SDSU's Steve Fisher to be Recipient of Wooden Legends of Coaching Award
LOS ANGELES - San Diego State men's basketball head coach Steve Fisher will receive the John R. Wooden Award's Legends of Coaching honor in 2015. The announcement, made by Wooden's daughter, Nan Wooden, took place at the annual Los Angeles Athletic Club Wooden Award Tipoff Luncheon on Wednesday. The prestigious award recognizes coaches who exemplify Wooden's high standards of coaching success and personal integrity.
The Legends of Coaching award was adopted by the Wooden Award Steering Committee in 1999. Fisher is the first coach of a Southern California school to win the award, and he was at the LAAC today representing SDSU at the annual tipoff luncheon for the surprise announcement.
The honorees are selected based on character, success on the court, graduation rates of student-athletes, coaching philosophy and identification with the goals of the John R. Wooden Award. The first recipient was North Carolina's Dean Smith. Fisher will be recognized, along with the men's and women's 2015 John R. Wooden Award winners and the Wooden Award All-America teams, at the Los Angeles Athletic Club during the weekend of April 10-12, 2015.
In 15 seasons at SDSU, Fisher has guided the Aztecs to seven NCAA tournament appearances, 10 postseason berths overall, eight Mountain West championships and 10 seasons of at least 20 wins, including the last nine years. More recently, the 2011 National Coach of the Year has led San Diego State to the NCAA tournament five seasons in a row, including a pair of Sweet 16 appearances the last four years in 2011 and 2014. In 2011, the Aztecs captured the MW regular-season and tournament crowns en route to a 34-3 record and nearly duplicated the effort in 2014 by winning the conference regular season and posting a 31-5 record.
The 39th Annual Wooden Award Gala presented by Wendy's will celebrate the male and female Wooden Award All-America Teams and the Legends of Coaching Award winner, and will include the announcement of the Wooden Award winner. The Gala will take place in April in Los Angeles.
Legends of Coaching Honorees
2015 - Steve Fisher, San Diego State
2014 - Tara VanDerveer, Stanford
2013 - Bill Self, Kansas
2012 - Geno Auriemma, Connecticut
2011 - Tom Izzo, Michigan State
2010 - Billy Donovan, Florida
2009 - Rick Barnes, Texas
2008 - Pat Summitt, Tennessee
2007 - Gene Keady, Purdue
2006 - Jim Boeheim, Syracuse
2005 - Jim Calhoun, Connecticut
2004 - Mike Montgomery, Stanford
2003 - Roy Williams, Kansas
2002 - Denny Crum, Louisville
2001 - Lute Olson, Arizona
2000 - Mike Krzyzewski, Duke
1999 - Dean Smith, North Carolina
About the John R. Wooden Award
Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation's best basketball player at an NCAA Division I university who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include Larry Bird ('79), Michael Jordan ('84), Tim Duncan ('97), Brittney Griner ('12 and '13) and last year's recipients, Chiney Ogwumike of Stanford and Doug McDermott of Creighton.
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed nearly one million dollars to universities' general scholarship fund in the names of the All American recipients and has sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament brings together Special Olympics athletes and the All American players and coaches in attendance. It is hosted at The Los Angeles Athletic Club during the John R. Wooden Award weekend.
The Legends of Coaching Award will be presented at the 39th Annual Wooden Award Gala Celebration, which will take place the weekend of April 10-12, 2015. For up-to-date information on the Wooden Award, please go to Facebook.com/WoodenAward and WoodenAward.com.