STATS Inc. recently marked the Tech men's basketball program as the Division I program making the largest turnaround in the country. The renowned coach led his team to a 23-9 record and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Six outstanding coaches have been named finalists for the prestigious Clair Bee Award, to be presented by Chip Hilton Sports and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame at the Final Four in Atlanta, March 31, 2002.
Chip Hilton Sports and the Basketball Hall of Fame began presenting the awards in 1997 as a way to honor outstanding excellence and character in college basketball during the past season.
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.
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", Bee's influence on the game also 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.
By the time he left coaching in the 1950s, Bee had already begun writing the Chip Hilton Sports Series, which are considered the top sports fiction series ever written.
The list of coaching finalists for the Clair Bee Award are:
Tom Crean, Marquette University
Dennis Felton, Western Kentucky University
Ben Howland, University of Pittsburgh
Ernie Kent, Oregon
Bob Knight, Texas Tech University
Kelvin Sampson, University of Oklahoma