OGDEN, Utah (March 17, 2014) - Weber State’s Randy Rahe was selected by his peers as the 2013-14 Big Sky Conference men’s basketball Coach of the Year on Monday.
Rahe, who is in his eighth season, is the first coach in Big Sky history to claim the honor four times. Rahe previously won the honor following the 2006-07, 2008-09, and 2009-10 seasons.
“This award is an honor and it’s very humbling,’’ Rahe said. “I really believe the coaches in the league can coach against anyone. I have tremendous respect for every coach in this league and the jobs they do.”
Rahe guided Weber State to the Big Sky Conference regular-season title with a 14-6 record. The Wildcats took the No. 1 seed into last week’s Big Sky Conference Championship, and beat Northern Colorado in overtime in a semifinal and topped North Dakota 88-67 in the championship game. It was Weber State’s ninth Big Sky Championship, tied for most in league history.
Weber State will take a 19-11 overall record into the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats face No. 1 seed Arizona on Friday in San Diego, Calif.
The Wildcats opened the 2013-14 season as the preseason favorite, but battled some early-season struggles as it adjusted to a bevy of young talent. True freshmen Jeremy Senglin and Richaud Gittens, redshirt freshman Kyndahl Hill, and true sophomore Joel Bolomboy all were major cogs in the Wildcats’ success.
Weber State started conference play with a 3-5 overall record, including just one Division I victory and no road wins. The Wildcats won eight of their first nine, and 11 of their first 13 conference games to surge to the top of the standings.
“I feel like our team did improve as much as any team I’ve had,’’ Rahe said. “We were pretty darn young.’’
Weber State senior Davion Berry was named regular-season MVP. Senglin was named the Freshman of the Year. Bolomboy was tabbed as the Defensive Player of the Year. Berry was named First Team All-Conference, while senior center Kyle Tresnak was selected to the Second Team.
Weber State leads the Big Sky Conference in scoring defense, scoring margin, field-goal percentage defense, 3-point field-goal percentage, 3-point field-goal percentage defense, rebounding margin, and ranks second in free-throw percentage, field-goal percentage, and blocked shots.
During the season, Rahe moved into second place on the Big Sky’s all-time list for conference victories with 106. Rahe also ranks fifth on the all-time victories list with 169. Rahe is one of just three coaches in league history with 100 conference wins. Weber State has won at least 10 conference games in all eight of Rahe’s seasons.
Rahe has guided Weber State to four regular-season conference titles, and two postseason titles. The Wildcats have advanced to at least the conference semifinals in all eight of his seasons. His teams have played in national postseason tournaments seven times, with two NCAA appearances, two NIT appearances, two CIT bids, and one CBI invitation. The Wildcats finished second in the 2012-13 CIT.
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“From my standpoint this is a team award,’’ Rahe said. “I have a great coaching staff that does a tremendous job for me, and I have really good players who buy into the system. They make me look a lot better than what I am.’’
Rahe is assisted by associate head coach Eric Duft, Phil Beckner and Kellen McCoy. Garrett Lever is the director of basketball operations.
Rahe, a native of Bancroft, Iowa, was an assistant at the Division I level from 1989-2006, working at Colorado, Denver, Colorado State, Utah State and Utah.
He and his wife Laura are the parents of two sons, Luke, and Kade.