Tennessee's Rick Barnes was named the Naismith men's Coach of the Year on Sunday in Minneapolis at the 2019 Final Four.
Drumroll please…..The 2019 @wernerladderco Naismith Men’s Coach of the Year is @RickBarnesUT. He is the first men’s coach in @Vol_Hoops history to win the award. Full release > https://t.co/2GYCqspcZm #Vols🍊🏀 #Volnation pic.twitter.com/dgS9mONW7C— Naismith Awards (@NaismithTrophy) April 7, 2019
Barnes was one of five finalists for the national award. He beat out Virginia's Tony Bennett, Texas Tech's Chris Beard and Houston's Kelvin Sampson. Bennett won the award in 2018.
Barnes is the first Vols men's head coach to win the award. With this year's honor, Tennessee becomes the fourth school to boast winners of both the men's and women's Naismith Coach of the Year award. Former Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt was a five-time winner.
Entering the season with high expectations — Tennessee was voted runner-up in the SEC preseason poll — Barnes led the Vols to a 31-6 record and a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. Tennessee spent the entire season ranked in the AP top 10 and stood atop the poll for four consecutive weeks.
The Vols advanced to this year's Sweet 16 before losing to Purdue in overtime.
Below is each past winner of the men's Naismith Coach of the Year Award:
|2014||Gregg Marshall||Wichita State|
|2013||Jim Larranaga||Miami (Fla.)|
|2011||Steve Fisher||San Diego State|
|2007||Tony Bennett||Washington State|
|2004||Phil Martelli||Saint Joseph's|
|2001||Rod Barnes||Ole Miss|
|1998||Bill Guthridge||North Carolina|
|1993||Dean Smith||North Carolina|
|1991||Randy Ayers||Ohio State|
|1990||Bobby Cremins||Georgia Tech|