INDIANAPOLIS (USBWA) – Michigan second-year
head coach Juwan Howard, who led the Wolverines
to a Big Ten regular-season championship and a No. 1 seed in the
NCAA Tournament, has been named the winner of the 2020-21
Henry Iba Award, given annually by the U.S. Basketball
Writers Association to its national coach of the year.
Howard is just the second Michigan coach to earn the honor, joining
Johnny Orr from the 1975-76 season. Howard was chosen from a list
of finalists that also included the 2017 winner, Mark Few of Gonzaga,
along with Scott Drew of Baylor and Nate Oats of Alabama. Current
Michigan associate head coach Phil Martelli won the award as the
head coach at St. Joseph’s in 2004.
Following a 25-year career in the NBA – 19 as a player and six
as an assistant coach – Howard earned the District V Coach of the
Year this season by leading Michigan (20-4) to its first Big Ten
regular-season title since 2014. Howard is the first Big Ten coach
to be honored as the USBWA national coach of the year since Bruce
Weber at Illinois in 2005 and he is the first to earn Big Ten Coach
of the Year honors from both the media and the coaches’ votes since
Weber that same season. The Henry Iba Award is based on regular-season
Michigan raced out to an 11-0 start and stayed at the top of
the standings among the strongest Big Ten field in recent memory.
Howard coached freshman center Hunter Dickinson to USBWA Second
Team All-America honors, the first Michigan freshman to ever achieve
that status and the Wolverines' first All-American since 2013 (Trey
Burke). Dickinson was also the first Michigan freshman in 43 seasons
to earn All-Big Ten First Team accolades. Dickinson leads the Wolverines
in scoring (14.4), rebounding (7.8) and double-doubles (5).
Howard, 39-16 at Michigan, is its winningest coach through two
seasons, passing his old coach Steve Fisher (37) for that mark.
He has a 10-9 record against ranked opponents that includes six
wins against Top-10 teams. Perhaps his most notable win came Feb.
21 this season when the Wolverines, ranked third in both polls at
the time, won at No. 4 Ohio State, 92-87. Howard’s teams are 24-13
in Big Ten play.
The Wolverines are the No. 1 seed in the East region. They face
Texas Southern in the first round Saturday.
Howard was the first member of Michigan’s famous Fab Five to
commit to the Wolverines in 1991 following his McDonald’s All-American
season. Chris Webber (1993) and Jalen Rose (1994) became USBWA All-Americans
from that core that also included Jimmy King and Ray Jackson. Howard’s
three seasons in Ann Arbor included playing in back-to-back national
title games in 1992 and '93 and reaching the Elite Eight in all
three. He then opted for early entry into the 1994 NBA Draft.
The Henry Iba Award is named in honor of the
legendary coaching great at Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State)
who won two NCAA championships and two gold medals and one silver
as coach of the U S. Olympic teams.
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association was formed in 1956 at
the urging of then-NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. With some
900 members worldwide, it is one of the most influential organizations
in college basketball. It has selected an All-America team since
the 1956-57 season. For more information on the USBWA and its award
programs, contact executive director Malcolm Moran at 814-574-1485.
Henry Iba Award