BOSTON, MA - On Thursday, Tennessee State Men's Basketball Coach Travis Williams was selected as a finalist for the 2013 Joe B. Hall award, which is presented annually to the top first-year coach in Division I college basketball, were announced on Thursday.
"This is an outstanding group of coaches," CollegeInsider.com's Kyle Macy who played for Coach Hall and is on the voting panel for the award. "These coaches are the future of the game. It's an outstanding group."
Williams joins finalists Kevin Baggett (Rider), Jamion Christian (Mount St. Mary's), Mike Martin (Brown), Bashir Mason (Wagner), Dan Muller (Illinois State), Kevin Ollie (Connecticut), Jack Perri (LIU-Brooklyn), Richard Pitino (FIU), Nick Robinson (Southern Utah).
The 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 8 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 2013 recipient will be announced on April 5 at the CollegeInsider.com awards banquet in Atlanta, site of the men's NCAA Basketball Championship.