Tennessee State Men’s Basketball Head Coach Dana Ford added to his growing resume by earning the prestigious Ben Jobe Award for the 2015-16 season, presented annually to the top minority coach in Division I by CollegeInsider.com. Ford was one of 21 finalists for the award, a list that included Shaka Smart (Texas), Tubby Smith (Texas Tech), Ed Cooley (Providence), Avery Johnson (Alabama), James Jones (Yale) and Kelvin Sampson (Houston), among others.
“It’s definitely some great company to be associated with,” Ford said. “It’s another testament to how hard our guys worked to turn the program around, and I just happen to be the guy to oversee it. We’re very thankful to be associated with coaches like that, and I think that speaks volumes about where our program is heading.” The youngest D-1 head coach in the nation at 31 years old, Ford guided his Tigers to a 20-11 record and a berth in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. TSU’s 15-game improvement from last year’s 5-26 record is one of the biggest turnarounds in NCAA history.
Ford, who is in his second season as TSU’s head coach, helped TSU to its third 20-win season at the Division I level. For the season, Ford earned Ohio Valley Conference Coach of the Year, NABC District 19 Coach of the Year and BOXTOROW Coach of the Year. The award is named after Ben Jobe, who is an icon in the history of basketball at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He is best known as the head coach of Southern University, a position he held for 12 seasons. He has also served as head coach at Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Talladega, Tuskegee and South Carolina State.
The Jobe award was created in 2010 and is presented annually to the top minority coach in Division I basketball and voted on by a 30-person award committee consisting of five current DI head coaches, five retired head coaches, 10 athletic directors and/or conference administrators, five NBA scouts and/or administrators and five CollegeInsider.com staff members. Coach Ben Jobe is the chairman of the awards committee.