One of just seven unbeaten teams in the country, the Knights are ranked 18th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 19 in the Associated Press Poll. UCF picked up big non-conference wins over No. 16 Florida and Miami, and opened Conference USA play Wednesday with a 65-58 triumph over Marshall at the UCF Arena.
The 2011 Jim Phelan award will be presented this coming April in Houston, site of the Final Four. Last season Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh) was presented with the award at the CollegeInsider.com Award banquet in Indianapolis. The other winners of the award are John Calipari (Memphis 2009), Bo Ryan (Wisconsin 2008), Tony Bennett (Washington State 2007), Ben Howland (UCLA 2006), Tubby Smith (Kentucky 2005) Phil Martelli (St. Joseph’s 2004) and Mark Slonaker (Mercer 2003).
Prior to 2003 the award was known simply as the CollegeInsider.com National Coach of the Year Award. It was renamed to honor longtime Mount St. Mary’s head coach Jim Phelan, who retired following the 2002-03 season.
The award selection committee is chaired by Phelan, and includes ESPN analyst Jay Bilas and Reggie Minton, the executive director of the National Association of Basketball Coaches.