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Thread: HPU's coach wins national honors

  1. #1
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    Jun 2011
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    Default HPU's coach wins national honors

    Not sure how we lost this one in the mail, but Hawai'i Pacific's Darren Vorderbruegge was named the D2 National Coach of the Year after winning the PacWest regular season and tournament titles and leading the Sharks to their first NCAA tournament appearance in 18 years. Here's the PacWest press release from Thursday:

    PHOENIX, Ariz. – Hawai’i Pacific men’s basketball head coach Darren Vorderbruegge won the Clarence “Big House” Gaines Award, presented to the top Division II basketball coach in the nation.

    The PacWest Coach of the Year and NABC West Region Co-Coach of the Year led the Sharks to their first PacWest regular season championship with an 18-2 conference record and first PacWest Championship tournament title. The Sharks reach the NCAA West Region semifinals, their first postseason appearance since 1999. HPU was ranked in the NABC Coaches’ Poll for 10-straight weeks, ascending to No. 3 on Feb. 7, the highest ranking in program history. He is the first HPU coach to post four-consecutive winning seasons in the NCAA era.

    “Coach Vorderbruegge has taken the program to new heights,” said’s Angela Lento. “His team plays an exciting brand of basketball and they defend.”

    One of the true legends of all-time, Gaines retired from Winston-Salem State University in 1993 with a record of 828-446. At the time he was the winningest active coach in NCAA history. Gaines was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982.

    During his 47-year tenure as head coach and athletic director at WSSU he coached professional basketball greats Cleo Hill (first African-American from a historically Black college and university to be drafted No. 1 by the National Basketball Association, St. Louis Hawks, 1961) and Earl “The Pearl” Monroe.

  2. #2

    Default Re: HPU's coach wins national honors

    Well-deserved honor. It was interesting when I propped up HPU earlier in the year, t hey were deemed a fluke by a few people here rather quickly. I don't think they were a fluke, they had an outstanding year.

  3. Default Re: HPU's coach wins national honors

    That's a great award, especially given the extra geographic challenges that Hawai'i schools face. They'll definitely be on my radar to watch closer next year given how well they've done the last few years, although it looks like they graduate a lot of their big producers from this season. It would be great for them to show they can rebuild it again now...


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