UNI’s Jacobson Named MVC’s Top Coach
For the fourth time in his career, UNI men's basketball coach Ben Jacobson has been named Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year.
Jacobson was named league's top coach after guiding the Panthers to the regular season championship and the top-seed in this week's MVC Tournament, known as Arch Madness, in St. Louis. He joins former Drake Coach Maury John as the only coaches in league history to win the award four times.
Now in his 14th season at the helm of the UNI program, Jacobson is the longest-tenured of any current MVC coach. He has directed the Panthers to 291 wins during his tenre, the fourth-most victories in league history. Jacobson's 153 conference wins rank fifth-best, while his 16-9 record in Arch Madness ranks third for most MVC Tournament wins.
In addition to this season, Jacobson led UNI to league titles in 2009 and 2010 as the top seed while also winning the tournament championship in 2015 and 2016.
Several UNI players were also recognized by the Missouri Valley Conference this week. On Tuesday, A.J. Green was named the Larry Bird Player of the Year and Isaiah Brown was honored as the league's Defensive Player of the Year. On Wednesday, Trae Berhow was named to the MVC's Most Improved Team.
Three Panthers earned MVC Scholar Athlete honors Thursday morning. Green (3.61 cumulative grade point average in movement/political science) was named Scholar-Athlete of the Year, while Austin Phyfe (3.56 gpa in elementary/middle level education) was named First Team Scholar Athlete and Justin Dahl (3.35 gpa in business analytics) earned Honorable Mention honors.
Arch Madness for UNI begins Friday at noon against No. 8-seed Drake, which beat No. Illinois State in a first-round game Thursday night. The Panthers are seeking their first NCAA Tournament berth since the 2016 season