Amaker Honored by Harvard Black Students Association

Rising senior Steve Moundou-Missi presented Amaker with the award.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Harvard men's basketball head coach Tommy Amaker was recently recognized by the Harvard Black Students Association with its Faculty or Staff Mentor of the Year Award.

Presented at the BSA's Black & Brilliant 2014 Awards Ceremony, the Faculty or Staff Mentor of the Year Award is presented annually to a faculty or staff member who has made a significant contribution to the black community at Harvard. The black tie affair was held April 19 aboard the Spirit of Boston cruise ship, and featured keynote speaker Dr. Edmund W. Gordon, a leading political thinker in the fields of psychology and education.

"I was honored and humbled to receive this special award, it is so meaningful coming from our outstanding students," Amaker commented. "I was thrilled to be a part of such a fun event, and I'm so proud to be associated with the long-standing history of the BSA organization and the tremendous students who are a part of it."

Amaker has been an active member of the Harvard community since his arrival in Cambridge in the spring of 2007. He is a frequent speaker at events across campus, and has been credited with connecting many different areas of the Harvard community with a special sense of school spirit, unity and pride.  As Amaker said earlier this spring, "To teach, lead and serve at this amazing institution, and in this special community, is truly meaningful to me."

On the basketball court, in seven seasons since taking over as head coach, Amaker has reinvented the Crimson into an Ivy League power with a national presence. Harvard has won four consecutive Ivy League championships, becoming first Ancient Eight program to do so since Penn from 1993-96, and with a 27-5 overall record this year the Crimson became the first Ivy program to register five consecutive 20-win seasons since Penn did it a record six times from 1970-75. Amaker's teams have posted a 139-71 overall record during this time, with a 67-31 mark against the Ancient Eight.

Harvard has also flourished at the national level with Amaker at the helm, advancing to the third round of the NCAA tournament in each of the last two years while boasting four wins over ranked opponents and 13 victories against teams from the power conferences.

Under Amaker's tutelage, Harvard student-athletes have garnered four All-America honors, nine All-District distinctions and 22 all-conference accolades. Additionally, Keith Wright '12 (2012) and Wesley Saunders (2014) have been named Ivy League Player of the Year, with Kyle Casey (2010) and Siyani Chambers (2013) earning rookie of the year plaudits.

Amaker has received his fair share of awards as well, including the 2013 Clarence "Big House" Gaines College Basketball Coach of the Year Award, presented to the top minority basketball coach in Div. I. In 2012 he was presented with district coach of the year awards from both the United States Basketball Writers Association and National Association of Basketball Coaches, and was a candidate for the AP National Coach of the Year. He has also been named a finalist for the Ben Jobe Award each of the last four seasons, and has been inducted into both the New England Basketball Hall of Fame and Washington Metropolitan Basketball Hall of Fame.