ST. LOUIS (USWBA) – Chris Mack,
whose Xavier Musketeers were unranked in preseason Top 25 polls
but have climbed to No. 5 this week entering play in the Big East
Conference Tournament, has been selected the winner of the U.S.
Basketball Writers Association's Henry Iba Award
for national coach of the year.
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
Mack, in his seventh season at Xavier, is the first coach in
school history to win national coach of the year honors. He is a
1992 Xavier graduate with a degree in communication arts, where
he was a two-time team captain as a player under then-head coach
Despite losing the team's leading scorer, rebounder and point
guard from a year ago, Mack guided the Musketeers to a 14-4 record
in the Big East and a 26-4 mark overall that includes a victory
over then-No. 1 ranked Villanova. The 26 victories tie a school
record for most wins in a regular season. Xavier was the first team
in the nation to post both 20 and 25 victories this season.
In seven seasons, the 46-year-old Mack has a 160-75 record and
ranks second all-time in career victories. He has led Xavier to
five NCAA Tournaments in six years.
The Musketeers enter the Big East Tournament as the No. 2 seed.
Xavier plays its first game Thursday night at Madison Square Garden
in New York against the winner of the St. John's-Marquette game.
will be formally presented with the Henry Iba Award at the
College Basketball Awards gala and dinner at the
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City on
Also presented at the gala will be the Oscar Robertson Trophy
for player of the year; the Integris Wayman Tisdale Award for freshman
of the year; the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award for the women's player
of the year; and the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award presented
by Love's Truck Stops to former Missouri coach Norm Stewart.
Oklahoma City-based Access Sports, a non-profit organization
involved in various charitable activities to help disadvantaged
children in Oklahoma participate in sports, serves as the host for
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in
1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers.
With some 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential
organizations in college basketball. It has selected a women's All-America
team since the 1996-97 season. For more information on the USBWA
and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at
Henry Iba Coach of the Year