After losing five seniors to graduation following the 2008-09 season, Belmont men's basketball team was picked to finish anywhere from fourth to seventh in the Atlantic Sun Conference standings this season by various preseason publications.
But in molding a roster comprised of 10 underclassmen, head coach Rick Byrd led the Bruins to a share of their third Atlantic Sun Conference Regular Season Championship in the past five years.
In doing so, Byrd on Friday was named Atlantic Sun Conference Coach of the Year by CollegeInsider.com.
Moreover, in winning 14 league games this season, Belmont joins 2008 National Champion Kansas in an exclusive fraternity as the only programs in the nation to win 12 or more regular season conference games each of the past eight seasons.
Prior to the season, Byrd was named one of the Top 10 ‘Under the Radar Coaches’ in America by Athlon Sports.
The Knoxville native ranks 14th among all active NCAA Division I head coaches in career victories with 580. This season, Byrd shared Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year honors with Campbell’s Robbie Laing.
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