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Matt Painter named National Coach of the Year by the NABC

A well earned honor for Matt Painter’s best coached season of his career.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-South Regional Practice Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week, the National Association of Basketball Coaches announced that Matt Painter had been named National Coach of the Year. This is the first such honor for Purdue’s head coach. By any measure, Purdue vastly overachieved based on preseason expectations, and even early season results. After all, Painter and his Purdue Boilermakers were sitting at 6-5 after a neutral court loss to Notre Dame back in December of 2018.

All told, Purdue would finish the season at 26-10 and as Co-Big Ten Champions. Earning a three seed in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, Purdue would reach the Elite Eight for the first time in 19 years. They were one second away from defeating the one seeded Virginia Cavaliers and reaching the Final Four.

Painter certainly got the most out of his roster this season. He was successful by getting each individual player to buy into the role they were capable of providing. More simply put, the whole was greater than the sum of its parts. A sports cliche that this Purdue team could not have embodied more. Matt Painter built an Elite Eight team around a game breaking alpha guard in Carsen Edwards. He mixed in the senior leadership of Ryan Cline and Grady Eifert. Then developed a crop of young talent into their own roles throughout the season.

Matt Painter led this team as close to the Final Four as any has gotten at Purdue in the last 39 attempts. The last Final Four appearance coming in 1980, of course. At only 48 years of age, the future certainly looks bright for this Coach of the Year and the program he continues to push toward greatness.