USA Today Sports on Monday named Brian Dutcher of San Diego State Coach of the Year.
Dutcher led this year’s Aztecs to the best regular-season record in program history, at 28-1. That earned them the Mountain West regular-season championship and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.
They finished the season at 30-2 after losing the Mountain West Tournament to Utah State. They will not move on to the NCAA Tournament though because of the mass cancellation of events due to the coronavirus.
San Diego State also set a school and Mountain West record for most conference wins, 17, in a campaign.
Under Dutcher’s guidance, SDSU remained Division I’s last unbeaten team from Jan. 15 to Feb. 22. The Aztecs finished the year as one of three teams in men’s hoops with two losses. SDSU’s was the first program to 30 victories this season.
His team also has been ranked in the AP Top-25 and Coaches Polls for 14 weeks. They spent a school record five-straight weeks at No. 4. Most recently, they ranked No. 6 in both polls.
The league’s media members and coaches also named Dutcher the Mountain West Coach of the Year.
The U.S. Basketball Writers Association named him Coach of the Year, for the district that covers the states of California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Arizona and Alaska. The recognition is especially significant, as the Aztecs did not play a game in five of the six states.
Dutcher joins his predecessor, Steve Fisher, as the only coach in the program’s Division I era to earn national and district Coach of the Year honors.
Fisher was recognized following the 2011 season as the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Naismith College Coach of the Year, and by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and Adolph Rupp Cup.
– Staff reports