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Atlanta Tipoff Club | March 21, 2022

2022 Werner Ladder Naismith men’s & women’s Coach of the Year finalists announced

Andy Katz's end-of-season awards in men's basketball

ATLANTA (March 21, 2022) – Today, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced the finalists for the 2022 Werner Ladder Naismith Men’s and Women’s College Coach of the Year Awards. The women’s finalists include three former winners –  Kim Mulkey (LSU), Dawn Staley (South Carolina) and Tara VanDerveer (Stanford)–and a potential first-time winner in Wes Moore (NC State). Men’s finalists Mark Adams (Texas Tech), Ed Cooley (Providence College), Greg Gard (Wisconsin) and Tommy Lloyd (Arizona) are all potential first-time winners.


Staley (South Carolina) was named Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year in 2020, making her the first former Naismith Player of the Year (1991, 1992) to earn such an honor. Mulkey (LSU) seeks her second overall women’s coach of the year title and first as head coach of the Tigers. Stanford’s VanDerveer, the reigning Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year and all-time winningest coach in women’s college basketball, would become a four-time recipient of the award with her previous wins coming in 1990, 2011 and 2021. Moore (NC State), a potential first-time winner, would be the first women’s coach in program history to receive the honor.


Adams (Texas Tech), Cooley (Providence), Gard (Wisconsin) and Lloyd (Arizona) all seek to become the first men’s coach in their respective programs’ histories to earn the honor. Lloyd also stands to become only the third all-time first-year coach to receive the award.

About the Werner Ladder Naismith Women’s Coach of the Year finalists:

Wes Moore, NC State

  • Led the Wolfpack to the 2022 ACC regular-season championship, the team's first in 32 years
  • Earned third-straight ACC Tournament Championship title
  • NC State finished the regular season ranked No. 3 in the AP Top 25, its best final AP ranking
  • Named ACC Coach of the Year for the third time in his career

Kim Mulkey, LSU

  • In her first season in Baton Rouge, she orchestrated the largest turnaround in SEC history, as the team went from 9-13 to 25-5 in successive seasons
  • This season marks the first time since 2007-08 that the Tigers won 25 games in the regular season
  • Finished in the Top 10 of the final AP ranking
  • Earned No. 3 seed in Women’s NCAA Tournament

Dawn Staley, South Carolina

  • Named SEC Coach of the Year for the fifth time in her career
  • Guided South Carolina to the 2022 SEC regular season championship
  • Led the Gamecocks to an 11-0 record vs. AP-ranked opponents 
  • Named No. 1 seed in the Women’s NCAA Tournament

Tara VanDerveer, Stanford

  • Went undefeated in Pac-12 with a 17-0 record (28-3 overall), claiming the regular-season title
  • Won a second consecutive Pac-12 Conference tournament championship
  • Named Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the second season in a row
  • Named the No. 1 seed in Women’s NCAA tournament

About the Werner Ladder Naismith Men’s Coach of the Year finalists:

Mark Adams, Texas Tech

  • In his first season at the helm, after five years as an assistant, he has led his team to a current 27-9 overall record and the Raiders' third Sweet 16 in four years
  • Was named the AP Big 12 Coach of the Year
  • Guided Tech to a No. 12 national ranking; Tech is also the top-ranked defensive team in the nation
  • The team went 18-0 at home this season and has seven wins over ranked opponents
Ed Cooley, Providence
  • Team is currently 27-5
  • LED the Friars to their first Sweet 16 since 1997 and the sixth in the history of the program
  • The team’s 27 wins are the most by a Friar team since 1973-74
  • Became just the seventh coach in league history, and first since 2012, to earn BIG EAST Coach of the Year honors without having a player earn All-BIG EAST First Team accolades
Greg Gard, Wisconsin
  • Big Ten Coach of the Year for the second time in the last three seasons
  • Only the second coach in UW history to win the award, joining four-time winner Bo Ryan
  • Picked to finish 10th in the preseason poll, he led them to a 24-6 regular season record (15-5 in the conference), the fifth-highest regular-season win total in program history
  • Claimed Big Ten regular season championship
Tommy Lloyd, Arizona
  • One of nine head coaches in NCAA Division I history to win 30 games in his first season as a head coach, guiding Arizona to a 31-3 mark
  • Won the Pac-12 regular season and conference tournament championships
  • Named Pac-12 Coach of the Year
  • Began the season unranked in the national polls and was picked to finish fourth in the Pac-12 but finished the season No. 2 in the final AP poll and won the Pac-12 regular season title by three games

“This is the most exciting time of year for our sport, and the battle for Werner Ladder Naismith Trophy Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year will be even more competitive as the tournaments progress,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “We are excited to watch these coaches push their teams toward a championship.”
Fans will be able to support their favorite finalist by visiting between Tuesday, March 22-Tuesday, March 29, to cast their ballots; the fan vote will account for five percent of the overall final vote. Fans may also vote by visiting the @MarchMadness and @MarchMadnessWBB Twitter pages between March 22-29 to vote for their favorite men’s and women’s coach. The 2022 Werner Ladder Naismith Trophy for Women’s Coach of the Year will be awarded Wednesday, March 30, during the Women’s Final Four in Minneapolis. The men’s ceremony to award the 2022 Werner Ladder Naismith Trophy for Men’s Coach of the Year will take place Sunday, April 3, at the Naismith Awards Brunch during the Final Four in New Orleans.
“Each of the eight finalists has coached his or her team to a phenomenal season and are deserving of the Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year title,” said Stacy Gardella, Head of Global Marketing Technology & Operations at WernerCo. “We wish them all the best of luck in their tournaments and are excited to watch these coaches guide their teams.”
The four finalists for each category were chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s national voting academy, comprised of leading journalists from around the country, current and former head coaches, former award winners and conference commissioners, all of whom base their selections on outstanding coaching performances during the 2021-22 college basketball season. The vote was tabulated and certified by Aprio, a premier, CPA-led business advisory firm.
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