BOSTON – First-year men’s basketball coach Nick McDevitt is one of 10 finalists for the 2014 Joe B. Hall Award sponsored by CollegeInsider.com.
The award goes to the top first-year coach in men’s basketball. 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 NCAARegional Finals.
The finalists include Mike Brennan (American), Tim Craft (Gardner-Webb), Pat Duquette (UMass-Lowell), Bobby Hurley (Buffalo), Robert Jones (Norfolk State), Dan Majerle (Grand Canyon), Nick McDevitt (UNC Asheville), Craig Neal (New Mexico), Brad Underwood (Stephen F. Austin) and Will Wade (Chattanooga).
"The transition from assistant to head coach is not always easy," said CollegeInsider.com's Kyle Macy. "They have all had outstanding first seasons as Division I head coaches."
Despite not having four potential starters from the previous season, McDevitt guided the Bulldogs to a 17-15 overall record and a berth in the semifinals of the Big South Tournament. Asheville went 10-6 in league play and finished in second place in the South Division. McDevitt’s club began the season with eight straight road games and went 1-7. However, the Dogs rallied to go 16-8 in the final three months of the season and just missed getting to the league championship game as they lost to Winthrop, 80-79 when two last-seconds wouldn’t fall.
The winner of the 2014 Joe B. Hall award will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet on April 4 in Dallas, site of the Division I Men's Basketball Championship.