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THE JOHN MCLENDON AWARD

Butler's Chris Holtmann is the recipient of the 2017 Coach John McLendon Award, which is presented annually to the top top head coach in all of collegiate basketball (Division I, Division II, Division III, NAIA and JUCO).

April 4, 2017

2017 JOHN MCLENDON AWARD

PHOENIX, AZ -- Butler’s Chris Holtmann is the recipient of the 2017 Coach John McLendon award.

After being picked to finish sixth in the Big East preseseason poll, Holtmann led the Bulldogs a second-place finish in the conference and a 25-9 overall record.

Under Holtmann the Bulldogs have made the NCAA Tournament and won at least one game it in each of his three seasons as head coach. This season the Big East Coach of the Year led Butler to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2011.

“Chris Holtmann is one of the five best coaches in all of college basketball,” said CollegeInsider.com’s Angela Lento. “He isn’t a household name but he should be.  His name should come up more in conversations about great X and O guys.”.

The John McLendon award is presented annually to the top collegiate head coach. The award encompasses Division I, Division II, Division III, NAIA and JUCO.

A trailblazer and one of the true pioneers of the game, McLendon became the first African American coach to win an integrated national championship. His team went on to win the NAIA Division I Men's Tournament in 1957, 1958 and 1959, making him the first coach in history to win three consecutive NAIA championships.

In 1962 he became the first African American head coach in a major professional league (ABL) with the Cleveland Pipers. In 1966 he became the first African American head coach of predominantly-white university, when he took over the Cleveland State program. He led the team to their best record in school history.

In 1969, McLendon was hired by the Denver Rockets and became the first African American head coach in the American Basketball Association. After a brief stint with the Rockets, McLendon ended his 25-year professional coaching career with a winning percentage of .760 and a lifetime career average of 523 victories and 165 losses.

 

 

 


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