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Davis named National Basketball Coach of Year

Photo of Keno Davis
Keno Davis, center, is interviewed after Drake won the MVC Tournament championship.

First-year Drake University coach Keno Davis, who has guided the men’s basketball team to a school-record 28-4 mark, including its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 1971, has been named by Sporting News Magazine as its National College Basketball Coach of the Year.

It marked the first time a Drake basketball coach was named the national coach of the year since coaching legend Maury John was honored in 1969 by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.

After graduating four starters from last year’s team, which went 17-15, the Bulldogs were picked to finish ninth in the Missouri Valley Conference preseason coaches and media poll.

But Davis engineered Drake to a surprise regular season Missouri Valley Conference title as well as guiding the Bulldogs to their first State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship.

The Bulldogs became the lowest pre-season pick ever to win the league title.

As a result the Drake basketball team has been the story in college basketball this season. The Bulldogs enjoyed a school-record 21-game winning streak and have been nationally ranked for a school-record eight straight weeks in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN Coaches polls.

Davis, 36, was named the Rawlings Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year last Thursday during the MVC Tournament in St. Louis.

Before taking over for his legendary father, Dr. Tom Davis, Keno Davis had served as an assistant at Drake since May 2003. He also spent six years as an assistant to former Drake head coach Gary Garner at Southeast Missouri State and as an assistant under Bruce Pearl at Southern Indiana. Davis is a 1995 graduate of the University of Iowa.

For more information on the men’s basketball team and other sports, visit the Athletic Department Web site.