Bozeman wins Hugh Durham Award

By BASN Wire Services
Updated: April 3, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS — Less than three weeks after taking the Bears to their first MEAC crown in three decades and earning the program’s second consecutive postseason appearance and the first-ever NCAA tournament appearance, Todd Bozeman has received the Hugh Durham Award, which recognizes the outstanding coach at the mid-major level.

“Coach Bozeman did a phenomenal job,” says Joe Dwyer, co-founder of and member of the Durham Award selection committee.

“He lost the MEAC player of the year, defensive player of the year and his starting point guard and he we still able to repeat as conference champion. If he accomplished that in the ACC or Big East people would talk about this being one of the best coaching jobs in years.”

The award, which is voted on by a 20-member selection panel that includes current and former head coaches and is chaired by Hugh Durham, is presented annually at the Final Four to the top Mid-Major Coach in America.

Surprisingly Morgan State was picked to finish first in the MEAC’s preseason vote, despite losing the league’s Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and starting point guard to graduation.

The League’s coaches were sports information directors right on target with their vote, as the Bears captured their second consecutive regular season title, won the MEAC Championship, and finished with a 13-3 conference record and a 23-12 overall mark. In just three seasons, Bozeman has already won the most Division I games in school history.

Bozeman’s Bears recorded top non-conference wins over Marshall, DePaul and Maryland. Morgan State also completed the season ranked No. 23 in the Mid-Major Top 25, No. 6 in the Washington Post Atlantic 11 Poll.

Morgan State also finished No. 1 in the Sheridan Broadcasting Network (SBN) Black College Poll as well as the inaugural HBCU Men’s Basketball Polls.

“The job Coach Bozeman did this season went largely unnoticed,” says Hugh Durham. “There were a lot of coaches that did great jobs this season, but nobody did a better job than Todd.”

Bozeman, who was named the MEAC Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season, was a finalist for the 2009 award along with Duggar Baucom (VMI), Randy Bennett (St. Mary’s), Ed Conroy (The Citadel), Brad Greenberg (Radford), Ben Jacobson (Northern Iowa), Saul Phillips (North Dakota State), J.P. Piper (Nicholls State), Randy Rahe (Weber State), and Brad Stevens (Butler).

In 2005 the Mid-Major Coach of the Year award was renamed in honor of Hugh Durham who retired at the end of the 2004-05 season.

Durham is one of just 12 coaches to have led two different programs to the NCAA Final Four (Florida State, 1972 & Georgia, 1983). He is the only coach to lead both teams to their only Final Four appearance.

The previous winners of the award are Keno Davis (Drake 2008), Gregg Marshall (Winthrop 2007), Pat Flannery, (Bucknell 2006) and Bob Thomason (Pacific 2005).