April 7, 2019 / 6:56 PM / 18 days ago

Tennessee's Barnes wins Naismith coaching honor

FILE PHOTO: Mar 16, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers head coach Rick Barnes (center) talks with Volunteers guard Jordan Bowden (23) against the Kentucky Wildcats during the first half of the SEC conference tournament at Bridgestone Arena. Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

Tennessee coach Rick Barnes was named the winner of the Naismith Coach of the Year Award, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Sunday during a press conference in Minneapolis.

Barnes is the first Tennessee men’s coach to win the award. Legendary women’s coach Pat Summitt won it five times.

Barnes was selected over Texas Tech’s Chris Beard, Virginia’s Tony Bennett and Houston’s Kelvin Sampson.

“To say the least, I’m honored. I’m humbled really,” Barnes said in a statement. “When you’re able to receive an award like the Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year, you know it goes to your players and your assistant coaches.”

Barnes guided the Volunteers to a 31-6 mark, matching the school record for victories. Tennessee notched a school-record 19 straight wins during a season in which it reached the Sweet 16 before losing in overtime to Purdue.

The Volunteers also spent four weeks at No. 1 during the campaign. That made Barnes only the sixth coach to lead multiple programs to the top spot, joining John Calipari, Frank McGuire, Rick Pitino, Eddie Sutton and Roy Williams.

Barnes had Texas at No. 1 for two weeks in January 2010.

—Field Level Media

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