Gonzaga head coach Mark Few named Naismith Coach of the Year

Gonzaga
AP Photo/Darron Cummings

Gonzaga head coach Mark Few celebrates after an Elite 8 game against Southern California in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium, Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in Indianapolis. Gonzaga won 85-66. 

ATLANTA, Ga. — Boasting an undefeated record and a West Coast Conference (WCC) title, Gonzaga men’s basketball coach Mark Few is the undisputed winner of the 2021 Werner Ladder Naismith Men’s Coach of the Year award. This is Few’s second time winning the award after winning it for a spectacular effort in 2017.

Few’s overall resume is extremely impressive up to this point, but this year alone has to be his most successful. Gonzaga finished on an undefeated regular season run for the first time in program history at 24-0. This should come as no surprise considering the Bulldogs hold a perfect 30-0 record heading into the Final Four on Saturday evening.

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Earlier this year, Few was named the WCC coach of the year for the 14th time in his coaching career. This is the program’s 14th season with at least 25 wins — Each of which has come under Few’s guidance. The Hall of Fame-caliber coach released the following statement on NCAA.com:

“The Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year is an incredible honor. I’m very humbled by it because I’m surrounded by so many amazing coaches in our profession that I look up to and really hold in great reverence,” said Few. “Especially with the year we all have been through, I think everybody did an amazing job shepherding their teams through all the challenges. This really means a lot. It’s great to be honored, and I appreciate it.”

The Naismith Coach of the Year for both men’s and women’s basketball are selected by the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s national voting academy. Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer won the women’s coach of the year award in a year in which she surpassed Pat Summitt as the all-time winningest coach in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history.

This honor was deserved for the foundational rock of this Gonzaga basketball program. However, there is still plenty of work to be done for Few with a national championship on the line.

Gonzaga made an NCAA men’s basketball Championship appearance in 2017, losing to UNC by six points in a duel for the ages. They’ll face the 11th seeded UCLA in the Final Four on Saturday, April 3 at 5:34 p.m.

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