Posted: Tuesday, 02 April 2013 6:09PM

Drury's Steve Hesser named finalist for Coach of the Year

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Drury basketball coach Steve Hesser has been named one of 15 inalists for the Clarence "Big House" Gaines NCAA-II National Coach Of The Year Award, with the winner to be announced on Friday in Atlanta, Ga.

Hesser is in his ninth season as the Panthers' head coach and has guided Drury into the NCAA-II national championship game for the first time in the program's history. His nationally seventh-ranked Panthers, 30-4 and riding a school-record 22-game winning streak, will play No. 2 Metro State (32-2) in Sunday's 3 p.m. (CST) title game in Philips Arena in Atlanta, to be televised nationally on CBS.

Hesser has guided the Panthers to the NCAA tourney six times in his nine seasons and to two Great Lakes Valley Conference championships, in 2008 and this season. He has a 194-75 record at Drury.

Other finalists are Lennie Acuff (Alabama Huntsville), Vince Alexander (USC Aiken), Tom Billeter (Augustana), Derrick Clark (Metro State), Bobby Collins (Winston Salem), Jim Crutchfield (West Liberty), Keith Dickson (Saint Anselm), Tony Dominguez (Western Washington), Greg Kamansky (Cal Poly Pomona), Ryan Looney (Seattle Pacific), Matt Margenthaler (Minnesota State), Josh Schertz (Lincoln Memorial), James Stinson (Livingstone) and Fred Watson (Benedict).
The award is presented annually to the top division II men's basketball coach. One of the true legends of all-time, Clarence Gaines retired from Winston-Salem State University in 1993 with a record of 828-446. At the time he was the winningest active basketball coach in NCAA history.

During his 47-year tenure as coach and athletic director at WSSU he coached professional basketball greats Cleo Hill (first African-American from an historically Black college and university to be drafted No. 1 by the National Basketball Association, St. Louis Hawks, 1961) and Earl "The Pearl" Monroe Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame
The 2013 award will be presented on Friday at the awards banquet in Atlanta, site of the men's NCAA Basketball Championship.

Filed Under :  
Topics : DruryMen's Basketball
People : Steve Hesser
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