PULLMAN – Washington State University Men’s Basketball Head Coach Tony Bennett was named the recipient of the 2007 Naismith Award as the college coach of the year — one of the most prestigious awards in college basketball — the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced on Tuesday, March 3.
In addition, Bennett was named coach of the year by Collegehoops.net, the third online entity to bestow the honor on the Cougar mentor this season.
The Naismith accolade is the sixth major coach of the year award Bennett received in 2006-07.
Other major coach of the year awards came from:
* Associated Press
* The Sporting News
* U.S. Basketball Writers Association
* Basketball Times
The six major awards are the most by a Pacific-10 Conference coach in a single season, surpassing UCLA legend John Wooden’s five in 1972.
Additional honors include Rivals.com coach of the year, and the Jim Phelan Award by Collegeinsider.com
Bennett, a Green Bay, Wis., native, led the Cougars to 26 wins this season, tying WSU’s 1941 national runner-up squad for the most in school history. The Cougars made their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1994 and posted their first NCAA Tournament win in 24 years with a first round defeat of Oral Roberts, March 15 in Sacramento, Calif. WSU finished 17th in the final ESPN/USA Today national poll.
In addition to his national awards, Bennett was the recipient of coach of the year honors from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 14, USBWA District 9, Pacific-10 Conference and Collegeinsider.com Pacific-10. He was a finalist for the NABC national coach of the year and The Clair Bee Award (Chip Hilton Sports and Naismith Hall of Fame national coach of the year).