WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Fresh off winning the Big Ten regular-season championship for the second time in three years and Purdue’s first Elite Eight appearance in 19 years, head coach Matt Painter was named the National Association of Basketball Coaches National Coach of the Year, the organization announced Wednesday.
Painter becomes the second Purdue coach to win NABC National Coach of the Year accolades, joining Gene Keady on the list (1994, 2000). The award has been given out since 1959, and Purdue is one of two schools to have two coaches win the award since 2000 (Purdue, Kentucky).
Purdue finished the season with a 26-10 overall record and a 16-4 mark in the Big Ten, which was the nation’s toughest conference according to most analytics. After starting the year with a 6-5 record in mid-December, Purdue won 20 of its last 25 games with losses coming to two Final Four teams (Michigan State, Virginia), and two round of 32 teams (Maryland, Minnesota twice).
The Boilermakers found their success with a balanced inside-out attack. Carsen Edwards was named an All-American for the second straight year, Purdue made a Big Ten-record 365 3-pointers during the course of the season, seniors Ryan Cline and Grady Eifert stepped into major roles, Nojel Eastern and Matt Haarms had outstanding sophomore seasons and the Boilermakers’ four freshmen all showcased their potential during the 2018-19 season. The Boilermakers’ top 10 players were all playing in new and different roles this past season.
Purdue is one of just four teams to reach the Sweet 16 in three consecutive years (Purdue, Kentucky, Gonzaga, Michigan), and is one of six teams to win at least 26 games in four straight seasons (Purdue, Villanova, Kansas, North Carolina, Gonzaga, Kentucky).
Purdue finished the season ranked No. 13 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, joining North Carolina as the only two teams nationally to be ranked in the top 15 of the AP’s final poll in each of the last four seasons.
Painter and the Boilermakers have advanced to 11 NCAA Tournaments in the last 13 years, one of 11 schools to advance to 11 tournaments during that span. His four Big Ten Coach of the Year honors are tied for the third most in league history (Gene Keady – 7; Bobby Knight – 5), and he averages 11.3 league wins per season, good for the fifth-highest average in Big Ten history.
Painter’s 12 NCAA Tournament appearances are the most for an active coach under 55 years old. Painter is 48 years old. He has made five Sweet 16s in the last 11 years, the ninth-most Sweet 16 appearances during that span in the country.
Painter owns a 321-159 record in 14 years at Purdue and has moved into the all-time Big Ten top 10 wins list. His 11 NCAA Tournament appearances at Purdue are the sixth most in league history.
Purdue has been the Big Ten’s best program over the last three years, posting a 45-11 league mark during that span. Purdue’s 45 wins over the last three years are the third most in Big Ten history in a three-year span.