BOSTON, Mass. (March 7, 2013) --- University of Connecticut men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2013 Joe B. Hall Award, which is presented annually to the top first-year coach in Division I college basketball.
In addition to Ollie, who has guided the Huskies to 19 victories heading into Saturday’s season finale against Providence, the other finalists include Kevin Baggett (Rider), Jamion Christian (Mount St. Mary's), Mike Martin (Brown), Bashir Mason (Wagner), Dan Muller (Illinois State), Jack Perri (LIU-Brooklyn), Richard Pitino (FIU), Nick Robinson (Southern Utah), and Travis Williams (Tennessee State).
The award is named in the honor of Joe B. Hall who was given the task of following the legendary Adolph Rupp at the University of Kentucky. In his first season, 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).
The 2013 recipient will be announced on April 5 at the CollegeInsider.com awards banquet in Atlanta, site of the men's NCAA Basketball Championship.