K-State’s Tang named National Coach of the Year finalist

FILE - Kansas State head coach Jerome Tang talks to his players during the second half of an...
FILE - Kansas State head coach Jerome Tang talks to his players during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas-Rio Grande Valley Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)(Charlie Riedel | AP)
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 12:00 PM CST
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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas State University’s Jerome Tang has been named as a finalist for the 2023 Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year Award.

Kansas State University says that men’s basketball head coach Jerome Tang has been named one of 25 finalists for the 2023 Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year Award. The honor is given to the top Division I minority coach each year.

K-State indicated that the award is named after Jobe, an icon in basketball history at historically Black colleges and universities. A former head coach at Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Talladega, Tuskegee and South Carolina State, Jobe is best known for his 12-year stint as Southern Head Coach when he led the Jaguars to 209 wins and four NCAA appearances.

The University noted that Tang is in the company of Pittsburgh’s Jeff Capel, Providence’s Ed Cooley, Missouri’s Dennis Gates, Memphis’ Anfernee Hardaway, Houston’s Kelvin Sampson, Marquette’s Shaka Smart, Vanderbilt’s Jerry Stackhouse, Texas’ Rodney Terry and Indiana’s Mike Woodson.

K-State said that other finalists include Kennesaw State’s Amir Abdur-Rahim, Rider’s Kevin Baggett, Howard’s Kenneth Blakeney, Alcorn State’s Landon Bussie, Hofstra’s Speedy Claxton, UMES’ Jason Crafton, Northwestern State’s Corey Gipson, Grambling’s Donte’ Jackson, Yale’s James Jones, UNCG’s Mike Jones, Norfolk State’s Robert Jones, Liberty’s Ritchie McKay, North Carolina Central’s LeVelle Moton, Cleveland State’s Daniyal Robinson and UNCW’s Takayo Siddle.

The winner of the National Coach of the Year Award will be announced at the Final Four in Houston.

Picked 10th in the preseason Big 12 poll and armed with only two returning players, K-State said Tang has guided the Wildcats to 23 wins this season and a tie for third place with an 11-7 record in the nation’s toughest conference. His 23-8 record ties with Sean Miller and Jon Sheyer for the best mark by a first-year DI head coach this season. The wins also tie Bob Huggins for the second-most by a first-year head coach in school history.

K-State noted that Tang is the fifth head coach in the program’s history to win 20 games in his first season.

On Sunday, March 5, Tang became the seventh K-State coach to earn conference Coach of the Year honors - which includes the third in the Big 12 era. He joins Bruce Weber as the only coach to be chosen for the distinction in their first seasons.

K-State indicated that the Wildcats have clinched a bye to the quarterfinals of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship as the No. 3 seed and will play No. 6 seed TCU at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 9.