STEWART NAMED ONE OF 21 FINALISTS FOR BEN JOBE NATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD
March 28, 2017
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BOSTON, Mass. – Anthony Stewart, head men’s basketball coach at the University of Tennessee at Martin, has been identified as one of 21 finalists for the 2017 Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year Award.
The Ben Jobe Award is presented annually to the top minority coach in the NCAA Division-I men’s basketball ranks. Jobe is best known as the head coach at Southern University, where he won 11 Southwestern Athletic Conference championships in 12 seasons and helped lead the Jaguars to a win over Georgia Tech in the first round of the 1993 NCAA Tournament, which stands as one of the great upsets in the history of the event.
Stewart directed UT Martin to one of its best seasons in school history in 2016-17. The Skyhawks tied the school record for victories (22) and became the only Ohio Valley Conference team to win a postseason game in each of the last three seasons. UT Martin shattered program single-season records for points (2,693), field goals (966), rebounds (1,312) and assists (555).
The Skyhawks won their first-ever outright OVC West division championship in 2016-17, advancing to the OVC Tournament championship game before taking part in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. Along the way, UT Martin’s 14 home wins and 10 nonconference victories were the most for the program since joining the Division-I ranks in 1992.
Of the 29 first-year head coaches in Division-I basketball, Stewart’s 22 wins were the third-highest total behind only New Mexico State’s Paul Weir (28) and Valparaiso’s Matt Lottich (24). Since Stewart joined the program as an associate head coach in 2014, the Skyhawks have generated three straight 20-win seasons, a feat that had never been accomplished at UT Martin. The Skyhawks’ 63 victories during that stretch are the most in any three-year span in program history.
The recipient of the 2017 Ben Jobe Award will be announced at the Final Four this weekend in Phoenix, Ariz. Stewart joins Tommy Amaker (Harvard), Mike Anderson (Arkansas), Rod Barnes (CSU Bakersfield), Jamion Christian (Mount St. Mary’s), Mike Davis (Texas Southern), Johnny Dawkins (UCF), Earl Grant (Charleston), Leonard Hamilton (Florida State), Ron Hunter (Georgia State), James Jones (Yale), Robert Jones (Norfolk State), Kevin Keatts (UNC Wilmington), Danny Manning (Wake Forest), Ritchie McKay (Liberty), LeVelle Moton (North Carolina Central), King Rice (Monmouth), Montez Robinson (Alcorn State), Kelvin Sampson (Houston), Dedrique Taylor (Cal State Fullerton) and Willis Wilson (Texas A&M Corpus Christi) on the prestigious list.