March 6, 2005
WORCESTER, Mass. - Holy Cross head men's basketball coach Ralph Willard has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2005 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award. The recipient of the award will be announced on April 1, at the Final Four in St. Louis, Mo.
Willard was previously a finalist for National Coach of the Year honors in 2003, when he was a finalist for the Clair Bee Coach of the Year Award. Earlier this season, he earned Patriot League Coach of the Year honors for the second time, after previously taking home the award in 2001.
Willard has led the Crusaders to an overall mark on 23-5 and a 13-1 record in Patriot League action this year, tying the conference record for most regular season league wins in a single season. The team has also won the Patriot League regular season title outright for the third time during Willard's six seasons as head coach, after previously taking the crown in 2001 and 2003. Willard owns a mark of 112-66 during his time at Holy Cross, while his career record stands at 256-190, including five seasons at the University of Pittsburgh and four years at Western Kentucky University.
A complete list of finalists for the 2005 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award follows.
2005 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Finalists
Ray Giacoletti (Utah)
Bobby Lutz (Charlotte)
Bruce Pearl (Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Skip Prosser (Wake Forest)
Al Skinner (Boston College)
Tubby Smith (Kentucky)
Bob Thomason (Pacific)
Bruce Weber (Illinois)
Ralph Willard (Holy Cross)
Roy Williams (North Carolina)