LUBBOCK, Texas – Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy has been named one of four finalists for the Clair Bee National Coach of the Year Award, it was announced Thursday.
The winner will be announced by Chip Hilton Sports and the National Association of Basketball Coaches at the Final Four in Detroit on Sunday.
The third-year coach guided the Rebels to a winning season despite season-ending injuries to three of his top seven players, and injuries that hindered remaining players though they remained on the floor.
Kennedy coached the Rebels to a 7-9 mark in the SEC, which included home wins against some of the league’s top teams and road wins at Mississippi State and Arkansas.
Kennedy is 66-39 in three years at Ole Miss, accumulating the second-most wins by a head coach in any three-year span in school history.
The Clair Bee Coach of the Year Award honors a Division I men’s basketball coach who through his actions on and off the court, makes an outstanding contribution to the sport of college basketball. The criteria for this award involves actions that inspire, motivate, coach and educate their teams to achieve their fullest potential and demonstrate outstanding character.
The other three finalists are Missouri’s Mike Anderson, Radford’s Brad Greenberg and Trent Johnson of LSU. Last season’s winner was Bob McKillop of Davidson.
The Selection Committee for the award is composed of Dan Beebe, Jay Bilas, Dave Gavitt, Bob Hammel, Bob Knight, Pat Knight, Billy Packer, Dean Smith and Dick Vitale.
Coach Clair F. Bee, the late Long Island University coach and Hall of Famer, compiled an .826 lifetime winning percentage, still the best in major-college coaching history. Known as the “Innovator”, Clair Bee’s influence on the game extended to strategies, (1-3-1 zone defense), (3-second rule), sports camps (Camp All-America), (Kutsher’s Sports Academy), writing technical coaching books and conducting coaching clinics around the world.