Joplin, Mo. -- Missouri Southern men's basketball coach Robert Corn has been named one of 12 finalists for the Clarence "Big House" Gaines Division II National Coach of the Year Award.
The award is presented annually to the top division II men's basketball coach. It is named for one of the best coaches of all-time, Clarence Gaines, who retired from Winston-Salem State University in 1993 with a record of 828-446. At the time he was the winningest active basketball coach in NCAA history. He was elected to Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982.
Corn led the Lions to the 2014 MIAA Basketball Tournament Title. He ended his illustrious career on the sidelines at Missouri Southern after 25 seasons with the most wins ever by a coach at the school (413). He has the fourth-most wins amongst coaches in MIAA history and led the Lions to 16-straight trips to the MIAA Tournament, 21 overall, and this season was named the MIAA Coach of the Year, his fourth overall, after picking up the ninth 20-win season in his career at Southern.
This year the Lions made the program's fifth appearance in the NCAA Tournament under Corn after going 25-6 overall. Southern finished the season as one of the best-shooting teams in the history of the program. The team set the single-season mark for field goal percentage (.510), as well as three-point field goal percentage (.413), besting the marks of .506 from the field in 1980-81 and .391 from long-range in 1988-89.
The other finalists include Derrick Clark (Metropolitan State), Robert Corn (Missouri Southern), Rick Croy (Cal Baptist), Michael Donnelly (Southern Connecticut State), Leon Douglas (Tuskegee), Stan Gouard (Indianapolis), Steve Hettinga (Lake Superior State), Jeff Oliver (Cal State San Bernardino), Lonn Reisman (Tarleton State), Josh Schertz (Lincoln Memorial), Jeff Wilson (East Stroudsburg) and Greg Zimmerman (Alderson-Broaddus).
The winner of the 2014 Gaines award will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet on April 4 in Dallas, site of the Division I Men's Final Four. All finalists and their coaching staffs are invited to the 2014 Awards Banquet.