Barnes Wins Henry IBA National Coach of the Year

After leading the Volunteers to one of their best seasons in program history, Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes was selected as the winner of the 2019 Henry Iba Award as National Coach of the Year by the United States Basketball Writers Association on Monday.

With a Hall of Fame-worthy résumé already, Barnes checked off another impressive accomplishment by bringing home his first-ever national coach of the year honor. The Hickory, N.C., native has been named a conference coach of the year on six occasions and the USBWA District Coach of the Year four times.

Barnes—who is also a finalist for Werner Ladder Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year—has guided the Volunteers to a 31-5 mark (his third career 30-win season). That includes a school-record 19-game win streak, a program-record-tying three victories over top-five opponents and the second-most victories in a single season in program history.

The Vols spent four weeks atop the Associated Press Top 25 Poll, and for the first time in program history, Tennessee spent the entire season ranked among the top 10. That play was rewarded with a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, tying the Big Orange’s highest seeding in program history.

Along with Barnes, a trio of Vols was also recognized for Tennessee’s season. Junior forward Grant Williams earned first-team All-America honors and was voted the SEC Player of the Year for the second season in a row, becoming the first player to repeat for the award since 1995-96. Senior wing Admiral Schofield garnered All-SEC first-team acclaim, while junior guard Jordan Bone was tabbed to the second team.

The Henry Iba Award will be presented to Barnes at the USBWA’s college basketball awards dinner in St. Louis on Monday, April 15, at the Missouri Athletic Club in downtown St. Louis along with the USBWA’s other postseason awards.

Iba was a Hall of Fame collegiate basketball coach and administrator who totaled 755 career wins and led Oklahoma A&M to consecutive national championships in 1945 and 1946. He also coached the United States men’s national team to Olympic gold in 1964 and 1968.

The USBWA was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With close to 900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball and has selected an All-America team since the 1956-57 season.

Source: The University of Tennessee Athletic Department