2007-08: BO RYAN (Wisconsin)
leading Wisconsin to both the Big Ten and regular season and
conference tournament championships, Bo Ryan has been selected
as the recipient of the 2008 Jim Phelan National Coach of the
The award, which is voted on by a 20-member selection and is
chaired by Jim Phelan, is presented annually at the Final Four
to the top coach in college basketball.
“There weren’t many
who thought Wisconsin would be a factor in the Big Ten, let
alone win the league,” says CollegeInsider.com’s Joe Dwyer.
“But Bo Ryan has made a career of proving people wrong. He is
without question one of the top handful of coaches in all of
2006-07: TONY BENNETT (Washington
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
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.
2005-06: BEN HOWLAND (UCLA)
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.
2004-05: TUBBY SMITH (Kentucky)
leading his team to a 28-6 record, University of Kentucky head
coach Tubby Smith was rewarded with 2005 Jim Phelan National
Coach of the Year award, edging Illinois' Bruce Weber by ten
“This might be Tubby’s finest coaching job,” says Rice head
coach Willis Wilson who is one of 20 members on the Phelan
Award committee. “He got so much out of his team, which was
very young. His ability to motivate and get the most of out
what he has to work with has always been a staple of Tubby
Smith. This season was a prime example of that. Tubby really
deserves this award.”
PHIL MARTELLI (St. Joseph's)
one could have predicted that St. Joseph's would have such a
magical run. Jameer Nelson and Delonte West are big reasons
why the Hawks posted a perfect 27-0 regular season mark, but
Phil Martelli was the glue that kept it all together.
A 10-year assistant with the Hawks prior to taking the
university's coaching position on July 20, 1995, Martelli has
led SJU to three NCAA and two NIT Tournament appearances in
his eight seasons. The native of Drexel Hill, Pa. has twice
tied the school record for victories with identical 26-7
records in 1996-97 and 2000-01. Both of those seasons ended
with the Hawks ranked in the final national polls (12th in
1996-97; 22nd in 2000-01).
MARK SLONAKER (Mercer)
season Mark Slonaker and Mercer won just six games. This
season the Bears won 23 games claimed the first regular
conference championship in school history (14-4).
Mercer and Slonaker can also lay claim to the best
single-season turnaround in NCAA history, going from 6-23 to
23-6. Mercer also cracked the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top
25 for the first time ever.
One could easily argue that Slonaker has one of the toughest
jobs in division I college basketball. In addition to very
high academic standards, their home court has a capacity of
just five-hundred people.