On the same day that University of Akron head coach Keith Dambrot was named Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year, CollegeInsider.com named Dambrot one of 21 finalists for the Hugh Durham Award.
The Hugh Durham Award is given annually to the nation's top mid-major coach. Dambrot is one of two MAC coaches named as a finalist, joined by Toledo's Tod Kowalczyk.
"This is as good of a list of candidates that we have had," said Hugh Durham. "It will be difficult to select one winner from this group."
Dambrot guided the Zips to a 24-6 record and the program's second-consecutive MAC Regular Season championship (14-2), just the third repeat performance in the league in the last 30 years. Akron's 13-0 start to conference play broke Miami (Ohio)'s 55-year old record for the best league start in the MAC's 65 years of basketball (12-0, 1957-58).
Included in this season's list of achievements were the Zips' first national ranking, Dambrot's 200th win at Akron and 300th win overall, four All-MAC selections, five MAC Player of the Week winners and the league's second two-time Defensive Player of the Year in the award's 17-year history.
The 2013 award will be presented at the CollegeInsider.com awards banquet in Atlanta, site of the men's NCAA Basketball Championship.
The award is named in honor of Hugh Durham who had retired at the end of the 2004-05 season. Durham is one of just twelve coaches to have led two different programs to the NCAA Final Four (Florida State in 1972 and Georgia in 1983). He is the only coach among that group to have led both schools to their lone Final Four appearance.
2013 HUGH DURHAM AWARD FINALISTS