Ryan led the Badgers to a school-record 30 wins this season and a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament, the highest in school history. UW was ranked in the top 10 for a school-record 17 weeks and earned the school's first No. 1 ranking on Feb. 19. Ryan also earned his 500th career victory with a win over Auburn on Nov. 25.
The other finalists for the award were Tony Bennett of Washington State, Scott Sutton of Oral Roberts and John Thompson III of Georgetown. Also presented at the Hall of Fame brunch was the Chip Hilton Player of the Year Award which honors a senior Division I men's player for demonstrating outstanding character, leadership, and talent. UW's Alando Tucker was one of four finalists for the award, which went to Acie Law of Texas A&M.
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 Selection Committee is composed of: Jay Bilas, Dave Gavitt, Bob Hammel, Bob Knight, Pete Newell, Billy Packer, Dean Smith, Dick Vitale, and Kevin Weiberg. 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.
Past winners of the Clair Bee Award include Jim Larranaga of George Mason (2006), Tom Izzo of Michigan State (2005), Mike Krzyzewski of Duke (2004), Tom Crean of Marquette (2003), Bob Knight of Texas Tech (2002), Lute Olson of Arizona (2001), Jim Boeheim of Syracuse (2000), Jim O'Brien of Ohio State (1999), Jim Phelan of Mount St. Mary's (1998) and Clem Haskins of Minnesota (1997).