After leading their schools to the best records in Division I history, Sacramento State’s Brian Katz and UC Davis’ Jim Les have been named two of the 16 finalists for this year’s Hugh Durham Award, presented by CollegeInsider.com to the nation’s top mid-major men’s basketball coach.
The winner will be announced April 3 in Indianapolis, the site of this year’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.
Katz, this year’s Big Sky Conference co-Coach of the Year, led the Hornets to a 21-12 record, their first winning season since moving to Division I in 1991 and tied for the second-most wins in school history. The Hornets also won their first postseason game in 53 years, beating Portland 73-66 in the opening round of the Collegeinsider.com tournament. In the second round, the Hornets lost to Big Sky Conference rival Northern Arizona 78-73.
Les, the Big West Conference Coach of the Year, led the Aggies to a 25-7 record and their first winning season, first conference championship and first postseason appearance in the school’s Division I era since 2004.
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The other finalists are former Kings player Bobby Hurley (Buffalo), Tommy Amaker (Harvard), Will Brown (Albany), Bobby Collins (UMES), Keno Davis (Central Michigan), Bryce Drew (Valparaiso), Jim Engles (NJIT), Bill Herrion (New Hampshire), Ben Jacobson (Northern Iowa), James Jones (Yale), LeVelle Moton (North Carolina Central), Steve Prohm (Murray State), Heath Schroyer (UT-Martin) and Brad Underwood (Stephen F. Austin).
Call The Bee’s Bill Paterson, (916) 326-5506.