Frank Martin Named Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year
COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) -- After leading his team to a school record 26 wins and its first ever Final Four in 2017, South Carolina head men's basketball coach Frank Martin has been named the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year. The Jim Phelan award, which is presented annually to the nation's top Division I coach, is named in honor of a legendary bow-tied coach who spent his entire career at Mount Saint Mary’s University.
South Carolina advanced to its first NCAA Tournament since 2004 this March, and posted its first NCAA Tournament win since 1973 in a 93-73 victory over Marquette in the event's opening round in Greenville, S.C. The Gamecocks went on to defeat three of the top four seeds in the East Region - No. 2 seed Duke, No. 3 Baylor and No. 4 Florida - en route to the East Regional title and the school's first Final Four.
South Carolina posted a school record 26 wins in 2016-17, and posted back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since 2003-04, 2004-05, and 2005-06 when Carolina had three-straight 20-win campaigns. Carolina also posted double-digit league wins in consecutive seasons for just the second time in its 26 seasons in the SEC. The Gamecocks finished in a tie for third place in the SEC for the second straight season in 2017, posting a 12-6 league record.
Senior guard Sindarius Thornwell earned SEC Player of the Year accolades from the league's coaches, among several other postseason awards. During postseason action, Thornwell was named the East Regional's Most Outstanding Player, while teammate PJ Dozier was also named to the East Regional All-Tournament Team.
The Jim Phelan award is presented annually to the top coach in division I men's basketball. Phelan led the Mountaineers to the 1962 NCAA Men's Division II Basketball Championship. When he retired in 2003, after coaching for 49 years, he had amassed 830 wins (overall record of 830-524) in all divisions. In those 49 years, 19 of his teams amassed 20 or more wins in a season. Recent winners of the award include Greg Gard, Wisconsin (2016), Bob Huggins, West Virginia (2015) and Tim Miles, Nebraska (2014).