UD Head Coach Jim Jabir was named a finalist for the Kay Yow Coach of the Year Award
BOSTON – University of Dayton women’s basketball coach Jim Jabir was one of 10 finalists announced for the inaugural Kay Yow Award Tuesday.
The Kay Yow Award was established to honor the Division I women’s head coach who embodies not only a winning spirit but who also displays great character both on and off the court. The award will be presented at the 2010 Women's Final Four in San Antonio.
“I am humbled to be among these great coaches for this award in memory of Kay Yow, who represented everything good about college basketball,” said Jabir. “It’s just an honor to be nominated and recognized. It is a tribute to the way things are done at the University of Dayton, my great staff and our players.”
The other finalists are: Geno Auriemma (UConn), Nikki Caldwell (UCLA), Sherri Coale (Oklahoma), Muffett McGraw (Notre Dame), Jennifer Rizzoti (Hartford), Sue Semrau (Florida State), Pat Summitt (Tennessee), Tara VanDerveer (Stanford) and Connie Yori (Nebraska).
Yow was a coaching legend who led NC State to 737 wins during her 34 seasons at the school. She was wildly successful in every forum in which she coached, leading gold medal winners at the 1981 World University Games, the 1986 Goodwill Games, 1986 World Championship Games and the 1988 Olympic Games.
“I coached against Kay in the NCAA tournament and lost back in the 90s. Ever since we would visit and always had pleasant talks. To be nominated for an award in her honor is very special,” said Jabir. “It was very evident she cared about her kids, yet still excelled at this level of competition. To have both the compassion and excellence she had was truly a great gift.”
Jabir was diagnosed in 2004 with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD), a rare, heredity heart problem that causes sudden-death syndrome, especially in athletes. He has overcome this medical malady and has led his Flyer squad to a 24-7 record this season, his transformation of the program is starting to come full circle. He took Dayton from three wins to three consecutive 20-plus win seasons in just seven years. It’s only the second time – and the first in modern program history – that the Flyers have posted three consecutive seasons with at least 20 wins.
"Coach Jabir is a great example of how hard work and doing the right thing can lead to amazing results,” said UD junior captain Kristin Daugherty. “He holds each of us to high expectations while still showing he cares about our entire team. The family atmosphere he brings to this program makes playing here that much more enjoyable."
UD made history by defeating its first Top 10 team in program history, a 77-74 win over No. 10 Michigan State (current RPI of 16). The Flyers won the BTI Classic with wins over the host Purdue (ranked No. 23 at the time), Georgetown (current RPI of 17) and Seattle.
UD won the most Atlantic 10 games in Flyer program history, going 11-3 in the league. The second-place finish was also the best for Dayton.
This season Dayton also entered the AP and ESPN/USA Today polls for the first time, peaking as high as No. 20. They received votes in at least one of the polls for 18 consecutive weeks.
With high NCAA Tournament hopes, Dayton will learn its postseason fate this Monday, March 15. That is when the ESPN Selection Monday Special will present the exclusive live announcement of the 64-team NCAA Tournament field from 7 to 8 p.m. ET.
2010 KAY YOW AWARD FINALISTS