Otzelberger Named Finalist for Jim Phelan College Coach of the Year

Boston, Mass. – Iowa State men’s basketball head coach T.J. Otzelberger has been named a finalist for the 2024 Jim Phelan College Coach of the Year. Otzelberger is one of 20 coaches across the country named as finalist, including two from the Big 12.

In his third season at the helm, Otzelberger has led the Cyclones to a Top 10 ranking for the second time, as the Cyclones sit 27-7 overall on the year and are currently ranked No. 4 in the nation after winning the Big 12 Championship this past weekend.

Iowa State has a nation-leading 10 wins over AP Top 10 teams under Otzelberger. Iowa State’s 20 AP Top 25 wins under Otzelberger are also the most in the nation. His 68 wins at Iowa State are the third-most in school history by a coach in their first three years, trailing only Larry Eustachy (72) and Tim Floyd (69).

The Jim Phelan Award is named in honor of a legendary bow-tied coach who spent his entire head coaching career at Mount Saint Mary’s University.

Phelan graduated from La Salle University in 1951 and played one season in the NBA with the Philadelphia Warriors. After a brief professional career, Phelan went to Mount St. Mary’s as an assistant in 1953. One year later he began his historical career as a head coach.

He led the Mountaineers to 16 Division II NCAA tournaments. Five times they advanced to the Final Four and he led them to the DII National Championship in 1962. When he retired in 2003, after coaching for 49 years, he had amassed 830 wins (overall record of 830-524) in all divisions. In those 49 years, 19 of his teams amassed 20 or more wins in a season. In 2008 he was inducted into National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

Phelan passed away on June 15, 2021 at the age of 92 at his home in Emmitsburg, Md.

The recipient of the annual award is determined by a 10-member voting committee, which consists of current and former head coaches, as well as two senior staff members of collegeinsider.com.

The 2024 award will be announced in Phoenix, AZ, site of the men’s Division I Basketball Championship.



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