Big 12 Conference Leads the Way on the 2023 Werner Ladder Naismith Men's College Coach of the Year Late Season Watch List

Ten Conferences Represented Among Candidates Vying for Top Honor


February 16, 2023

Today, the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced the 15 members of the Werner

Ladder Naismith Men's College Coach of the Year late season watch list. For seven of this year's

candidates, this isn't the first time they've vied for the award. Chris Collins (Northwestern), Mick Cronin

(UCLA), Sean Miller (Xavier), Nate Oats (Alabama), Matt Painter (Purdue), Kelvin Sampson (Houston) and

Shaka Smart (Marquette) are all previous candidates, with Sampson and Smart making the late-season

list just last year.

Candidates not included can still make their way on to the 10 semifinalists list, which will be announced

on Thursday, March 9. The Werner Ladder Naismith Men's College Coach of the Year award will be

narrowed to four finalists on Monday, March 20. The final round includes an opportunity for consumers

to participate through the Naismith Awards Fan Vote presented by Jersey Mike's, which accounts for 5%

of the total vote and runs from March 21-28. The winner will be announced on Sunday, April 2, at the

Naismith Awards Brunch presented by Frost Bank at the Final Four in Houston.

"Each year we are amazed by the remarkable coaching performances that elevate these contenders as

candidates for the Werner Ladder Naismith College Men's Coach of the Year," said Eric Oberman,

executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. "The end of the regular season, with tremendous pressure

on each game, usually separates those seeking to advance in the next step in our voting."

"Werner Ladder is honored to be a part of highlighting and recognizing these coaches for an incredible

season and their outstanding leadership on and off the court," said Stacy Gardella, head of Global

Marketing Technology & Operations at WernerCo. "Each of these coaches is deserving in their own right,

and we are excited to follow them throughout the rest of the season."


Randy Bennett WCC Saint Mary's

Jeff Capel ACC Pittsburgh

Chris Collins Big Ten Northwestern

Mick Cronin Pac-12 UCLA

Dennis Gates SEC Missouri

Pat Kelsey CAA College of Charleston

Dusty May C-USA Florida Atlantic

Sean Miller Big EAST Xavier

Nate Oats SEC Alabama

T.J. Otzelberger Big 12 Iowa State

Matt Painter Big Ten Purdue

Kelvin Sampson AAC Houston

Shaka Smart Big EAST Marquette

Jerome Tang Big 12 Kansas State

Rodney Terry Big 12 Texas


Founded during the 1956-57 season, the Atlanta Tipoff Club is committed to promoting the game of

basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting.

The Atlanta Tipoff Club administers the Naismith Awards, the most prestigious national honors in all of

college and high school basketball. Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of

basketball, the family of Naismith Awards annually recognizes the most outstanding men's and women's

college and high school basketball players and coaches. Other Naismith Awards are presented to the

men's and women's college basketball defensive players of the year, as well as lifetime achievement

awards to basketball officials and outstanding contributors to the game. UCLA's Lew Alcindor received

the first Jersey Mike's Naismith Trophy in 1969, while the late Anne Donovan (Old Dominion) was the

inaugural women's recipient in 1983. Corporate partners of the Naismith Awards include Jersey Mike's

and Werner Ladder.


Werner, the official ladder of NCAA® March Madness® and the world leader in ladders, offers a complete

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