KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – CollegeInsiders.com announced its 15 finalists for the 2014 Ben Jobe Award Wednesday, and third-year Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin made the list for the third time in his six-year career.
The Ben Jobe Award is presented annually to the top minority coach in Division I men’s basketball. Jobe is an icon in the history of basketball at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He is best known as the head coach at Southern University, a position he held for 12 seasons.
He also coached at Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Talladega, Tuskegee and South Carolina State.
Martin also was a finalist last season, and he won the award in 2011, his third and final season at Missouri State. He led the Bears to a 26-9 record that year and was named Tennessee’s 18th head coach shortly thereafter on March 28, 2011.
This year, Martin has led the Volunteers to a 24-12 record and the seventh Sweet Sixteen appearance in Tennessee history. The 24-win season is only the fifth time the Big Orange have tallied that many victories in a single campaign.
With the curtain not yet closed on his sixth season as a head coach, Martin currently averages 20.7 wins per year.
Other finalists include Tommy Amaker (Harvard), Roman Banks (Southern), Johnny Dawkins (Stanford), Ron Hunter (Georgia State), James Jones (Yale), Mike Jones (Radford), Joe Jones (Boston University), Danny Manning (Tulsa), Rob Murphy (Eastern Michigan), LeVelle Moton (North Carolina Central), Kevin Ollie (UConn), Monte Ross (Delaware), Gary Waters (Cleveland State), Willis Wilson (Texas A&M Corpus Christi).
The winner of the 2014 Ben Jobe award will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet April 4 in Dallas.
Martin and the Vols’ next action comes Friday at 7:15 p.m. ET, when the Big Orange tip off against Michigan in the NCAA Tournament Midwest Semifinal at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. The game will be televised nationally on CBS.
(E-mail Larry Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org)