March 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 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 "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 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 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

The Hugh Durham Award, which is presented annually to the top Division I mid-major coach in college basketball, is named after a coach who built winning programs at three different universities.
In eight seasons as the head coach at Jacksonville University, Durham became the Dolphins' all-time winningest Division I coach (106 wins), making him the only coach in NCAA history to be the winningest coach (pct. or wins) at three different Division I schools. 
He built national programs at Florida State where he holds the record for best winning percentage with a 230-95 (.708) record in 12 years. And at Georgia where he is also the all-time winningest coach in the 99-year history of the Bulldog program, having won 297 games in 17 seasons.
Coaches of teams in the following conferences are eligible for the award: America East, ASUN, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Coastal Athletic, CUSA, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, MEAC, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, SWAC, Summit, Sun Belt, WAC, West Coast.
The recipient of the 2023-24 award will be announced in April, in Phoenix, AZ site of the men's NCAA Basketball Championship.

2023: Amir Abdur-Rahim, Kennesaw State
2022: Robert Jones, Norfolk State
2021: Byron Smith, Prairie View A&M
2020: Steve Forbes, ETSU
2019: Darian DeVries, Drake

2018: Ryan Odom, UMBC

2017: Rod Barnes, CSU Bakersfield

2016: James Jones, Yale

2015: Brian Katz, Sacramento State

2014: Tony Jasick, IPFW

2013: Danny Kaspar, Stephen F. Austin

2012: Eddie Payne, USC Upstate

: Rick Byrd, Belmont
2010: Mike Young, Wofford
2009: Todd Bozeman, Morgan State
2008: Keno Davis, Drake
2007: Greg Marshall, Winthrop
2006: Pat Flannery, Bucknell
2005: Bob Thomason, Pacific

The Hugh Durham award is presented annually to the top division I mid-major head coach as voted on by the award committee.

Eligible coaches must be in the following conferences or leagues: America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Summit, Sun Belt, West Coast and Western Athletic.

The 10-member voting committee consists of current and former head coaches, as well as two senior staff members of

The award is presented annually at the site of the men's Division I NCAA basketball championship. 

NOTE: The basis for mid-major designation is based on the criteria established by the Mid-Major Top 25 ® which was created by and is a registered trademark.

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