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30, 2012


NEW ORLEANS, LA -- USC Upstate's Eddie Payne is the recipient of the 2012 Hugh Durham National Coach of the Year award.

Payne led USC Upstate to 21-13 record, which culminated with a win in the 2012 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). Upstate's 21 wins are the most for the Spartans in the D-I era and are more than the club posted the three previous seasons combined. Coach Payne and the Spartans currently own the best turnaround in all of Division I with a 16-win improvement compared to the 2010-11 season.

"Coach Payne did a phenomenal job," said Angela Lento, co-founder of CollegeInsider.com. "The Spartans had a special season, going from winning just five games in 2011 to twenty-one wins and a win in postseason is pretty impressive."

The Spartans are just the second team to post 20 or more wins in their first season of full NCAA D-I eligibility after completing the five-year transition from D-II to D-I. North Dakota State posted 26 wins in their first season of full eligibility (2008-09).

The Hugh Durham Award is given annually to the nation's top mid-major coach. In 2005 the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Coach of the Year award was renamed in honor of Hugh Durham, the coaching legend who had retired at the end of the 2004-05 season. Durham is one of just twelve coaches to have led two different programs to the NCAA Final Four (Florida State in 1972 and Georgia in 1983). He is the only coach among that group to have led both schools to their lone Final Four appearance.

The award was presented at the CollegeInsider.com awards banquet in New Orleans, site of the men's NCAA Basketball Championship.


Tommy Amaker Harvard
Rod Barnes Cal State Bakersfield
Randy Bennett Saint Mary's
Horace Broadnax Savannah State
Tim Clues Iona
John Cooper Tennessee State
Scott Cross UT-Arlington
Kermit Davis Middle Tennessee State
Bryce Drew Valparaiso
Bruiser Flint Drexel
Gregg Marshall Wichita State
Steve Masiello Manhattan
Greg McDermott Creighton
Dan Monson Long Beach State
Scott Nagy South Dakota State
Eddie Payne USC Upstate
Steve Prohm Murray State
Joe Scott Denver
Shaka Smart VCU
Scott Sutton Oral Roberts
Sean Woods Mississippi Valley State


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