Just over 24 hours after earning his first Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year award, University of Akron head coach Keith Dambrot was named one of 20 finalists for the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year award, CollegeInsider.com announced on Thursday.
The announcement comes a day after Dambrot was named a finalist for the Hugh Durham Award, which recognizes the nation's top mid-major coach.
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 Jim Phelan who coached his entire career at Mount Saint Mary's University. He led the Mountaineers to the 1962 NCAA Men's Division II Basketball Championship. When he retired in 2003, after coaching for 49 years, he amassed 830 wins (overall record of 830-524) in over 1,300 games in all divisions. In those 49 years, 19 of his teams amassed 20 or more wins in a season.
2013 JIM PHELAN AWARD FINALISTS