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Becker national coach of the year finalist - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Becker national coach of the year finalist

Posted: Updated:

Monday, March 27th

Vermont head men's basketball coach John Becker was named one of 20 finalists for the 2017 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year award by CollegeInsider.com on Monday. The Jim Phelan award is presented annually to the top men's basketball coach in Division I.
 
Becker eyes his fourth Coach of the Year award of the postseason after he earned ECAC Coach of the Year, U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) District I (New England) Coach of the Year, and America East Coach of the Year honors earlier this year. In his sixth season at the helm, Becker guided Vermont to its sixth America East Championship and earned the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. UVM captured its sixth America East Regular Season title and set the program record for most wins (29) and held the nation's longest winning streak (21) heading into the Big Dance. 

The 2016-17 Cats also broke the conference record for most victories and were the only America East team to record a 16-0 undefeated conference season in the league's history. UVM's bench boss posted his sixth straight 20-win season and he owns the most wins by an America East coach through his first six seasons (139). UVM also became the first team ever to sweep the league's major awards.
 
Vermont finished the season with a 29-6 record with three of its defeats coming to teams who made the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament - Purdue, Butler, and Final Four bound South Carolina.
 
The award is in honor of Jim Phelan, who led the Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers to the 1962 NCAA Men's Division II Basketball Championship. He retired in 2003 after 49 years of coaching and amassed 830 wins across all divisions (Mount St. Mary's transitioned to a Division I program prior to the 1988-89 season). During his tenure, the Mountaineers posted 19 20-win seasons.
 
The recipient of the 2017 Jim Phelan award will be announced in Phoenix, Arizona, the site of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship.

Courtesy: UVM Sports Information

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