Self Wins Naismith Coach of Year

Self, Releford celebrate Saturday (US PRESSWIRE)

NEW ORLEANS - The Atlanta Tipoff Club gives its voters plenty of time to determine its award winners in college basketball. That might have paid off for Kansas coach Bill Self, who was named the Naismith Coach of the Year on Sunday - just hours after leading his team to the NCAA championship game.

It's the second coach of the year honor for Self. He also was honored by The Sporting News. Missouri coach Frank Haith was named coach of the year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and The Associated Press.

"Winning the award today, I went over there for breakfast today," Self said. "It's a cool award. It was great to win it, all that stuff. But there's a lot of coaches out there deserving of winning awards. All that is a reflection of your team playing well.

"I appreciate, but I don't put a lot of stock into thinking that I've done something others haven't. There's been a lot of coaches that coached their teams very, very well."

Only two coaches have reached the national championship game. During Sunday's Final Four press conference with Self and KU's five starters, point guard Tyshawn Taylor called his coach a "great teacher."

"His system works," Taylor said. "I think what made this team so good all year is that most of the time we bought in and we listened and we actually paid attention to what he said, wanted to come out there and play."

Taylor said he agreed with Self winning Coach of the Year.

"Congratulations, Coach, good job," Taylor said.

Self smiled and said, "Thanks. You're still going to start tomorrow. I'm still going to take your butt out if you don't make a shot."

Here's the press released from the Atlanta Tipoff Club.

New Orleans (April 1, 2012) – University of Kansas head coach Bill Self was named the 2012 Naismith Men's College Basketball Coach of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today. This accolade makes Kansas the only university to have three different Naismith Men's College Coach of the Year winners, as Self joins 1988 winner Larry Brown and 1997 winner Roy Williams.

Self edged out finalists Jim Boeheim (Syracuse), John Calipari (Kentucky) and Frank Haith (Missouri) to win the most prestigious national award presented annually to the top men's college basketball coach.

Self was selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's National Voting Academy, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country. The academy based its criteria on coaching performances this season. The vote was tabulated and certified by the accounting firm of Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, LLP. HA&W is the largest independent accounting firm in Georgia and one of the top 50 firms in the United States.

"Bill has done a remarkable coaching job this season and deserves all the accolades that come his way," said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. "There's always something special about adding another chapter of Kansas Basketball to the Naismith Awards family."

In his ninth season at Kansas, Self led the Jayhawks to a 31-7 record, including a perfect 16-0 at home, leading them to a record eighth straight regular season Big 12 Title and earning his second consecutive Big 12 Coach of the Year award. He owns a 269-52 record at the school and a 476-157 overall career record, including a national championship with the Jayhawks in 2008.

"This is a terrific honor. When you think of postseason awards, anything that has (James) Nasmith's name in front of it is a huge award and certainly I'm very proud of this," Self said. "It is a reflection of how our team performed all year long. There are so many good coaches out there to choose from but I am honored they picked me."

Entering the 2012 NCAA Men's Division I tournament as a No. 2 seed in the Midwest region, the Jayhawks defeated No. 1 seed North Carolina and No. 2 seed Ohio State to reach their second NCAA Championship game in four years.

Last year, San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher claimed the Naismith Men's Coach of the Year award, the first ever for the Mountain West Conference. For more information, visit Recommended Stories

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