Two days after being named the recipient of the Red Auerbach Award, University of Hawai’i men’s basketball head coach Eran Ganot was named the winner of the 2016 Joe B. Hall Award, presented annually to the top first-year coach in Division I by CollegeInsider.com.
Ganot was one of 10 finalists for the award along with Little Rock’s Chris Beard, Green Bay’s Linc Darner, Bucknell’s Nathan Davis, ETSU’s Steve Forbes, Louisiana Tech’s Eric Konkol, Chattanooga’s Matt McCall, Murray State’s Matt McMahon, Buffalo’s Nate Oats, and Alcorn State’s Montez Robinson.
Ganot led Hawai’i to an historic season, winning both the Big West regular season and tournament titles and recording the most wins in school history (28). The Tenafly, N.J., native, led the Rainbow Warriors to their fist NCAA appearance since 2002 and their first-round win over California was the program to its first-ever NCAA Tournament victory.
In addition to the Joe B. Hall and Red Auerbach awards, Ganot was also selected as the Big West Conference’s Coach of the Year and was a finalist for the CollegeInsider.com’s Jim Phelan Award (nation’s top Division I coach) and Hugh Durham Award (nation’s top mid-major coach).
The award is named in the honor of Joe B. Hall who was given the task of following the legendary Adolph Rupp. In his first season at the University of Kentucky, Hall finished 20-8, won the SEC and advanced to the NCAA Regional Finals.
From 1972 to 1985 Hall would win two-thirds of his games (297-100), receive four SEC Coach of the Year honors and win a National Championship (1978). Along with the 1978 title, Hall also guided Kentucky to a runner-up finish to UCLA in the 1975 NCAA tournament, a Final Four appearance in the 1984 NCAA Tournament and an NIT championship in 1976. He won 8 Southeastern Conference regular season championships and one Southeastern Conference tournament championship (1984).
Hall is one of only three men to win an NCAA championship as a player (1949- Kentucky) and coach (1978- Kentucky). The only others to achieve this feat are Bob Knight and Dean Smith.