Liberty men's basketball head coach Ritchie McKay was named a finalist for the 2019 Hugh Durham National Coach of the Year Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top mid-major coach.
This is the third award McKay has been nominated this week, having also been nominated for the Ben Jobe Award and the Jim Phelan Award.
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 CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT) in the past two seasons.
A coaching icon, Durham coached eight seasons as the head coach at Jacksonville University. Durham became the Dolphins' all-time winningest Division I coach (106 wins), making him the only coach in NCAA history to be the winningest coach (pct. or wins) at three different Division I schools.
Durham built national programs at Florida State where he holds the record for best winning percentage with a 230-95 (.708) record in 12 years. And at Georgia where he is also the all-time winningest coach in the 99-year history of the Bulldog program, having won 297 games in 17 seasons.
The recipient of the 2019 Hugh Durham 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.
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