UCLA'S BEN HOWLAND 2006 RECIPIENT OF PHELAN AWARD
April 5, 2006
Howland and UCLA came up short in Monday’s NCAA championship game, but
Howland was second to none in the voting for the Jim Phelan National Coach
of the Year Award.
Howland, who received five first place votes, edged out North Carolina
head coach Roy Williams by eight points in the final voting which was
tabulated on March 12, before the start of the NCAA tournament.
"It is a privilege to receive an award named in honor of Jim Phelan, who
is one of the great coaches in the history of college basketball,” says
Howland. “Most importantly, I want to credit my players and outstanding
staff for this honor. I have the best staff in the country and feel very
fortunate. And, as I have said many times, it's all about players and here
at UCLA we have great players who are great human beings. Our UCLA players
represent our basketball program and their families in a first-class
Howland becomes the fourth recipient of the Jim Phelan Award, which was
previously known as the CollegeInsider.com coach of the year. In March
2003 the award was renamed to honor the former Mount St. Mary’s head coach
who coached more games then anyone in the history of the game.
“Coach Howland did a phenomenal job with such a young team,” said voting
panel member and former Kentucky All-American Kyle Macy. “Despite all the
injuries and adversity the Bruins won the Pac-10 championship. In a very
short period of time he has changed the mindset of the program. He has
returned the tradition to a tradition-rich program.”
Despite all twelve scholarship players suffering from some type of injury
this season, the Bruins continued to win, as they claimed their first
Pac-10 title since 1997 and finished the regular season with a 27-6 record
(14-4 in the Pac-10).
A great deal of UCLA’s success this season was a result of a much-improved
defense, which has become a staple of Howland’s programs. The Bruins held
opponents to less then 59 points per game and limited the opposition to
under 42% shooting from the field.
Howland received a total of 52 points. Williams was second with 44,
followed by Tennessee’s Bruce Pearl (36) and Villanova’s Jay Wright (30).
George Washington’s Karl Hobbs and Ohio State’s Thad Matta finished tied
for fifth with 27 points each.
“I want to thank the 20-member Phelan panel who recommended me for this
prestigious honor,” says Howland. “I want to congratulate the other 14
finalists. And a special thanks to Joe Dwyer and Angela Lento for their
in-depth and entertaining coverage of college basketball on
Previous winners of the Phelan Award include Tubby Smith (Kentucky, 2005),
Phil Martelli (St. Joseph’s, 2004) and Mark Slonaker (Mercer, 2003).
This season’s mid-season Phelan honors went to Florida head coach Billy
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