Bo Ryan and Acie Law Earn Top Awards
March 30, 2007
Chip Hilton Sports and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame are proud to announce Coach Bo Ryan of the University of Wisconsin as the 2007 recipient of the Coach Clair Bee Award and Acie Law IV of Texas A&M University as this year's Chip Hilton Award winner.
Four of the nation's premier basketball coaches and four outstanding graduating players were named as finalists for the eleventh annual prestigious Clair Bee and Chip Hilton Awards, to be presented by the Basketball Hall of Fame and Chip Hilton Sports during the Final Four in Atlanta on April 2 at the Hall of Fame's "Family Brunch" at the downtown Hyatt.
The Coach Clair Bee Award honors the Active Division I men's basketball coach who has made the most significant positive contribution to his sport during the preceding year. The winner reflects the character and professional qualities of Clair Bee, a Hall of Fame coach whom many consider the best technical basketball coach in history and a man who cared deeply about his players' well being.
The four finalists for the Clair Bee Award were: Tony Bennett (Washington State), Bo Ryan (Wisconsin), Scott Sutton (Oral Roberts), and John Thompson III (Georgetown University).
Coach Bo Ryan has led his Badgers to the NCAA Tournament in each of his six seasons in Madison. Wisconsin's No. 2 seed in this year's NCAA Tournament is the best in school history. The Badgers were ranked in the top 10 for 17 weeks this season, including the program's first-ever No. 1 ranking.
In his sixth season, Bo Ryan is 142-55 (.721) at UW and is 525-158 overall having coached at UW-Platteville and UW-Milwaukee. He led the Badgers to back-to-back Big Ten titles in 2001-2002 and 2002-2003, their first titles since 1947.
This season, the Badgers finished the year at 30-6 and were among the nation's leaders in scoring defense and in fewest fouls and fewest turnovers.
The Chip Hilton Player of the Year Award honors a Division I graduating senior men's player for demonstrating outstanding character, leadership, and talent similar to the qualities evident in the 24-book Chip Hilton Sports Series. The books authored by Clair Bee enjoyed their first popularity in the late 1940s through the mid-1960s and were updated and re-released by Randy and Cindy Farley to a new generation of readers in 1999 and have sold over a million copies.
The four finalists for the Chip Hilton Award were: Adam Haluska (University of Iowa), Tre' Kelley (University of South Carolina), Acie Law IV (Texas A&M University), and Alando Tucker (University of Wisconsin).
The Selection Committee voted Acie Law IV as the recipient of this year's award.
Law, a 6-foot-3 senior guard from Dallas, Texas, averaged 18.1 points per game and 5.0 assists per game. Acie is Texas A&M's first consensus First Team All-American in school history. He led his team to the Sweet Sixteen this season and was named to the Academic All-Big 12 squad.
He started every game (34) in his senior season and 106-of-122 games in his four-year career, averaging 13.6 ppg for his career. Law endeared himself to teammates and fans with his numerous clutch performances at the end of games.
Acie, a May graduate, is active in "Aggie Athletes Involved", "The Big Event" (a campus-wide community service project), and the A&M basketball reading program for local elementary schools.
Coach Clair F. Bee, the late Long Island University coach and Hall of Famer, compiled an .826 lifetime winning percentage, still the best in major-college coaching history. Known as the "Innovator", Clair Bee's influence on the game also extended to strategies, (1-3-1 zone defense), (3-second rule), sports camps (Camp All-America and Kutsher's Sports Academy), writing technical coaching books, and conducting coaching clinics around the world.
By the time he left coaching in the 1950s, Clair Bee had already begun writing the Chip Hilton Sports Series, which are considered the top sports fiction series ever written.
Chip Hilton Sports and the Basketball Hall of Fame began presenting the awards in 1997 as a way to honor outstanding excellence and character in college basketball during the past season.
The Selection Committee is composed of: Jay Bilas, Dave Gavitt, Bob Hammel, Bob Knight, Pete Newell, Billy Packer, Dean Smith, Dick Vitale, and Kevin Weiberg.
Coach Jim Larranaga of George Mason University was the 2006 Clair Bee Award winner. Last season's Chip Hilton Award winner was Gerry McNamara of Syracuse University.
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