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McKay Named Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year Finalist

March 15, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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McKay Named Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year Finalist

Liberty men's basketball head coach Ritchie McKay was named a finalist for the 2019 Ben Jobe Award, which honors the top minority coach in NCAA Division I men's basketball.

The nomination comes a week after McKay and the Flames won the ASUN Championship, punching their ticket to the NCAA Tournament. This will be the fourth trip Liberty has made to the NCAA Tournament and first since 2013. It has been a historic season for the Flames, as they are the first team in the ASUN final to advance to the NCAA Tournament in their tournament debut since the 1997-98 season. The Flames shattered many records this year, including winning a school record 28 games, the most in a single season during their Division I era.

McKay has led the Flames to their third straight 20-win season, which has never been done before in school history. The Flames are prepping for their third straight postseason tournament, having participated in the Tournament (CIT) in the past two seasons.

An icon in the history of basketball at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Ben Jobe is best known as the head coach of the Southern University, a position he held for 12 seasons. His record at Southern was 209-141 and included four NCAA Tournament appearances. He also coached the Jaguars to one NIT appearance, five SIAC championships, 11 SWAC titles and two NAIA Tournament Championships. Perhaps his most memorable moment as a coach was leading Southern to a 93-78 win over Georgia Tech in the first round of the 1993 NCAA Tournament. It stands as one of the great upsets in the history of the event.

The recipient of the 2019 Ben Jobe award will be announced on April 5 at the College Insider Awards Event in Minneapolis, site of the 2019 NCAA Division I Basketball Championship Final Four