Barnes Receives 2001 Naismith National Coach Of The Year Award

March 20, 2001

ATLANTA, Ga. - Ole Miss' Rod Barnes was named the 2001 Naismith National Men's Coach of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Tuesday. The award is Barnes' second National Coach of the Year honor, as he was named CollegeInsider.com's recipient on Mar. 11.

"First of all, I would like to thank God for the opportunity to coach this great game and to coach these fine young men at Ole Miss," said Barnes. "This is a tremendous honor, and I would like to also thank the Atlanta Tipoff Club for selecting me to receive this award.

"Across the country, there are many outstanding coaches who are doing incredible jobs with their teams and programs, and for me to receive this award is truly humbling. This award also reflects on everybody associated with the Ole Miss basketball program-the players, assistant coaches and staff. I would like to thank them, because without all of their hard work and dedication, we would not have had the successful season we have enjoyed."

Notre Dame's Muffet McGraw was named the Naismith National Women's Coach of the Year, while the Irish's Ruth Riley was selected as the National Women's Player of the Year. Duke's Shane Battier was picked as the Naismith National Men's Player of the Year. All four award recipients will be honored at a banquet in Atlanta in early April.

Barnes was one of 20 finalists for the Naismith National Coach of the Year Award, and one of three Southeastern Conference coaches up for the honor. Florida's Billy Donovan and Alabama's Mark Gottfried were the other two SEC coaches on the list. The other finalists were: Syracuse's Jim Boeheim, Notre Dame's Mike Brey, North Carolina's Matt Doherty, Georgia State's Lefty Driesell, Georgetown's Craig Esherick, Iowa State's Larry Eustashy, Virginia's Pete Gillen, Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt, Michigan State's Tom Izzo, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, St. Joseph's Phil Martelli, Stanford's Mike Montgomery, Arizona's Lute Olson, Oklahoma's Kelvin Sampson, Illinois' Bill Self, Boston College's Al Skinner, and Kansas' Roy Williams.

Barnes was also named the SEC Coach of the Year by the league's coaches, Associated Press and CollegeInsider.com.

This season, Barnes has guided the Rebels to a 27-7 overall record, an 11-5 SEC mark and the SEC Western Division crown. The SEC West title was Ole Miss' third in the last five years. Ole Miss, which is ranked No. 14 in the Associated Press (AP) Top 25 poll and No. 13 in ESPN/USA Today Top 25 poll, advanced to its first-ever NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance and will meet No. 4 Arizona (25-7) in the Midwest Regional semifinals on Friday, Mar. 23. The regional semifinal contest, which will be televised by CBS, is scheduled for a 6:55 p.m. (CT) start. The Rebels are the No. 3 seed, while Arizona is the No. 2 seed.

On Feb. 17, Barnes won his 60th game as the Rebel mentor and reached the 60-win milestone the fastest of any head coach in Ole Miss history. Barnes' 60th victory was a 67-61 win over South Carolina. Barnes' coaching record now stands at 66-34.

Barnes played four seasons for the Rebel program from 1984-88. During his playing career, Barnes earned All-SEC honors and All-America honorable mention accolades from The Sporting News in 1988. He finished third in the coaches' balloting for SEC Player of the Year in 1988.

The Naismith Awards, in their 33rd year, are given in honor of the inventor of the game of basketball Dr. James Naismith. The awards program was founded by the Atlanta Tipoff Club, an organization dedicated to recognizing the achievements of student-athletes in basketball. The Awards, including Men's and Women's College Player of the Year, Men's and Women's Coach of the Year, Male and Female Prep Player of the Year and Men's and Women's Official of the Year, are determined by a vote of the Naismith Board of Selectors. In addition, the Board of Selectors, comprised of a select group of leading basketball conches, journalists and administrators, honors a Men's and Women's Outstanding Contributor to Basketball.

The Atlanta Tipoff Club was founded in 1956 as a way for Atlantans to share in a common bond - the love and enjoyment of college basketball. It has a two-fold mission: to promote continued support for the game of basketball and to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting.

 

 

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