BOSTON — Another day, another award that McPherson native Brad Underwood is a finalist for.
Underwood, who was 32-3 in his first year at Stephen F. Austin, was named one of 15 finalists for the 2014 Hugh Durham award. The announcement was made by the award committee on Wednesday evening.
The Hugh Durham Award is given annually to the nation's top mid-major coach. The award is named in honor of Hugh Durham, who had retired at the end of the 2004-05 season. He is one of just 12 coaches to have led two different programs to the NCAA Final Four (Florida State in 1972 and Georgia in 1983). He is the only coach among that group to have led both schools to their lone Final Four appearance.
Underwood, the 2013-14 Southland Conference Coach of the Year, is also a finalist for the 2014 Joe B. Hall and the Jim Phelan awards.
Underwood put the Lumberjacks on the national map, upsetting fifth-seeded VCU in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on a four-point play to send the game into overtime, the program's first NCAA Tournament win in program history. SFA, the conference regular season and tournament champion, set a new school record for most wins in a single season with the upset of Shaka Smart's havoc-run VCU squad for win No. 32 (32-3).
The 14 other finalists include: Mike Brennan (American), Rick Byrd (Belmont), Tim Clues (Iona), Steve Hawkins (Western Michigan), Bob Hoffman (Mercer), Ron Hunter (Georgia State), Tony Jasick (IPFW), Tod Kowalczyk (Toledo), Gregg Marshall (Wichita State), LeVelle Moton (North Carolina Central), Jeff Neubauer (Eastern Kentucky), Saul Phillips (North Dakota State), Monte Ross (Delaware) and Will Wade (Chattanooga).
The winner of the 2014 Durham award will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet on April 4 in Dallas, site of the Division I Men's Basketball Championship.