April 1, 2011
Tennessee basketball coach Cuonzo Martin received the 2011 Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year Award Friday at the CollegeInsider.com awards banquet in Houston. The award is presented annually to the top minority coach in NCAA Division I men's basketball.
Martin became the second recipient of the Ben Jobe Award after leading Missouri State to a 26-9 record, winning a school-record 15 conference games and capturing the school's first-ever Missouri Valley Conference regular-season championship. Martin was named Tennessee's 18th head men's basketball coach on March 27.
"It's a tremendous honor to receive this award with coach Ben Jobe's name on it," Martin said. "I have a great amount of respect for what he accomplished in the profession. He's had a positive impact on a lot young men over the years. Of course, I see this as being an award that was won by many people, most importantly my assistant coaches and the players, administrators and fans at Missouri State this year. There were a lot of great coaches up for this award, and it was just humbling to be in such great company. I also want to thank the Tennessee administrators who were present today to show their support."
In addition to this latest honor, Martin also was named the 2011 MVC Coach of the Year and was a finalist for the 2011 Hugh Durham Award, which is given annually to the top mid-major coach in Division I.
Joining Martin on the 2011 finalists list for the Jobe award were coaches such as Anthony Grant (Alabama), Leonard Hamilton (Florida State) and Shaka Smart (VCU). Ed Cooley (Fairfield) won the inaugural Jobe award last season.
Jobe is an icon in the history of basketball at historically black colleges and universities and is best known for his 12-year tenure as the head coach at Southern University. He also served head coaching stints at Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Talladega, Tuskegee and South Carolina State.
Jobe's record at Southern was 209-141 and his tenure there included four NCAA Tournament appearances. He also coached the Jaguars to one NIT appearance, five SIAC championships, 11 SWAC titles and two NAIA Tournament Championships. Perhaps his most memorable moment as a coach was Southern's 93-78 win over Georgia Tech in the first round of the 1993 NCAA Tournament. It stands as one of the great upsets in the history of the tournament.