INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - - Belmont University men's basketball head coach Rick Byrd has been named recipient of the 2012 Bob Frederick Award, the NCAA announced Tuesday.
The Frederick Award, first presented in 2009 to honor the late Kansas and Illinois State athletic director, is awarded annually to an NCAA member institution coach or administrator who exhibits a lifelong commitment to sportsmanship and ethical conduct, leading by example, and promoting positive fan involvement in and out of competition. Like Frederick, recipients of the award are known by their sincere passion for student-athletes and colleagues.
One of the most respected figures in college basketball, Byrd has overseen a program marked by unparalleled on-court and academic achievement.
The Knoxville, Tenn. native joins Bill Self of Kansas and John Calipari of Kentucky as one of three head coaches in the nation to lead their program to an NCAA Tournament automatic berth five of the last seven years. Moreover, with 637 career victories, Byrd ranks eighth among all active NCAA Division I head coaches in wins.
In the classroom, Belmont men's basketball leads the nation in Capital One Academic All-America selections since 2001 with 10. Belmont, which has posted 13 consecutive years of team GPA of 3.0 or higher, is also one of only six programs in NCAA Division I men's basketball to make the NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) Public Recognition List every year since its inception in 2006.
This is the latest national honor for Byrd. Following the Bruins' historic 30-5 campaign in 2011, Byrd was named Hugh Durham National Coach of the Year. A back-to-back recipient of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 3 Coach of the Year Award, Byrd is a two-time finalist for the Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award, established in 2008 to honor the former Xavier and Wake Forest head coach who embodied the qualities of moral integrity on and off the court.
An NAIA Hall of Famer and Dr. James Naismith National Sportsmanship Award recipient, Byrd will be inducted into the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame Aug. 23.
The Bob Frederick Award is one part of the NCAA's annual sportsmanship award program. Nominations are solicited nationally; the NCAA Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct selected the winners.
Frederick's son, Brad, is an assistant men's basketball coach at Vanderbilt University.
For more information on the Bob Frederick Award and the NCAA Sportsmanship Award, log onto ncaa.org.