American's Mike Brennan
March 27, 2014
From American Athletic Communications
WASHINGTON - American University men's basketball head coach Mike Brennan has been named a finalist for two prestigious awards. Brennan is one of ten finalists for the Joe B. Hall Award, honoring the top first-year head coach, as well as one of 15 honorees for the Hugh Durham Award that is awarded to the top mid-major coach.
In addition, Brennan has been selected as an All-District Coach of the Year (District 13) by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).
Brennan led a team picked ninth in the preseason poll to a second-place finish in the conference, tying a program record with 13 conference wins and starting the League slate a perfect 10-0, one win shy of the all-time AU record set by legendary coach Gary Williams in 1980-81. American led all teams in scoring defense (59.2 points per game), scoring margin (+6.7), field-goal percentage (50.5 percent), field-goal percentage defense (41.5 percent), three-point field-goal percentage (40.5 percent) and assists (15.9). American became one of only five teams to open the conference slate with 10-straight victories.
Brennan had the greatest first year of any AU coach, tying the program record for wins (20), set by American Hall of Famer Ed Tapscott. Brennan also led the Eagles to a program-tying mark of 13 conference wins and the third-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament. Brennan has been on the AU staff for each of those appearances, serving as an assistant coach in 2008 and 2009.
The first-year head coach award is named in the honor of Joe B. Hall who was given the task of following the legendary Adolph Rupp. In his first season at the University of Kentucky, Hall finished 20-8, won the SEC and advanced to the NCAA Regional Finals.
From 1972 to 1985 Hall would win two-thirds of his games (297-100), receive four SEC Coach of the Year honors and win a National Championship (1978). Along with the 1978 title, Hall also guided Kentucky to a runner-up finish to UCLA in the 1975 NCAA tournament, a Final Four appearance in the 1984 NCAA Tournament and an NIT championship in 1976. He won eight Southeastern Conference regular season championships and one Southeastern Conference tournament championship (1984).
Hall is one of only three men to win an NCAA championship as a player (1949- Kentucky) and coach (1978- Kentucky). The only others to achieve this feat are Bob Knight and Dean Smith.
The Durham Award is given annually to the nation's top mid-major coach. The award is named in honor of Hugh Durham who had retired at the end of the 2004-05 season. Durham is one of just twelve coaches to have led two different programs to the NCAA Final Four (Florida State in 1972 and Georgia in 1983). He is the only coach among that group to have led both schools to their lone Final Four appearance.
The winners of both awards will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet on April 4 in Dallas, site of the Division I Men's Basketball Championship.