Canisius College head men's basketball coach Jim Baron has been named one of 21 finalists for the 2013 Hugh Durham Award, which is given annually by CollegeInsider.com to the nation's top-mid-major head coach.
The award, which will be presented at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet in Atlanta during the 2013 NCAA Final Four, is named to honor Hugh Durham, who retired from coaching after the 2004-05 season. Durham is one of 12 head coaches to lead two different programs to the Final Four (Florida State in 1972 and Georgia in 1983), and he is the only coach in that group to hold the distinction of having led both programs to their lone Final Four appearance.
In his first season as the Golden Griffins' head coach, Baron has helped lead the Blue and Gold to an 18-13 overall record and an 11-7 mark in MAAC play. The 18 wins stand as the most victories for Canisius since 2000-01 and the 11 conference wins are the most for the program since 1998-99. Baron's 18 wins this season are the most for a Canisius coach in his first year with the program since Earl Brown won 18 games in 1946-47, and the team's 13-win improvement over last season marks the largest single-season turnaround in program history. Baron won his 400th career game at the Division I level Jan. 17, when the Griffs defeated Manhattan at home. Among all MAAC head coaches (current or former), Baron is just the fifth head coach to win 400 career games at the Division I level for his career.A four-time Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year honoree, Baron is in his 26th season as a Division I head coach, with previous stops at St. Francis (Pa.), St. Bonaventure and Rhode Island. He was named the 23rd head coach in Canisius program history April 2, 2012. A 1977 graduate of St. Bonaventure, Baron has compiled eight 20-win seasons while guiding his teams to a total of 12 postseason appearances, including the 2013 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament and two NCAA Tournaments.