NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame men's basketball Mike Brey has been named the recipient of the 2011 Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award, presented annually to the National Coach of the Year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). Brey, the first Irish coach in school history to receive the award, will be honored at the USBWA's College Basketball Awards Breakfast held in conjunction with the NCAA Final Four in Houston on Friday, April 1, at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
The Henry Iba Award is named in honor of the legendary Oklahoma State coach who won 655 games and two national championships in 36 seasons in Stillwater. The award is voted on by all members of the USBWA at the conclusion of the regular season. The USBWA has presented a National Coach of the Year Award each year since the 1958-59 season.
Brey, who was recognized as the BIG EAST Coach of the Year honors for the third time in five seasons just two weeks ago, led the Irish to a 27-7 record this season and 14-4 ledger in BIG EAST play as Notre Dame finished second in the final BIG EAST regular-season standings and advanced to the semifinals of the BIG EAST Conference Championship for the second consecutive year and fourth time under the 11-year mentor.
Notre Dame's 27 wins are the most in the modern era of Irish basketball and the second-mostwins ever in program history. The 1908-09 squad finished with a 33-7 record. The 14 BIG EAST wins also tied a school record, matching the mark set by the 2007-08 squad. Brey guided Notre Dame to a No. 2 seed in this year's NCAA Tournament, its highest ever in the seven appearances under him and the highest since 1981 when that squad also earned a No. 2 seed.
In Brey's 11 seasons at Notre Dame, his Irish teams have compiled a 238-120 record for a 66.5 winning percentage, while his overall coaching ledger (including five seasons at Delaware), stands at 337-172 (.662). He squads have eight 20-win seasons, including five straight, and have won 10 or more BIG EAST regular-season games on seven occasions.
Notre Dame finished fifth in the final Associate Press ranking, it highest finish ever under Brey and first top-10 finish since 1981 when that Irish squad ended the year seventh in the AP poll.
Notre Dame, which won the 2010 Old Spice Classic in Orlando in November during the regular season, defeated a school-record seven ranked opponents during the regular and finished the 2010-11 campaign 8-3 against ranked foes.
He is one of eight coaches in BIG EAST history with 100-plus victories (including regular-season and tournament games), Brey has guided Notre Dame to a 112-72 record in conference regular-season contests since he took over as head coach in 2000-01.
Under his tutelage, nine players have earned first-team all-BIG EAST honors on 11 occasions, while three players — Troy Murphy in 2001, Luke Harangody in 2008 and Ben Hansbrough in 2011. Notre Dame is the only BIG EAST school to have a player named as a first-team all-conference selection each of the last six years.
Brey also earned the league's coach-of-the-year honor in back-to-back seasons in 2007 and 2008 as he became just the third coach in BIG EAST history to win the award in consecutive years. He also became the fifth BIG EAST coach to win the award on three or more occasions this year. Syracuse's Jim Boeheim and Connecticut's Jim Calhoun have each won the award on four occasions, while Lou Carnesecca of St. John's and Georgetown's John Thompson were three-time coach-of-the-year honorees during their distinguished careers.
Past recipients of the Henry Iba Award that was first presented in 1959 include: Jim Boeheim (Syracuse-2010); Bill Self (Kansas-2009); Keno Davis (Drake-2008); Tony Bennett (Washington State-2007); Roy Williams (North Carolina-2006); Bruce Weber (Illinois-2005); Phil Martelli (St. Joseph's-2004); Tubby Smith (Kentucky-2003); Ben Howland (Pittsburgh-2002); Al Skinner (Boston College-2001); Larry Eustacy (Iowa State-2000); Cliff Ellis (Auburn-1999); Tom Izzo (Michigan State-1998); Clem Haskins (Minnesota-1997); Gene Keady (Purdue-1996 and 1984); Kelvin Sampson (Oklahoma-1995); Charlie Spoonhour (Saint Louis-1994); Eddie Fogler (Vanderbilt-1993); Perry Clark (Tulane-1992); Randy Ayers (Ohio State-1991); Roy Williams (Kansas-1990); Bob Knight (Indiana-1989 and 1975); John Chaney (Temple-1988 and 1987); Dick Versace (Bradley-1986); Lou Carnesecca (St. John's-1985 and 1983); John Thompson (Georgetown (1982), Ralph Miller (Oregon State-1981); Ray Meyer (DePaul-1980 and 1978); Dean Smith (North Carolina-1979); Eddie Sutton(Arkansas-1977); Johnny Orr-Michigan-1976); Norm Sloan (North Carolina State-1974); John Wooden (UCLA-1973, 1972, 1971, 1970, 1967 and 1964); Maury John (Drake-1969); Guy Lewis (Houston-1968); Adolph Rupp (Kentucky-1966); Bill Van Breda Kolff (Princeton-1965); Ed Jucker (Cincinnati-1963); Fred Taylor (Ohio State-1962 and 1961), Pete Newell (1960) and Eddie Hickey (Marquette-1959).