After leading the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, men’s basketball team to its first ever Mid-American Conference Title and NCAA Tournament trip, second-year head coach Bobby Hurley was announced on Monday as one of 16 finalists for the Hugh Durham National Coach of the Year Award, given to the nation’s top Mid-Major Coach.
Hurley led the Bulls to a record-tying 23 wins this season and a trip to the NCAA Tournament, where the Bulls narrowly fell to West Virginia in the Second Round, snapping an eight-game winning streak, UB’s longest in a decade. For the second straight season, Hurley coached the MAC Player of the Year in Justin Moss, while also putting players on the All-MAC First Team, All-MAC Second Team and All-MAC Freshman Team. He finished with all of these accomplishments, despite playing one of the toughest schedules in the league, which now includes three Sweet Sixteen opponents.
Since coming to Buffalo, Hurley has led the Bulls to a 42-20 record, the most wins ever by a UB head coach through his first two seasons. Last year, Hurley was named a finalist for the Joe B. Hall award, which was awarded to the nation’s top first-year head coach.
The Hugh Durham Award is presented annually to the nation’s top mid-major coach. The award is named in honor of Hugh Durham who had retired at the end of the 2004-05 season. Durham is one of just twelve coaches to have led two different programs to the NCAA Final Four (Florida State in 1972 and Georgia in 1983). He is the only coach among that group to have led both schools to their lone Final Four appearance.
The recipient of the 2015 award will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet on April 3 in Indianapolis, site of the 2015 men’s division I basketball championship.
The finalists include Tommy Amaker (Harvard), Will Brown (Albany), Bobby Collins (UMES), Keno Davis (Central Michigan), Bryce Drew (Valparaiso), Jim Engles (NJIT), Bill Herrion (New Hampshire), Bobby Hurley (Buffalo), Ben Jacobson (Northern Iowa), James Jones (Yale), Brian Katz (Sacramento State), Jim Les (UC Davis), LeVelle Moton (North Carolina Central), Steve Prohm (Murray State), Heath Schroyer (UT-Martin) and Brad Underwood (Stephen F. Austin).