Tang Named to Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year Watch List

MANHATTAN, Kan. – First-year head coach Jerome Tang has been selected to the Late Season Watch List for the 2023 Werner Ladder Naismith Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year, as announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club on Friday (February 17).

Tang was one of 15 candidates on the Watch List, which also included fellow Big 12 head coaches T.J. Otzelberger of Iowa State and Rodney Terry of Texas. The other coaches on the list included Saint Mary’s Randy Bennett, Pittsburgh’s Jeff Capel, Northwestern’s Chris Collins, UCLA’s Mick Cronin, Missouri’s Dennis Gates, Charleston’s Pat Kelsey, Florida Atlantic’s Dusty May, Xavier’s Sean Miller, Alabama’s Nate Oats, Purdue’s Matt Painter, Houston’s Kelvin Sampson and Marquette’s Shaka Smart.

The 10-member semifinalist list for the award will be announced on Thursday, March 9 then whittled to four finalists on Monday, March 20. The winner will be named on Sunday, April 2 at the Naismith Awards Brunch at the Final Four in Houston. The final round includes an opportunity for fans to participate through the Naismith Award Fan Vote presented by Jersey’s Mike’s and accounts for 5 percent of the total vote and runs from March 21-28.

Tang has helped No. 12/14 Kansas State (19-7, 7-6 Big 12) to one of the best starts in the last 50 seasons, as the Wildcats’ current 19-7 record ties two other teams for the seventh-best in that time span and the best since 2018-19. Only the 1972-73, 1976-77, 1981-82, 2009-10, 2012-13 and 2018-19 teams have a better record in that stretch.

Tang’s current record ranks among the very best by all first-year coaches in Division I, tying fellow Watch List candidates, Missouri’s Dennis Gates (19-7) and Xavier’s Sean Miller (19-7) for the best mark.

Among Tang’s 19 victories this season are five against AP Top 25 opponents, which ties for the second-most in school history and the most since the 2014-15 team tied the school-record with six such victories. His seven Big 12 victories are the most by the school since winning the Big 12 title in 2018-19.

Tang also guided K-State to a 12-1 record in non-conference play, which was the most victories in non-conference play since winning a program-best 13 in 2009-10. He helped the Wildcats win the Cayman Islands Classic in November, which was the school’s first in-season tournament title since 2017.

Tang was selected as the 25th head men’s basketball coach at K-State on March 21, 2022, after serving as the one of the chief architects in helping build Baylor into a national powerhouse in his 19 seasons as an assistant and associate head coach from 2003 to 2022.

No. 12/14 K-State returns home on Saturday afternoon when the Wildcats play host to No. 19/18 Iowa State (17-8, 8-5 Big 12) at 1 p.m., CT on ESPN. The game is already a sellout.

How to follow the ‘Cats: For complete information on K-State men’s basketball, visit www.kstatesports.com and follow the team’s social media channels on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.