Phillips tagged for Spalding® DI MBB Coach of the Year

Gaining recognition after leading No. 13 seed Salt Lake (Utah) on a Cinderella run to the national championship, Todd Phillips was rewarded Wednesday with the Spalding® NJCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year Award from the NJCAA DI Men’s Basketball Committee.

Phillips guided the Bruins on a magical campaign through the NJCAA DI Men’s Basketball Championship field, knocking off four higher seeded teams en route to the national title. Salt Lake’s run culminated with a 74-64 victory over tournament-host Hutchinson (Kan.) in the championship final. After suffering three consecutive losses in mid-February, Phillips rallied his squad down the stretch to close out the year with nine straight victories for a 31-8 record overall.

Winning his first national championship in just his fifth season at the helm, Phillips has already proven to be one of the top coaches in the nation. The Boise, Idaho, native was promoted to head coach by Salt Lake in 2011 after serving as a Bruins assistant for three seasons. The program continued to thrive under his watch as Salt Lake made back-to-back national tournament appearances in 2013 and 2014. Phillips now stands at 135-36 in his career, claiming victory in 78 percent of his games.

Prior to joining the Salt Lake staff in 2008, Phillips spent eight seasons as an NAIA assistant at Westminster in Salt Lake City. He contributed to six conference titles and six NAIA tournament berths during his stay with the Griffins.

A former NJCAA student-athlete, Phillips played two years of basketball for Snow (Utah) – the Bruins’ in-state rival. He completed his playing career in the NAIA at Lewis-Clark State from 1997-1999, earning his bachelor’s degree before moving on the University of Utah where he’d acquire his master’s.

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Photos courtesy of Steve Speckman.

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