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Barnes named 2001 Naismith Coach of the Year

By Staff
Special to The Star
March 21, 2001
ATLANTA, Ga. Ole Miss' Rod Barnes was named the 2001 Naismith National Men's Coach of the Year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced
Tuesday. The award is Barnes' second National Coach of the Year honor, as he was named CollegeInsider.com's recipient on Mar. 11.
Barnes. "This is a tremendous honor, and I would like to also thank the Atlanta Tipoff Club for selecting me to receive this award.
Notre Dame's Muffet McGraw was named the Naismith National Women's Coach of the Year, while the Irish's Ruth Riley was selected as the National Women's Player of the Year. Duke's Shane Battier was picked as the Naismith National Men's Player of the Year. All four award recipients will be honored at a banquet in Atlanta in early April.
Barnes was one of 20 finalists for the Naismith National Coach of the Year Award, and one of three Southeastern Conference coaches up for the honor. Florida's Billy Donovan and Alabama's Mark Gottfried were the other two SEC coaches on the list. The other finalists were: Syracuse's Jim Boeheim, Notre Dame's Mike Brey, North Carolina's Matt Doherty, Georgia State's Lefty Driesell, Georgetown's Craig Esherick, Iowa State's Larry Eustashy, Virginia's Pete Gillen, Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt, Michigan State's Tom Izzo, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, St. Joseph's Phil Martelli, Stanford's Mike Montgomery, Arizona's Lute Olson, Oklahoma's Kelvin Sampson, Illinois' Bill Self, Boston College's Al Skinner, and Kansas' Roy Williams.
Barnes was also named the SEC Coach of the Year by the league's coaches, Associated Press and CollegeInsider.com.
This season, Barnes has guided the Rebels to a 27-7 overall record, an 11-5 SEC mark and the SEC Western Division crown. The SEC West title was Ole Miss' third in the last five years. Ole Miss, which is ranked No. 14 in the Associated Press (AP) Top 25 poll and No. 13 in ESPN/USA Today Top 25 poll, advanced to its first-ever NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance and will meet No. 4 Arizona (25-7) in the Midwest Regional semifinals on Friday.
The regional semifinal contest, which will be televised by CBS, is scheduled for a 6:55 p.m. start. The Rebels are the No. 3 seed, while Arizona is the No. 2 seed.
On Feb. 17, Barnes won his 60th game as the Rebel mentor and reached the 60-win milestone the fastest of any head coach in Ole Miss history.
Barnes' 60th victory was a 67-61 win over South Carolina. Barnes' coaching record now stands at 66-34.

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