Men's Basketball

Sac State’s Katz named Big Sky co-Coach of the Year

Sacramento State coach Brian Katz leaves the floor after the 70-68 loss on Saturday in the game against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks at Walkup Skydome in Flagstaff, Ariz.
Sacramento State coach Brian Katz leaves the floor after the 70-68 loss on Saturday in the game against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks at Walkup Skydome in Flagstaff, Ariz. jvillegas@sacbee.com

Brian Katz, who has led Sacramento State to its best season in the Division I era, was named Big Sky Conference men’s basketball co-Coach of the Year on Tuesday.

Katz shared the award with Eastern Washington’s Jim Hayford.

Katz is the first Hornets men’s basketball coach to receive the Coach of the Year honor since Sac State joined the Big Sky in 1996.

“This award is a tribute to our players,” Katz said in a statement. “No coach has ever won an award like this without great players. I consider this a team award.”

Katz has guided Sac State to a 19-10 overall record and a 13-5 mark in the Big Sky, tied for third place with Northern Arizona. Montana and Eastern Washington were co-champions.

It was the team’s first winning season of the program’s Division I era (since 1991) and the most conference wins in Hornets history dating to 1948.

The Hornets, No. 21 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25, were 9-0 in conference games and 13-1 overall at The Nest.

Sac State could win 20 games for only the third time in school history with a victory Thursday against Portland State in a Big Sky tournament opener in Missoula, Mont. The only 20-game winners are the 1987-88 team (22-8) and the 1961-62 squad (21-10).

Call The Bee’s Bill Paterson, (916) 326-5506.

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