BUFFALO, N.Y. (From UBBulls.com) - First-year men's basketball head coach Bobby Hurley has been named one of ten finalists for the Joe B. Hall award, which is given to the nation's top first-year head coach. Hurley led the Bulls to their first ever outright MAC East Division Championship in 2013-14.
In his inaugural season, Hurley guided the Bulls to a 19-10 record and he finished with one of the top winning percentages amongst first-year head coaches. He helped mentor MAC Player of the Year Javon McCrea, who became UB's all-time leading scorer and finished his career with over 2,000 points. Hurley also helped lead first-year point guard Shannon Evans on to the league's All-Freshman team. The Bulls won 15 of their final 21 games during the season, winning a school-record 13 Mid-American Conference games.
The award is named in the honor of Joe B. Hall 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 winner of the 2014 Durham award will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet on April 4 in Dallas, site of the Division I Men's Basketball Championship.
2014 Joe B. Hall Award Finalists
Mike Brennan - American
Tim Craft - Gardner-Webb
Pat Duquette - UMass-Lowell
Bobby Hurley - Buffalo
Robert Jones - Norfolk State
Dan Majerle - Grand Canyon
Nicholas McDevitt - UNC Asheville
Craig Neal - New Mexico
Brad Underwood - Stephen F. Austin
Will Wade - Chattanooga