Missouri men's basketball coach Frank Haith has received another honor recognizing his historic first year with the Tigers, as the U.S. Basketball Writers Association named Haith its Henry Iba Coach of the Year on Monday. The award is Haith's second this season, as he was named Big 12 Conference Coach of the Year by the Associated Press two weeks ago.
Haith will accept the award at the USBWA's college basketball awards breakfast at the Final Four on March 30 in New Orleans.
“I am so unbelievably honored and humbled by this,” Haith said in a news release Monday. “The award might be in my name, but I look at it as a team award, because this belongs just as much to our kids and our staff as it does to me."
Haith receives the award after guiding the Tigers, ranked No. 25 in the AP and Coaches preseason polls, to a 30-5 season that included the school's second Big 12 Tournament championship and a No. 3 finish in the AP Poll. This all came after Haith received a lukewarm welcome by the fan base last spring, lost All-Big 12 senior forward Laurence Bowers for the year to an ACL tear and suffered two transfers.
"The year we had was special because it was touched along the way by so many people that made it possible, and that also includes our administration and our fans," Haith said in the news release. "We have a lot to look forward to in the future at Mizzou, but I will always look back at this senior class and be grateful to them for their leadership and their character, which was such a key to our success."
Haith is the second coach in program history to receive the award and the third to receive national coach of the year honors. Haith's predecessor, current Arkansas coach Mike Anderson, received the USBWA's award in 2009 and Tiger legend Norm Stewart received coach of the year honors from the United Press international in 1982 and from the AP in 1994.