Calipari Takes Home Naismith Award

By Josh Herwitt - April 10, 2008

John Calipari's heart may be broken after Monday night's loss to Kansas in the national championship game, but the eighth-year Memphis coach can feel good about the job he did this season in Graceland.

And the Atlanta Tipoff Club was certainly aware of that, honoring the former New Jersey Nets coach as the 2008 Naismith National Coach of the Year earlier this week.

Joining him was UConn's women's coach Geno Auriemma after the Tigers put together an NCAA-record 38 wins and a third straight Conference USA regular season championship while posting a 42-game winning streak in the conference.

"John battled season-long high expectations while Geno overcame tremendous adversity, yet they combined for 74 wins and Final Four berths and that's a testament to their tremendous coaching ability," said Atlanta Tipoff Club president Gary Stokan."

Calipari has won the award before during the 1996 season when he led UMass to the Final Four, but this year's honor marks the first for Memphis after the Tigers' coach beat out Drake's Keno Davis, Purdue's Matt Painter and Tennessee's Bruce Pearl.

Posted by Josh Herwitt at 10:28 AM on April 10, 2008

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