ABOUT THE AWARD
BOSTON (MA) -- In its continued effort to recognize some of the
greats that have coached the game, CollegeInsider.com announced
the creation of the Ben Jobe National Coach of the Year award.
“Coach Jobe is one of the great coaches of our time,” says
CollegeInsider.com co-founder Joe Dwyer. “If he had coached at a
high profile program he would be a household name. Today’s game
needs more people like Ben Jobe. He is a success as both a coach
and a person. He truly is a legend in every sense of the word.”
The 77-year old Jobe, who spent the majority of his career
coaching at historically Black Colleges, won 524 games in 31
years. He is best known for his accomplishments at Southern
University. During a ten-year stretch (1986-1995) he took the
Jaguars to four NCAA Tournaments and one NIT appearance. In ten
seasons he never posted a losing record at Southern.
“This is such an honor for me,” says Jobe. “So many people have
helped me throughout my career and they are the reason for this
award. People like John McClendon, Clarence ‘Big House’ Gaines
and so many others have helped to get where I am today. I have
been truly blessed. This is the biggest honor I have ever had.”
Jobe’s coaching career began at Cameron High school in Nashville
in 1959. His very first team won 24 games, a school record. One
year later he went to West Africa to coach junior college ball.
In Sierra Leone, his team posted back-to-back undefeated
He returned to the states to coach at Talladega in 1964.
Throughout the 1960s and in the decades that followed, Jobe
established himself as a program builder. He changed the
fortunes of Alabama State and South Carolina State where he took
the Bulldogs to five NAIA Tournaments in five seasons. In 1979
Jobe took over at the University of Denver. The program had
suffered through 11 straight losing seasons, but under Jobe’s
guidance the Pioneers finished 15-12 in his first season. One
year later Denver won 20 games and had its first postseason
invite since 1947.
Jobe went on to the NBA's Denver Nuggets (assistant coach and
director of player personnel, 1980-81); Georgia Tech University
(assistant coach, 1981-82); and Alabama A&M University (head
coach, 1982-86). At A&M he posted a record of 83-36 in four
seasons, taking the Bulldogs to three SIAC championships and two
NCAA Division II tournaments.
During the early 1970s Jobe was also a member of Frank McGuire’s
staff at the University of South Carolina, a staff that included
Bobby Cremins and Donnie Walsh.
“It is an honor to be included in this prestigious panel to
commemorate the impressive career of my friend, Ben Jobe,” says
Donnie Walsh, General Manager of the New York Knicks. “Ben was
not only a great coach, but a wonderful mentor for generations
of young athletes. I consider it a privilege to have a vote for
Coach of the Year honors.”
Walsh and Bobby Cremins are among the 30 members of the Ben Jobe
Award selection committee, which includes Tony Bennett
(Virginia), William Brown (Talladega), Tim Carter (South
Carolina State), Paul Hewitt (Georgia Tech), Arthur Hightower
(San Diego Chargers), Avery Johnson (ESPN), Leon Kerry (CIAA
Commissioner), Floyd Keith (Black Coaches Association), Jim
Larranaga (George Mason), Vann Pettaway (Alabama A&M), Tubby
Smith (Minnesota), Mike Wilson (Washington Wizards) and Steve
Yoder (New York Knicks).