Rider's Baggett Finalist for Two Coach of Year Awards
Joe B. Hall Award, Ben Jobe Award
BOSTON, MASS.-Rider head basketball coach Kevin Baggett is a finalist for a second Coach of the Year Award.
The Ben Jobe Award is presented annually to the top minority coach in Division I men's basketball. Coach Jobe is an icon in the history of basketball at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He is best known as the head coach of the Southern University, a position he held for 12 seasons. He has also head coach at Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Talladega, Tuskegee and South Carolina State.
The 20 finalists include Tommy Amaker (Harvard), Mike Anderson (Arkansas), Kevin Baggett (Rider), Roman Banks (Southern), Jamion Christian (Mount St. Mary's), Mike Davis (Texas Southern), Anthony Evans (Norfolk State), Anthony Grant (Alabama), James Green (Jacksonville State), Frank Haith (Missouri), Joe Jones (Boston University), Cuonzo Martin (Tennessee), Bashir Mason (Wagner), Ray McCallum (Detroit), Marvin Menzies (New Mexico State), Howard Moore (Illinois-Chicago), LeVelle Moton (North Carolina Central), Kevin Ollie (Connecticut), Shaka Smart (VCU), John Thompson III (Georgetown).
The finalists for the 2013 Joe B. Hall award, which is presented annually to the top first-year coach in Division I college basketball, were announced last week.
The ten finalists include Kevin Baggett (Rider), Jamion Christian (Mount St. Mary's), Mike Martin (Brown), Bashir Mason (Wagner), Dan Muller (Illinois State), Kevin Ollie (Connecticut), Jack Perri (LIU-Brooklyn), Richard Pitino (FIU), Nick Robinson (Southern Utah), Travis Williams (Tennessee State).
"I am very honored to be nominated for these two awards and mentioned amongst the respected finalist," Baggett said. "I could not have been nominated without the help of my coaching staff and players."
Baggett inherited a team with just two returning starters and six total letterwinners that was picked to finish seventh and led his first squad to 18 wins and a second place finish.
With an emphasis on defense, Baggett's Broncs lead the MAAC in three-point field goal percentage defense and are second in overall field goal percentage defense, third in blocks and fourth in points allowed.
Rider ended the regular season on its second five-game winning streak of the season.
Baggett's 18 wins is third most ever for a first-year head coach at Rider, behind Bob Greenwood (20 in 1962-63) and Clair Bee (19 in 1928-29).
This is Baggett's seventh season at Rider, the first two as the assistant coach and the last four as the associate head coach.
Baggett has been coaching on the Division I level for 17 years, with 2012-13 being his first season as a head coach.
The Joe B. Hall award is named in the honor of the coach who was given the task of following the legendary Adolph Rupp. In his first season at the University of Kentucky, Hall finished 20-8, won the SEC and advanced to the NCAA Regional Finals.
From 1972 to 1985 Hall would win two-thirds of his games (297-100), receive four SEC Coach of the Year honors and win a National Championship (1978). Along with the 1978 title, Hall also guided Kentucky to a
runner-up finish to UCLA in the 1975 NCAA tournament, a Final Four appearance in the 1984 NCAA Tournament and an NIT championship in 1976. He won 8 Southeastern Conference regular season championships and one Southeastern Conference tournament championship (1984).
Hall is one of only three men to win an NCAA championship as a player (1949- Kentucky) and coach (1978- Kentucky). The only others to achieve this feat are Bob Knight and Dean Smith.
The 2013 recipients of both Awards will be announced on April 5 at the CollegeInsider.com awards banquet in Atlanta, site of the men's NCAA Basketball Championship.