s Matt Drake who is also on the award committee’s voting panel. “Twenty years from now people will still be talking about the 2006-07 Washington State Cougars. It was a special season.”

Last season Washington State was dead last in the Pac-10, finishing 4-14 and 11-17 overall. One year later the Cougars tied a school record with 26 wins. Washington State posted 26 wins during the 1940-41 season before losing in the national championship game to Wisconsin.

2007 marked the first NCAA tournament appearance for the program since 1994 and just the fourth in school history.

The Cougars won 14 games away from home, the most since a school-record 17 (all on the road) in 1916-17 when the Cougars were named national champions (Helms Foundation).

Bennett received six first place votes and totaled 60 points. Virginia Tech’s Seth Greenberg finished second with 34 points. Greenberg, Mark Fox (Nevada), Billy Gillispie (Texas A&M), Ben Howland (UCLA), Todd Lickliter (Butler), Chris Lowery (Southern Illinois), Gregg Marshall (Winthrop), Thad Matta (Ohio State) and Bo Ryan (Wisconsin) all received first-place votes.

Previously know as the CollegeInsider.com National Coach of the Year, the award was renamed in March of 2003 to honor coach Jim Phelan. The list of winners includes Mark Slonaker (Mercer, 2002-03), Phil Martelli (St. Joseph’s, 2003-04), Tubby Smith (Kentucky, 2004-05), Ben Howland (UCLA, 2005-06).

(first-place votes in parenthesis)
Coach School Points
Tony Bennett Washington State 60 (6)
Seth Greenberg Virginia Tech 34 (2)
Todd Lickliter Butler 31 (1)
Billy Gillispie Texas A&M 27 (3)
Chris Lowery Southern Illinois 24 (1)
Gregg Marshall Winthrop 22 (1)
Ben Howland UCLA 21 (2)
Thad Matta Ohio State 20 (1)
Bo Ryan Wisconsin 16 (1)
Kevin Stallings Vanderbilt 15
Mark Fox Nevada 12 (1)
Billy Donovan Florida 7
John Calipari Memphis 5
Jim Baron Rhode Island 3
Cliff Warren Jacksonville 3

   2007 Finalists inalists Announced | Todd Lickliter earns mid-season honors



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