What Tommy Lloyd accomplished in his first year at Arizona, not to mention first season as a college head coach, is nearly unprecedented. And it was definitely worthy of major national awards.
The National Association of Basketball Coaches has named Lloyd its National Coach of the Year, the first UA coach to win the award and the first time an Arizona coach has received a national coaching honor since Lute Olson did so in 2001-02.
Lloyd led Arizona to a 33-4 record in his first go-around, tied for the third-most wins in school history and one shy of the Division I record for a first year coach set by North Carolina’s Bill Guthridge in 1998. Lloyd is also the third coach to earn his team a No. 1 seed in his first season, following Guthridge and Indiana State’s Bill Hodges (1979).
Arizona went 18-2 in the Pac-12, the most conference wins in league history, and won the Pac-12 Tournament title. Lloyd was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year, one of five major conference awards for the Wildcats including Player of the Year (Bennedict Mathurin), Defensive Player of the Year (Christian Koloko), Most Improved Player (Koloko) and Sixth Man of the Year (Pelle Larsson).