BOSTON - Steve Alford is among 15 head coaches named as finalists for the 2014 Jim Phelan Coach of the Year Award, as announced Wednesday by CollegeInsider.com.
Alford, in his first season as the Bruins’ head coach, has led UCLA to a 28-8 overall record and the program’s first appearance in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 since 2008. Currently in his 23rd overall season as a collegiate head coach, Alford has led his teams to at least 28 wins in each of the last three seasons.
Including Alford, this season’s list of finalists includes Rick Barnes (Texas), John Beilein (Michigan), Tony Bennett (Virginia), Ed Cooley (Providence), Billy Donovan (Florida), Steve Fisher (San Diego State), Danny Manning (Tulsa), Gregg Marshall (Wichita State), Sean Miller (Arizona), Greg McDermott (Creighton), Tim Miles (Nebraska), Craig Neal (New Mexico), Brad Underwood (Stephen F. Austin) and Jay Wright (Villanova).
UCLA (28-8) will face Florida (34-2) in a semifinal of the South Regional on Thursday at 6:45 p.m. (PT) in Memphis. Thursday’s game, played at FedExForum, will be nationally televised by CBS. The winner of the UCLA-Florida game will face the winner of Thursday’s semifinal between Stanford and Dayton on Saturday (time TBD).
The Jim Phelan Award is presented annually to the nation's top Division I coach. The award is named in honor of Jim Phelan who coached his entire career at Mount Saint Mary's University. He led the Mountaineers to the 1962 NCAA Men's Division II Basketball Championship.
The winner of the 2014 Phelan Award will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet on April 4 in Dallas, site of the Division I Men's Basketball Championship.