Arizona’s Tommy Lloyd earns Coach of the Year award from NABC
Tommy Lloyd is the Coach of the Year in college basketball, and he was named so on Tuesday by his peers.
The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) announced Tuesday it has tabbed the first-year head coach as its Coach of the Year for the 2021-22 season. He’s the first Arizona coach to win the award, which was first presented in 1959.
Head Coach Tommy Lloyd has been named National Coach of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches‼️#BearDown #RunWithUs pic.twitter.com/zxNFm25XRd
— Arizona Basketball (@ArizonaMBB) March 29, 2022
Lloyd guided the Wildcats to a 33-4 record this past season, a ride that included both the Pac-12 regular season and conference tournament championships. Hired last April from Gonzaga, Lloyd immediately elevated the Arizona program in his first year ever as a major college head coach.
According to the Arizona Daily Star, a clause in Lloyd’s contract calls for him to earn an additional $20,000 bonus for the award. Lloyd is also one of four finalists for the Naismith Coach of the Year award.
“I thanked these guys after the game,” Lloyd said following the team’s Sweet 16 loss to Houston last week. “They really helped me get Arizona basketball off to a good start in my tenure.
“We really built some foundational pieces that are really going to serve us well going forward. Extremely proud of the guys. Extremely proud of the coaching staff.”
Like a seasoned vet, Lloyd spent most of the season deflecting praise for Arizona’s success to his players and his staff. Arizona nearly swept the Pac-12’s end-of-season awards and placed three on the all-conference first team. Lloyd was also named the league’s Coach of the Year.
After more than 20 years on the bench as an assistant for Mark Few at Gonzaga, Lloyd proved more than ready to lead his own team.
This season, Arizona became just the third school to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament under a first-year coach. (The tourney began conventional seeding in 1979.) The Wildcat coach also sits behind only North Carolina’s Bill Guthridge (1998) for most wins in a season by a first-year head coach. Guthridge won 34.