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Kelvin Sampson Named Finalist for Naismith Coach of the Year
POSTED: March 20, 2019 -- 9:49 a.m. CDT
Houston Cougars Men's Basketball Head Coach Kelvin Sampson named one of four finalists for the Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year Award on Wednesday. The finalists were announced today by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. Sampson has guided Houston to a 31-3 record overall; an American Athletic Conference regular season title outright; and a 3-seed in the Midwest Region in the NCAA Tournament.
Rick Barnes (Tennessee), Chris Beard (Texas Tech) and Tony Bennett (Virginia) joined Sampson as finalists for the Naismith Coach of the Year Award.
"This is the most exciting time of year for our sport, and the competition for Werner Ladder Naismith Trophy Men's Coach of the Year will be even more competitive as the tournament begins," said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. "We are excited to watch these coaches push their teams toward a championship."
Fans will be able to support their favorite finalist by visiting naismithtrophy.com/vote between March 22-April 3 to cast their ballot, and the fan vote will account for five percent of the overall final vote. Fans may also vote by visiting the @MarchMadness Twitter page on March 23 and March 26, to vote for their favorite men's coach of the four. Then, on April 7, 2019, the 2019 Werner Ladder Naismith Trophy for Men's College Coach of the Year will be awarded at the Naismith Awards Brunch presented by Mortenson, during the Final Four in Minneapolis.
Sampson has twice been honored as National Coach of the Year. He first collected the honor from the Associated Press in 1995 following his first season at Oklahoma and earned the accolade from the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 2002 after leading the Sooners to the NCAA Final Four.
"Each of the four finalists has coached their teams to outstanding seasons and are all deserving of being named Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year," said Stacy Gardella, vice president of brand marketing at WernerCo. "We look forward to watching these coaches guide their teams through the tournament in hopes of winning the championship."
The four finalists were chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's national voting academy, comprised of leading journalists from around the country, current and former head coaches, former award winners and conference commissioners, all of whom base their selections on outstanding coaching performances during the 2018-19 college basketball season. The vote was tabulated and certified by Aprio, a premier, CPA-led business advisory firm.
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