University of Nebraska basketball Tim Miles was honored Friday afternoon, as he was named the winner of the 2014 Jim Phelan Award.
The second-year Nebraska coach received the award at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet in Dallas. Miles becomes the first Nebraska men’s basketball coach to earn a national coach-of-the-year award.
He is the second Big Ten coach to receive the honor, joining Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan in 2008. The award has been presented annually since 2003, and other past honorees include Dana Altman, John Calipari, Tony Bennett and Mike Brey.
Miles was chosen from a stellar group of 15 finalists which included Billy Donovan (Florida), Gregg Marshall (Wichita State), Sean Miller (Arizona), John Beilein (Michigan) and Greg McDermott (Creighton).
“I am truly humbled and honored to receive this award,” Miles said after the banquet. “It was an honor to be a finalist with some of the great coaches around the country. Hopefully it is a sign that people around the country are taking notice of what we are doing at Nebraska.”
“It is really an award for our whole program,” Miles said. “Not only for our players and coaches, but all of the staff members who work behind the scenes every day to help us build Husker basketball.”
Miles turned around the fortunes of the Husker basketball program, as he guided Nebraska to a 19-13 record and the school’s first NCAA appearance since 1998. The Big Ten Coach of the Year by the conference coaches, Miles led the Huskers to an 11-7 Big Ten mark after the Huskers were picked 12th in the preseason poll. Nebraska’s fourth-place finish was its best finish since 1998, while the 11 conference wins were the program’s highest conference win total since the 1965-66 season. After a 1-5 start in conference action, Nebraska won 10 of its final 12 Big Ten games, including wins at No. 9 Michigan State and No. 9 Wisconsin, the first time since 1994 that NU knocked off a pair of top-10 teams in the same season.
The Jim Phelan Award is presented to the nation’s top Division I coach. The award is named in honor of Jim Phelan, who coached his entire career at Mount Saint Mary’s University. When he retired, he amassed 830 wins during his 49-year coaching career.