We’re all conscious this season won’t be forgotten easily, with plenty of emotions and victories that led the Red Raiders to their first Final Four trip.
If this wasn’t enough, more exciting news broke yesterday to increase the already high enthusiasm surrounding the program. Head Coach Chris Beard, the mind behind this fantastic season, has been named National Coach of the Year by the Associated Press.
Coach Beard received 20 out of 64 votes, and he superseded Houston’s Kelvin Sampson, who had 13, while no other coach reached the double-digit benchmark.
Chris Beard, Texas Tech -- 20
Kelvin Sampson, Houston -- 13
Mike Young, Wofford -- 6
Nate Oats, Buffalo -- 5
Rick Barnes, Tennessee -- 4
Tony Bennett, Virginia -- 3
Mark Few, Gonzaga -- 3
Tom Izzo, Michigan State -- 2
Matt Painter, Purdue -- 2
Roy Williams, North Carolina -- 2
John Beilein, Michigan -- 1
Mike Krzyzewski, Duke -- 1
Matt Langel, Colgate -- 1
Eric Musselman, Nevada -- 1
This is the first time a Texas Tech head coach has received this award. During the ceremony, coach Beard was escorted by his family and players, something he was very proud of.
“I don’t know what I possibly could have that John Wooden and Bob Knight and Izzo didn’t have, but I don’t think that they probably had their team -- 30 minutes removed from practice -- sitting on the front row when we got the award, so this is special. So I want to thank each player that played on this year’s team. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you guys.”
And we can only add: Well done, Coach!