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Mark Few Named Naismith Coach of Year

Mark Few Matt York, The Associated Press

After leading the Gonzaga Bulldogs to their first national championship appearance in school history on Saturday, head coach Mark Few was named Naismith Coach of the Year Sunday. Other finalists included Chris Collins (Northwestern), Bill Self (Kansas) and Jay Wright (Villanova). It was announced Friday that Self will be inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame.

“It’s truly an honor to be chosen for the Naismith Award,” said Few in a press release. “It takes a village to have a season like this. I’m blessed to have the best coaching staff in the country and a phenomenal group of players that are a joy to coach. This has been such a special year and I am grateful to be recognized by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.”

This season, the Bulldogs (37-1) suffered their only loss of the season to Brigham Young, in their final game of the regular season. Gonzaga, in their 19th consecutive N.C.A.A. tournament appearance, reached their first trip to the Final Four in school history and advanced to the national championship game with a 77-73 victory over South Carolina Saturday.

“Mark has been a model of consistency throughout his tenure at Gonzaga, but reaching the Final Four made this season truly special, and he deserves tremendous credit for leading the team to that remarkable accomplishment,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “Our voters made a terrific choice in selecting him the Werner Ladder Coach of the Year.”

After leading Gonzaga to the program’s fifth consecutive West Coast Conference regular-season championship and its fifth straight WCC tournament championship, Few was named WCC Coach of the Year for the 11th time.

In the final on Monday night, the Bulldogs will face a fellow No. 1 seed, North Carolina, which beat Oregon by 77-76 later on Saturday.

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