SAN ANTONIO, Texas (News Release)- Stephen F. Austin head men's basketball coach Brad Underwood was named Coach of the Year by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) at a banquet Thursday night.
Underwood, a speaker at the TABC Clinic currently underway in San Antonio (May 15-17), picked up his fourth honor after guiding the Lumberjacks to a historic 2013-14 campaign. Underwood was named the 2014 Joe B. Hall award recipient, given to the nation's top first-year head coach, back on April 4 at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet in Dallas, also being tabbed the 2013-14 Southland Conference and NABC UPS Division I District 23 Coach of the Year.
A finalist for both the Hugh Durham (top mid-major coach) and Jim Phelan (top Division I coach) awards, Underwood led SFA to a 32-3 overall record and berth in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. After clinching both SLC regular season and tournament titles to make the program's second-ever appearance in the big dance, he then put the ‘Jacks on the national map, upsetting fifth-seeded VCU in the second round on a four-point play to send the game into overtime where SFA won 77-75. With the win over Shaka Smart's havon-run VCU squad, Underwood picked up the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament win and set a new school record for most wins in a single season at 32.
Under his guidance, the ‘Jacks became the first Southland school in the league's 51-year history to win 29 games in the regular season and first 30-game winner, passing the 1984-85 Louisiana Tech team that went29-3 and reached the Sweet 16 with Karl Malone. Along the way, SFA joined top-ranked Florida and second-ranked Wichita State as the only schools to go undefeated in conference play. The ‘Jacks became just the 18th team all-time to do so at the Division I level in conference schedules of 18 games or mores.
In Week 17, SFA closed out its conference road schedule 9-0, the first time the ‘Jacks have gone undefeated on the road since making the transition to Division I.
With 32 wins, Underwood finished the season ranked third all-time in the NCAA's top 10 best career starts at the Division I level. Underwood passed Steve Prohm (Murray State – 31-12, 2012) and Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh – 31-5, 2004) with the upset of VCU.
SFA, which had its nation-leading 29-game overall win streak ended by fourth-seeded UCLA in the third round of the NCAA Tournament, carries both its home and road winning streaks over into next season. The ‘Jacks will enter 2014-15 tied with Duke for the longest active home winning streak at 33 straight and tied with Wichita State for the longest active road win streak at 12 games. SFA also lead the nation with 14 road wins in the 2013-14 season.