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Larrañaga Is Henry Iba Coach of the Year

Courtesy: Hurricanesports.com
          Release: 03/19/2013
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ST. LOUIS (USBWA) – Miami's Jim Larranaga is the 2012-13 recipient of the Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award, presented annually to the national coach of the year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

Larranaga will be recognized by the USBWA on Friday, April 5, at a 9:15 a.m. ET news conference in Atlanta in conjunction with the Final Four. The winner of the Oscar Robertson Trophy as the national player of the year will also be announced in Atlanta at that time.

Larranaga will be formally presented with the Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award on Monday, April 15, at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards gala in Oklahoma City. The Oscar Robertson Trophy will also be presented that evening.

In his second season at Miami, Larranaga, 63, has led the Hurricanes to a 27-6 record, including the school's first Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season and tournament titles. The 'Canes will make their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008 as a No. 2 seed in the East Region.

"Coach is not only the best coach in my eyes but one of the best people I've ever met," said Durand Scott. "His arrival to the University of Miami has been life-changing to the entire community."

The USBWA District IV Coach of the Year and the ACC Coach of the Year has guided the Hurricanes to a school-record 27 wins, including a 15-3 mark in ACC play. Miami opened conference play with 13 straight wins. Currently ranked 5th by the Associated Press, the Hurricanes have been ranked as high as No. 2 this season.

"Jim Larranaga's story should inspire us all. He gave hope to hundreds of so-called 'mid-major' schools by leading George Mason to the Final Four in 2006," said USBWA President John Akers of Basketball Times. "Then, in just two seasons at Miami, he convinced a bunch of players who had known mostly disappointment to buy in for what has been a dream season. Truly inspirational."

"Coach L definitely deserves this award because of his passion for the game of basketball and his dedication to the team and the University of Miami," said Shane Larkin. "He said he would take this program to the top, and in only year two, we are ACC Champions."

Including this season, Larranaga now boasts a 517-353 (59.4 winning percentage) overall career record in 29 seasons as a college head coach. Prior to coming to Miami, Larranaga was 273-164 in 14 seasons at George Mason, including 13 straight winning seasons, five NCAA Tournament appearances and the school's memorable 2006 Final Four run.

"Coach L is a players coach," said Trey McKinney Jones. "He is great at relating to us on a personal level as well as a coaching level. He is a great teacher whose life lessons will stick with me for the rest of my life."

The Henry Iba Award is named in honor of the legendary Oklahoma State coach who won 655 games and two national championships in 36 seasons in Stillwater. The award is voted on by all members of the USBWA at the conclusion of the regular season. The USBWA has presented a National Coach of the Year Award each year since the 1958-59 season.

Tickets and sponsorship information for the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards are available at collegebasketballawards.com or by contacting Scott Hill (405-749-1515, scott.hill@access-sports.net). The April 15 banquet will also honor Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart with the Integris Wayman Tisdale Award as the national freshman of the year and Michigan State coach Tom Izzo as the recipient of the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. Today, it is one of the most influential organizations in college basketball. For more information on the USBWA and its award programs, contact executive director Joe Mitch at 314-795-6821.

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