March 8, 2010
BOSTON - Just days after leading the Boilermakers to a share of their first Big Ten title in 14 years, Purdue head coach Matt Painter was named one of 15 finalists for the Jim Phelan Coach of the Year Award.
The Phelan Award is given annually to the nation's top coach, as voted upon by a 20-member panel. The winner will be presented with the award at the 2010 NCAA Men's Final Four in Indianapolis.
Monday's announcement marks the second time in the last three years that Painter has been named a finalist for the award, as he also earned the distinction in 2008.
Painter, who is in his fifth season at the helm of his alma mater's program, has presided over one of the finest seasons in program history in 2009-10. In addition to claiming a share of its first Big Ten crown since 1996, Purdue put together a 26-4 regular season that ties for the second-best in program history. The Boilermakers equaled the best start in program history with a 14-0 run to open the campaign, ripped off a 10-game winning streak in conference play, won 12 of their last 13 regular-season games overall and ended the regular-season on a seven-game road winning streak.
The Muncie, Ind., native also became the third-fastest coach in program history, and just the sixth overall, to win 100 games at Purdue.
Painter's commitment to total student-athlete development also paid off this season in the form of a second-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America honor for junior guard E'Twaun Moore, while senior guard Chris Kramer was named a finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.
Painter is one of two Big Ten coaches on the list of finalists, along with Wisconsin's Bo Ryan.
2010 Jim Phelan Coach of the Year Award finalists
Steve Alford, New Mexico
Jim Boeheim, Syracuse
John Calipari, Kentucky
Jamie Dixon, Pittsburgh
Steve Donahue, Cornell
Fran Dunphy, Temple
Ben Jacobsen, Northern Iowa
Frank Martin, Kansas State
Chris Mooney, Richmond
Matt Painter, Purdue
Bo Ryan, Wisconsin
Bill Self, Kansas
Brad Stevens, Butler
Mark Turgeon, Texas A&M
Jay Wright, Villanova