Underwood Named Jim Phelan COY Finalist
March 20, 2014
BOSTON, Mass. – First-year head coach Brad Underwood was named one of 15 finalists for the 2014 Jim Phelan award announced on Wednesday.
Underwood, the 2013-14 Southland Conference Coach of the Year, has guided the Lumberjacks to the NCAA Tournament for just the second-ever time in program history in his first year at the helm.
Already with 31 wins, Underwood has broken into the national ranks with one of the NCAA’s top 10 best career starts at the Division I level. The Coach of the Year candidate according to ESPN’s Seth Greenberg, is currently in a three-way tie for third place on the all-time list, tied with Steve Prohm (Murray State, 31-2, 2012) and Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh, 31-5, 2004).
SFA joined top-ranked Florida and second-ranked Wichita State as the only schools to go undefeated in conference play this season. The ‘Jacks became the 18th team all-time to do so at the Division I level.
SFA currently ranks at or near the top of its win streaks. The `Jacks, who have not lost since Nov. 23, are on a 28-game win streak, which sits second to only Wichita State. SFA closed out the regular season on a 33-game home win streak, which is tied with No. 6/8 Duke heading into next season.
In Week 17, the ‘Jacks closed out its conference road schedule 9-0, the first time the SFA has gone undefeated on the road in league play in the Division I era, extending its road wins streak to 12 consecutive game. The 12-game road mark is tied with Wichita State for the nation’s lead, while its 14 overall road wins (14-2) lead the country.
The 14 other finalists include: Steve Alford (UCLA), 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 (Nebraksa), Craig Neal (New Mexico), Brad Underwood (Stephen F. Austin), Jay Wright (Villanova).
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.