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@HarvardCrimson Harvard Edu
 

Amaker Among Finalists for Ben Jobe, Hugh Durham National Coaching Awards

Tommy Amaker led Harvard to a 23-7 overall record in 2010-11 (Mitchell Layton).

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard men's basketball head coach Tommy Amaker has been named a finalist for two prestigious coaching awards – the Ben Jobe Award and the Hugh Durham Award – after guiding the Crimson to a program-record 23 victories this season.

Amaker is among 16 finalists for the Ben Jobe Award, which is presented annually to the top minority coach in Division I men's basketball. Coach Jobe is an icon in the history of basketball at historically black colleges and universities. He is best known as the head coach of the Southern University, a position he held for 12 seasons. He has also head coach at Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Talladega, Tuskegee and South Carolina State. 

Amaker is also a finalist for the Hugh Durham Award, which is given each year to the top mid-major coach in Division I college basketball. The award is named after Hugh Durham who is the first and only coach in the history of NCAA Division I basketball to lead two different schools to the NCAA Final Four for the first and only time in each school's history (Florida State in 1972 and Georgia in 1983).

Amaker, who just completed his fourth season with the Crimson, was recently named the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District Coach of the Year for District 13, as well as the College Insider Ivy League Coach of the Year. He led Harvard to a 23-7 overall record and 12-2 mark in the Ivy League, en route to a share of the program's first conference title.

Amaker, who has guided the Crimson to a 66-51 record, helped Harvard establish new program records for wins (23), conference wins (12) and home wins (14) in 2010-11. The Crimson went 14-0 at Lavietes Pavilion, and following the regular season, Harvard earned a berth in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) for the first time, visiting Oklahoma State in the first round. Harvard concluded the year No. 35 in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), the highest mark of any team that did not make the NCAA tournament.

Four of Amaker's players have received accolades following the season, including junior forward Keith Wright, who took home conference Player of the Year honors and was an unanimous selection to the All-Ivy first team. Wright also earned a spot on the NABC All-District first team. Sophomore forward Kyle Casey and sophomore guard Brandyn Curry were tabbed to the All-Ivy League second team, while sophomore guard Christian Webster garnered honorable mention.