Weber named Naismith Coach of the Year
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) – Illinois men’s basketball coach Bruce Weber was
named the 2004-05 Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year on Thursday.
The award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top basketball coach,
is considered the most prestigious national award in college basketball.
“Coach Weber has done an outstanding job this season and throughout his
career,” said Gary Stokan, Atlanta Tipoff Club president. “He has dedicated
his life to coaching and is truly deserving of this honor. We are pleased to
recognize his accomplishments as this year’s Naismith Men’s College Coach of
In his second season with Illinois, Weber has led the Fighting Illini to a
school-record 34 victories with just one loss. Illinois captured the Big Ten
regular-season and tournament titles, and is the No. 1 overall seed in the
ongoing NCAA Tournament. The Illini are currently in the Sweet 16 and will
take on Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the regional semifinals.
Weber, who is the 16th head coach in Illinois history, spent five seasons as
head man at Southern Illinois prior to arriving in Champaign. He compiled a
103-54 mark with the Salukis, which included a pair of Missouri Valley
Conference championships (2002, 2003).
This is the 19th year that the Naismith award will be handed out. Last year’s
recipient was Saint Joseph’s head coach Phil Martelli, who guided the Hawks to
a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Weber was also was named the winner of the Henry Iba Award, which is presented
to the national coach of the year by the United States Basketball Writers
Association. Weber will be honored in St. Louis during Final Four weekend.
He will then be presented with the Naismith Award on April 8.