March 30, 2012
New Orleans, La. - University of Missouri first-year Head Men's Basketball Coach Frank Haith added another piece of hardware to the Tiger trophy case today, as he was recognized as the Associated Press College Basketball Coach of the Year. The award was presented to Haith this morning in New Orleans at an A.P. awards ceremony.
The award marks the second national coaching honor received this week by Haith, who was earlier named the recipient of the 2011-12 Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award, presented annually by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. Haith was presented with the USBWA trophy Friday morning in New Orleans, which was followed by the AP trophy presentation hours later.
Despite having a roster which featured just seven scholarship players, Haith and his staff guided the Tigers to a 30-5 overall record, marking just the second 30-win season in MU history. Mizzou, picked fourth in the Big 12 Conference pre-season coaches' poll, won a school-record 14 Big 12 games, and finished second in the league standings with a 14-4 conference mark. The Tigers won the school's second Big 12 Tournament Championship with a 3-0 run in Kansas City, before seeing their season end in the NCAA Tournament.
"It's hard to express how honored I am by this recognition," said Haith. "If you had told me a year ago that I would be in this position, I wouldn't have believed it, but I think this is a great testament to how much a group of people can achieve when they come together and believe in each other and pull in the same direction. Our staff and our kids did just an unbelievable job this season, and as I said before, it might be my name on the award, but it truly belongs to everyone at Mizzou," he said.
Haith becomes the third Mizzou coach to win national honors, joining former coaches Norm Stewart and Mike Anderson in that group. Stewart twice won national coach of the year honors (1982 [UPI] and 1994 [AP]), while Anderson won the same distinction by the National Association of Basketball Coaches in 2009.