Kansas State men’s basketball coach Bruce Weber has been named one of 20 finalists for the 2013 Skip Prosser Man of the Year award, CollegeInsider.com announced earlier this week.
Weber is joined on the finalist list by John Beilein (Michigan), Tony Bennett (Virginia), Rick Byrd (Belmont), Kermit Davis (Middle Tennessee State), Billy Donlon (Wright State), Jim Engles (NJIT), Steve Fisher (San Diego State), John Gallagher (Hartford), Anthony Grant (Alabama), Ben Jacobson (Northern Iowa), Jim Larranaga (Miami), Ryan Marks (Texas-Pan American), Bob McKilop (Davidson), Joe Mihalich (Niagara), Dave Paulsen (Bucknell), Brett Reed (Lehigh), Zach Spiker (Army), Bob Thomason (Pacific) and John Thompson III (Georgetown).
The Skip Prosser Award was established in 2008 to honor those who not only achieve success on the basketball court, but who display moral integrity off of it as well. Prosser posted a career record of 291-146 in 14 seasons as a head coach at Xavier and Wake Forest. During his time at Wake Forest, his teams averaged 21 wins per season while playing in arguably the nation’s most difficult league, the Atlantic Coast Conference.
One of just three first-year head coaches to win the Big 12 regular season title, Weber was selected as the Big 12 Coach of the Year by the league coaches and The Associated Press earlier this week. He is just the sixth K-State head coach to earn conference coach of the year honors and the second in the Big 12 era, following Tex Winter (1958, 1959, 1960), Cotton Fitzsimmons (1970), Jack Hartman (1975, 1977), Dana Altman (1993) and Frank Martin (2010). He also collected league coach of the year accolades for the third time in his career in his third different league after winning the honor in the Missouri Valley in 2002-03 and the Big Ten in 2004-05.
Weber led the No. 11 Wildcats to a 25-6 overall record and a 14-4 mark in Big 12 play, which included a tie for their first conference title in 36 seasons and a No. 2 seed in this week’s Big 12 Championship at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. The 25 wins are the most-ever in the regular season and just the school’s fifth 25-win season, while the 14 conference wins tie the 1958-59 team for the most in school history. The league title is the 18th regular-season title in school history and the first since winning the Big Eight in 1977.
The 2013 recipient will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com awards banquet in Atlanta.
K-State opens the Big 12 Championship Thursday when the Wildcats play the winner of Wednesday’s first round contest between No. 7-seed Texas (15-16) and No. 10-seed TCU (11-20) at 6 p.m. at Sprint Center.