Gonzaga's Mark Few Wins 2021 Naismith Men's Coach of the Year Award

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 2, 2021

Gonzaga head coach Mark Few waves to fans after beating Creighton 83-65 in a Sweet 16 game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

After leading Gonzaga to the first undefeated regular season in program history, Mark Few has been named the 2020-21 Naismith Men's Coach of the Year.

The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Few as the winner of the award on Friday. He issued a statement about receiving the honor:

"The Werner Ladder Naismith Coach of the Year is an incredible honor. I'm very humbled by it because I'm surrounded by so many amazing coaches in our profession that I look up to and really hold in great reverence. Especially with the year we all have been through, I think everybody did an amazing job shepherding their teams through all the challenges. This really means a lot. It's great to be honored, and I appreciate it."

Few beat out fellow finalists Scott Drew of Baylor, Juwan Howard of Michigan and Nate Oats of Alabama. This marks the second time in his career that the 58-year-old has been named Naismith Men's Coach of the Year. The Oregon native previously won it in 2016-17 after a 32-1 regular season and a trip to the national title game. 

Gonzaga is two wins away from being the first men's program to finish undefeated since the 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers.

The Bulldogs entered this season with high expectations after being ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press preseason Top 25. They have held that position all season and earned the top overall seed in the NCAA men's tournament. 

Gonzaga leads the nation in scoring offense (91.6 points per game) and outscores opponents by an average of 23.1 points per game in 2020-21. Only one of its 30 games thus far have been decided by fewer than 10 points (87-82 against West Virginia on Dec. 2). 

Despite playing in a mid-major conference, Few has turned the West Coast Conference school into a national powerhouse since replacing Dan Monson as head coach prior to the 1999-2000 season. They have made 20 consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament and has earned a No. 1 seed four times since 2012-13. 

Few will lead Gonzaga into the Final Four for the second time in school history. The Bulldogs will play UCLA on Saturday at 8:34 p.m. ET, with the winner advancing to the championship game Monday.