UCLA's Ben Howland Given Jim Phelan Award, Named College Basketball Men's Coach of the Year by CollegeInsider.com

April 6, 2006

Ben Howland and UCLA came up short in Monday's NCAA championship game, but Howland was second to none in the voting for the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award.

Howland, who received five first place votes, edged out North Carolina head coach Roy Williams by eight points in the final voting which was tabulated on March 12, before the start of the NCAA tournament.

"It is a privilege to receive an award named in honor of Jim Phelan, who is one of the great coaches in the history of college basketball," says Howland. "Most importantly, I want to credit my players and outstanding staff for this honor. I have the best staff in the country and feel very fortunate. And, as I have said many times, it's all about players and here at UCLA we have great players who are great human beings. Our UCLA players represent our basketball program and their families in a first-class manner."

Howland becomes the fourth recipient of the Jim Phelan Award, which was previously known as the CollegeInsider.com coach of the year. In March 2003 the award was renamed to honor the former Mount St. Mary's head coach who coached more games then anyone in the history of the game.

"Coach Howland did a phenomenal job with such a young team," said voting panel member and former Kentucky All-American Kyle Macy. "Despite all the injuries and adversity the Bruins won the Pac-10 championship. In a very short period of time he has changed the mindset of the program. He has returned the tradition to a tradition-rich program."

Despite all twelve scholarship players suffering from some type of injury this season, the Bruins continued to win, as they claimed their first Pac-10 title since 1997 and finished the regular season with a 27-6 record (14-4 in the Pac-10).

A great deal of UCLA's success this season was a result of a much-improved defense, which has become a staple of Howland's programs. The Bruins held opponents to less then 59 points per game and limited the opposition to under 42% shooting from the field.

Howland received a total of 52 points. Williams was second with 44, followed by Tennessee's Bruce Pearl (36) and Villanova's Jay Wright (30). George Washington's Karl Hobbs and Ohio State's Thad Matta finished tied for fifth with 27 points each.

"I want to thank the 20-member Phelan panel who recommended me for this prestigious honor," says Howland. "I want to congratulate the other 14 finalists. And a special thanks to Joe Dwyer and Angela Lento for their in-depth and entertaining coverage of college basketball on CollegeInsider.com."

Previous winners of the Phelan Award include Tubby Smith (Kentucky, 2005), Phil Martelli (St. Joseph's, 2004) and Mark Slonaker (Mercer, 2003).

This season's mid-season Phelan honors went to Florida head coach Billy Donovan.

UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Friday, Oct 30
vs. Cal State Los ...
Los Angeles, CA
W, 95 - 57
Friday, Nov 13
vs. Monmouth
Los Angeles, CA
L, 81 - 84 (OT)
Sunday, Nov 15
vs. Cal Poly
Los Angeles, CA
W, 88 - 83
Thursday, Nov 19
vs. Pepperdine
Los Angeles, CA
W, 81 - 67
Monday, Nov 23
vs. UNLV
Lahaina, HI
W, 77 - 75
Tuesday, Nov 24
vs. Kansas
Lahaina, HI
L, 73 - 92
Wednesday, Nov 25
vs. Wake Forest
Lahaina, HI
L, 77 - 80
Sunday, Nov 29 - 4:00 PM PST
vs. CSUN
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Dec 03 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Kentucky
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Dec 06 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Long Beach State
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Dec 12 - 7:00 PM PST
at Gonzaga
Spokane, WA
Tuesday, Dec 15 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Dec 19 - 10:00 AM PST
vs. North Carolina
Brooklyn, NY
Tuesday, Dec 22 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. McNeese State
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Jan 01 - 8:00 PM PST
at Washington
Seattle, WA
Sunday, Jan 03 - 6:30 PM PST
at Washington State
Pullman, WA
Thursday, Jan 07 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Arizona
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Jan 09 - 2:00 PM PST
vs. Arizona State
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, Jan 13 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, Jan 20 - 8:00 PM PST
at Oregon State
Corvallis, OR
Saturday, Jan 23 - 1:00 PM PST
at Oregon
Eugene, OR
Thursday, Jan 28 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Washington
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Jan 30 - 4:00 PM PST
vs. Washington State
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Feb 04 - 7:30 PM PST
at USC
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Feb 12 - 6:00 PM PST
at Arizona
Tucson, AZ
Sunday, Feb 14 - 5:30 PM PST
at Arizona State
Tempe, AZ
Thursday, Feb 18 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Utah
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Feb 20 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. Colorado
Los Angeles, CA