Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Campbellsville's Keith Adkins Named NABC/NAIA National Coach of the Year

Campbellsville University head coach Keith Adkins was named NABC/NAIA Division I National Coach of the Year at the annual Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Championships tip-off banquet last night.

Adkins has led the Tigers to a 28-5 overall record so far this season. They will enter the national tournament as the No. 5 overall seed this week.

Here's a release from CU:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After a record-breaking year, the trophy case is filling up, and Campbellsville University men's basketball head coach Keith Adkins has yet another award to squeeze in. Adkins was named the NABC/NAIA Division I National Coach of the Year at the annual Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Championships tip-off banquet hosted at the Kansas City Convention Center Tuesday night, March 17.

It is the first time a CU men's basketball coach has received the honor and also the first award for any Mid-South Conference men's basketball head coach. (Georgetown's Jim Reid received the honor in 1994 prior to the MSC's formation).

"This is an incredible honor," said Adkins. "It really does mean a lot to be recognized for having a great season. As I mentioned at the banquet, this is an award shared with all of our players and the entire coaching staff. I am blessed to be surrounded by a group."

Campbellsville will enter the NAIA National Tournament as the No. 5 seed with a 28-5 overall record. The Tigers will play LSU-Shreveport in the opening round on Thursday, March 19 at 9 p.m. EDT. You can follow the game live, HERE.

CU was ranked No. 1 in the polls for three-straight weeks in January and played its way into being named Mid-South Conference Regular Season co-champions and winning the MSC Tournament championship. It was the first regular season title since 2010 and first tournament title since 2006. Adkins was also named the Mid-South Conference Coach of Year for the second time in his 15-year career as head coach.

Adkins is only four wins shy of the 300-win milestone. He brings a 296-192 overall record into the five-round national tournament.

"Everything just seemed to click this year," said Adkins. "I really enjoyed coaching last year's group and we have enough talent to win but we never could get any breaks. This year we stayed healthy and stayed together and the ball just seemed to bounce our way more times than not."

Adkins' squad went from a 14-15 record and being eliminated in the first round of the conference tournament in 2013-14 to tying the most wins in program history with 28. The win total ties former coach Travis Ford's record of 28-3 in 1998-99.

The CU coaching staff brought in three high-caliber transfers (D'Von Campbell, Damontre Harris and Rob Robinson) to compliment their returning All-Conference players Eric Gaines and Darius Clement and also 2014 MSC Freshman of the Year Miles Rice.

"Congratulations to Coach Adkins on this great honor," said CU Athletics Director Rusty Hollingsworth. "He has done a great job of recruiting and blending talent and this year was certainly an outstanding year."

Adkins isn't just a coach on the court but also helps mold young college basketball players into men once they graduate. During his time, three Tigers have been awarded MSC Champions of Character with the most recent coming this year in Darius Clement.

"Keith works and coaches hard but he never loses sight of why these men are in this program," said Hollingsworth. "He holds them accountable off the court with academics and the way they represent Campbellsville University."

"Knowing Coach Adkins for close to 10 years I can tell you that I am extremely proud of this accomplishment," said CU senior guard Darius Clement. "This is an award long over due. Coach A has been a major asset to the development of my game but also the other players games as well. He's been very hard on me the last four years, probably more than any other player he has coached but that has helped me more than he knows. I would not be the player or person I am today if its wasn't for the tough love displayed by him every day. I just want to say that I love you coach, I appreciate everything and it's been a great four years on your team."

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