BOSTON, Mass. – Tennessee State Men’s Basketball Head Coach Dana Ford is a finalist for the Hugh Durham Award, as well as the Ben Jobe Award, has announced. The Hugh Durham Award is given to the Mid-Major Coach of the Year, and the Ben Jobe Award goes to the top minority coach in Division I.
Ford, who earned Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year this season, is one of 21 finalists for the Hugh Durham Award and one of 21 coaches up for the Ben Jobe Award.
The youngest coach in the country at 31, Ford’s Tigers posted one of the biggest turnaround seasons in NCAA history, improving from 5-26 in 2014-15 to 20-11 this season. TSU finished one game behind Belmont for the best record in the OVC regular season schedule and earned a berth to the Postseason Tournament.
The Tigers posted 20 wins to tie for the program’s Division I record. TSU also won 11 home games at the Gentry Center, tying the record for home wins in a season at the arena.
Presented on an annual basis, the Mid-Major Coach of the Year award is named in honor of Hugh Durham, who retired at the end of the 2004-05 season. Durham is one of just 12 coaches to lead two different programs to the NCAA Final Four (Florida State in 1972, Georgia in 1983), and the only coach among that group to earn each institution’s lone Final Four appearance.
Coaches of teams in the following conferences are eligible for the Hugh Durham National Coach of the Year Award: America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Great West, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Summit, Sun Belt, West Coast.
Other finalists for the Hugh Durham Award include: Chris Beard (Little Rock), Randy Bennett (Saint Mary’s), Ken Burmeister (Incarnate Word), Jon Coffman (IFPW), Bryce Drew (Valparaiso), Bill Evans (Idaho State), Eran Ganot (Hawaii), Murray Garvin (South Carolina State), Mitch Henderson (Princeton), James Jones (Yale), Kevin Keatts (UNCW), Dan Majerle (Grand Canyon), Matt McCall (Chattanooga), Nick McDevitt (UNC Asheville), Marvin Menzies (New Mexico State), Joe Mihalich (Hofstra), Steve Piekel (Stony Brook), King Rice (Monmouth), Marty Simmons (Evansville) and Brad Underwood (Stephen F. Austin).
The Ben Jobe Award is presented annually to the top minority coach in division I men’s basketball.
Coach Jobe is an icon in the history of basketball at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He is best known as the head coach of the Southern University, a position he held for 12 seasons. He has also head coach at Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Talladega, Tuskegee and South Carolina State.
The Jobe award was created in 2010 and is presented annually to the top minority coach in Division I basketball and voted on by a 30-person award committee consisting of five current DI head coaches, five retired head coaches, 10 athletic directors and/or conference administrators, five NBA scouts and/or administrators and five collegeinsider.com staff members. Coach Ben Jobe is the chairman of the awards committee.
The recipient of the awards will be announced on April 4 at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Presentation in Houston, Texas, site of the Men’s NCAA Basketball Championship.