KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- The Atlanta Tipoff Club on Monday announced the semifinalists for the 2019 Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year Award. Fourth-year Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes was among 11 coaches who made the cut.
"With the regular season complete, the competition for Werner Ladder Naismith Trophy Coach of the Year will pick up as tournament play begins," Executive Director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club Eric Oberman said. "We're looking forward to watching these candidates lead and push their teams to excel through postseason."
One year removed from leading Tennessee to the SEC Championship and a 26-9 overall record, Barnes this season has guided the Volunteers to a 27-4 mark. That impressive record includes a school-record 19-game winning streak and multiple victories over top-five opponents.
The Vols spent four weeks atop the Associated Press Top 25 rankings, and for the first time in program history, Tennessee spent the entire season ranked among the top 10.
Barnes and the Vols earned a double-bye in this week's SEC Tournament and will begin play in Nashville on Friday in the quarterfinal round.
Four finalists for the Werner Ladder Naismith Trophy for Men's College Coach of the Year will be announced March 20. Fans will be able to support their favorite coach by visiting naismithtrophy.com/vote between March 22-April 3, to cast their ballot, and the fan vote will account for five percent of the overall final vote. Then, on April 7, the 2019 Werner Ladder Naismith Trophy for Men's College Coach of the Year will be awarded at the Naismith Awards Brunch during the Final Four in Minneapolis.
"The Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year semifinalists have each excelled in coaching their teams throughout the regular season," WernerCo. Vice President of Brand Marketing Stacy Gardella said. "We look forward to watching these coaches inspire their teams and wish them luck as they approach the tournament."
Other semifinalists for Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year are Chris Beard (Texas Tech), Tony Bennett (Virginia), John Calipari (Kentucky), Mark Few (Gonzaga), Tom Izzo (Michigan State), Nate Oats (Buffalo), Matt Painter (Purdue), Kelvin Sampson (Houston), Roy Williams (North Carolina) and Mike Young (Wofford).