Amaker Earns Coaching Awards

Published by Scott A. Sherman on March 29, 2012 at 10:27PM

It's been over two years since the Harvard men's basketball team has earned a spot in either the AP or Coaches Poll. The Crimson nabbed the final spot, tied with Utah, in the AP Poll on Friday.

The awards keep pouring in for Harvard men's basketball coach Tommy Amaker.

Last week, Amaker was named the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Coach of the Year for District 13, which composes New England.  That distinction came just days after he was tabbed as the United States Basketball Writers Association of America (USBWA) District I Coach of the Year.

Amaker is also a nominee for two prestigious coaching awards that will be announced this weekend. He is one of 21 finalists for the Ben Jobe Award, given annually to the top minority coach in Division I men’s basketball and is also one of 21 finalists for the Hugh Durham Award, presented each year to the top mid-major coach in Division I.

Both honors will be announced Friday at the awards banquet in New Orleans, La. on the eve of the Final Four.

Amaker insisted this week that the honors were a reflection of the job done by those around him.

“[They’re] a direct result of our staff and certainly of the play of our players,” Amaker said. “We use those things as group acknowledgements, and I think our staff has done a tremendous job during their entire time here, and this past season in particular, and I was proud of our group.”

“It’s nice sometimes those [honors] can come our way—not my way, but our way,” he added. “That’s the result of what these kids have done on the floor.”

After leading Harvard to a 26-5 record, an appearance in the Top 25, and its first NCAA tournament berth in 66 years this season, Amaker’s name has again been linked to major-conference jobs, just as it was last year.

But the award-laden coach again insisted this week that he had no plans to leave Lavietes Pavilion anytime soon.

“As I’ve said before, we’re very happy here, and I’m hopeful that we’ll be at Harvard for many, many years to come,” Amaker said. “I’m not pursuing anything. We’re getting ready for next year, we’re getting ready for recruiting, and as I said, my heart’s at Harvard, and I hope to be here for a long time.”