NSU’s Gipson named finalist for two national coaching awards

Another day, more recognition for first-year Northwestern State head men’s basketball coach Corey Gipson.

A day after being named a finalist for the Ben Jobe Award, Gipson was honored as a finalist for two more coaching honors – the Hugh Durham Coach of the Year Award and the Joe B. Hall Coach of the Year Award.

The Hugh Durham Award, named after the coach who set program records for winning percentage at Florida State (.705) and for career wins at Georgia (297), is given to the top coach among Division I mid-major conferences. Those conferences are the America East, ASUN, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Horizon, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, MEAC, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, SWAC, Summit, Sun Belt, WAC and West Coast conferences.

Gipson is one of 20 finalists for the Durham Award

The Joe B. Hall Award, named in honor of the national championship-winning Kentucky coach, is presented annually to the top first-time head coach in Division I. Gipson is one of 10 finalists for the award.

In his first season at Northwestern State, Gipson has led the Demons to a 12- win improvement and the No. 2 seed in the Southland Conference Tournament. NSU begins play in the event Tuesday night at 8 against either No. 7 seed New Orleans or No. 3 seed Southeastern.

Gipson became the first head coach to lead the Demons to a 20-win season in his first year as a head coach in NSU’s Division I era. The Demons’ 64-63 win at then-No. 15 TCU on Nov. 14 was NSU’s first victory against an AP Top 25 since the March 17, 2006, win against Iowa in the NCAA Tournament.

Northwestern State’s 21 wins are its most in a season since 2012-13 while the Demons’ nine-game win streak from Jan. 19-Feb. 16 was the longest since a 10-game run in 2012-13. The Demons’ 13 Southland Conference wins are its most since the 2014-15 season.

The Demons had the 2022-23 Southland Conference Player and Newcomer of the Year, DeMarcus Sharp, and set a school record for made 3-pointers with 265. The Demons also led the Southland Conference in scoring defense for the first time since the 1989-90 season.

2022-23 Hugh Durham Award Finalists

Amir Abdur-Rahim, Kennesaw State

Kenneth Blakeney, Howard

Jerrod Calhoun, Youngstown State

Speedy Claxton, Hofstra

Darian DeVries, Drake

Pat Duquette, UMass Lowell

Corey Gipson, Northwestern State

Jason Hooten, Sam Houston

Donte’ Jackson, Grambling

James Jones, Yale

Tod Kowalczyk, Toledo

Pat Kelsey, Charleston

Jay Ladner, Southern Miss

Mark Madsen, Utah Valley

Mike Magpayo, UC Riverside

Bob Marlin, Louisiana

Paul Mills, Oral Roberts

Mike Morrell, UNC Asheville

Rick Pitino, Iona

Bob Richey, Furman 

2022-23 Joe B. Hall Award Finalists

Tobin Anderson, Fairleigh Dickinson

Chris Caputo, George Washington

Eric Duft, Weber State

Corey Gipson, Northwestern State

Michael Lewis, Ball State

Chris Markwood, Maine

Daniyal Robinson, Cleveland State

Jon Scheyer, Duke

Jerome Tang, Kansas State

Keith Urgo, Fordham