CLEVELAND – Postseason honors continued to roll in for the Akron Zips as ninth-year head men's basketball coach Keith Dambrot was named Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year, the league office announced on Wednesday.
Dambrot, who owns a 208-93 record at Akron, received 24 of 27 votes to earn his first MAC Coach of the Year honors. He is the second Zips' leader to earn the distinction, joining former head coach Dan Hipsher (1998).
"Earning Coach of the Year is a tribute to the consistency and success of our program, not only this season, but over the past nine years," Dambrot said. "There are a lot of people that have made this program a success, from the players and coaches to the support provided from the University."
Dambrot has guided the Zips to a 24-6 record and the program's second-consecutive MAC Regular Season championship (14-2), just the third repeat performance in the league in the last 30 years. Akron's 13-0 start to conference play broke Miami (Ohio)'s 55-year old record for the best league start in the MAC's 65 years of basketball (12-0, 1957-58).
On Feb. 25, while riding the nation's longest winning streak this season (19 games), Dambrot saw the Zips earn their first appearance in the USA TODAY Coaches Top-25 poll as UA checked in at No. 24. In fact, the Zips received votes for five-straight weeks, also a program record, as well as receiving 43 votes in the Feb. 25 AP poll, just 11 shy of cracking the top-25.
The 2012-13 season also saw Dambrot reach several coaching milestones, including his 200th Akron win (68-55 at Bowling Green on Jan. 30), his 300th career win (62-58 vs. Princeton on Dec. 30) and his 300th coaching appearance as a Zip [72-58 win vs. Miami (Ohio) on March 5].
Dambrot guided four Zips to All-MAC honors this season, the most of any team in the league, including Zeke Marshall (First-Team), Demetrius "Tree" Treadwell (Second-Team), Alex Abreu (Honorable Mention) and Jake Kretzer (All-Freshman). In addition to the all-conference honors, he helped Marshall become just the second MAC player to earn consecutive MAC Defensive Player of the Year award, as well as the fourth UA player to be named Defensive Player of the Year in the past five seasons.
The Zips will open the MAC Tournament as the No. 1 seed and will play in the semifinals on Friday, March 15, at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. ET and the contest will air live on SportsTime Ohio.