Akron's Keith Dambrot named MAC Coach of the Year for second straight season

CLEVELAND -- University of Akron men’s basketball coach Keith Dambrot has been named the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year for the second straight year, the league announced Wednesday afternoon.

With this year’s honor, Dambrot has been named the MAC Coach of the Year three times, first in 2013, and then, each of the last two seasons.

“It is an honor to win this award,” Dambrot said in a release announcing the award. “There are a lot of great coaches in this league. This is a tribute to our team and coaching staff’s dedication and continued success.”

The MAC Coach of the Year Award is just the latest achievement for the Zips’ coach, who is now in his 13th year with the school.

Earlier this season, Dambrot won his 400th career game, as well as his 300th victory at The University of Akron on the way to leading the Zips to their second straight MAC regular-season championship and the top seed in this week’s conference tournament at Quicken Loans Arena.

With an 89-84 win over Bowling Green on January 3, Dambrot become Akron’s all-time wins leader, surpassing the previous mark of 288 set by Russell Beichly, who guided the Zips for 19 seasons from 1941-1959.

Dambrot enters the MAC Tournament with a 302-137 record at Akron, including a 155-65 mark in conference action. The Zips carried a 30-game home winning streak through much of the last two seasons, and that set a new mark for consecutive wins at The James A. Rhodes Arena.

Akron is 175-24 at The JAR under Dambrot’s direction.

During the regular season, Akron posted a 24-7 record, including a 14-4 slate in MAC play, which marked the 12th straight season the Zips have won at least 21 games. Along with Akron, only Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas and Ohio State have posted 11 straight 21-win seasons.

Akron opens up MAC Tournament play in Cleveland on Thursday afternoon. One of four teams to get a bye into the quarterfinals, the top-seeded Zips will face off against the Eastern Michigan Eagles with a semifinal berth on the line.

Dambrot has guided the Zips to a 19-5 record in their last 24 MAC Tournament games.

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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