ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – Missouri's Frank Haith is the 2011-12 recipient
of the Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award, presented annually
to the National Coach of the Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers
In compiling arguably the greatest season in school history, the
Tigers racked up a 30 wins for just the second time in school
history and rose
to as high as No. 2 in the nation to earn a No. 2
seed in the NCAA Tournament. Led by second-team USBWA
All-American Marcus Denmon, the Tigers won a record 14 Big 12
Conference games and the Big 12 Tournament after posting a
school-record 27 regular-season wins.
In his first season at Missouri, the USBWA District VI Coach
of the Year and the AP Big 12 Coach of the Year, guided a team that was ranked 25th in the Associated
Press' preseason poll and picked fourth in the Big 12 to
unexpected heights. Playing with only seven scholarship players
for the most of the season but with a core of seniors in the
lineup, Missouri won 18 of its first 19 games.
"Frank Haith worked his way to the top level of the coaching
profession, first by working his way through college at Elon and
then through a series of staff jobs," said USBWA President Lenox
Rawlings of the Winston-Salem Journal. "In the face of
skepticism from fans who wanted a neon-lights celebrity coach,
Haith and his staff developed a feisty team that eventually set
the school record for regular-season victories and won the Big
12 Tournament championship."
After finishing the season 30-5, Haith now boasts a 159-106 (60.0 winning percentage) overall
career record. Prior to coming to Missouri for the 2011-12
season, Haith produced a 129-101 mark at Miami (Fla.), where the
25-year coaching veteran led the Hurricanes to five postseason
appearances in six seasons.
Haith will receive the Henry Iba Award at the USBWA's College
Basketball Awards Breakfast held in conjunction with the NCAA Final
Four on Friday, March 30, at the New Orleans Marriott at
8 a.m. In addition to the Henry Iba Award, the Oscar
will be presented to Kentucky's Anthony Davis
as the association's national player of the year. The
legendary LSU coach Dale Brown and his 1981 and '86 Final Four teams
will also be honored on that Friday morning. For tickets to the breakfast, visit the usbwa website, usbwa.com.
The Henry Iba Award is named in honor of the legendary
Oklahoma State coach who won 655 games and two national
championships in 36 seasons in Stillwater. The award is voted on
by all members of the USBWA at the conclusion of the regular
season. The USBWA has presented a National Coach of the Year
Award each year since the 1958-59 season.
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in
1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers.
Today, it is one of the most influential organizations in college
basketball. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs,
contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-444-3325.
• Henry Iba Coach of the Year