UT coach Barnes finalist for Naismith Coach of the Year

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Tennessee coach Rick Barnes has transformed a program that was reeling when he took over four years ago.

Now, the longtime coach is named as one of the best in country for the 2018-19 season.

Barnes was one of just four coaches named as a finalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year award.

"This is the most exciting time of year for our sport, and the competition for Werner Ladder Naismith Trophy Men's Coach of the Year will be even more competitive as the tournament begins," said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. "We are excited to watch these coaches push their teams toward a championship."

Barnes is also a finalist for the USBWA's Henry Iba Award for National Coach of the Year.

The Vols enter the NCAA Tournament as a No. 2 seed after a 29-5 record that included a school record 19-game win streak.