Montana and Michigan prepare 15.JPG

Montana head coach Travis DeCuire looks on and smiles as he addresses a question from the press at the NCAA tournament on March 14 in Wichita, Kansas.

MISSOULA — Montana Grizzlies head coach Travis DeCuire was named the National Association of Basketball Coaches 2017-18 District 6 Coach of the Year on Wednesday, as voted on by fellow head coaches across the country.

DeCuire, 47, adds the award to the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year honor he picked up earlier this month.

Under the fourth-year head coach, the Griz went 26-8, won the conference regular-season and tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2013, losing in the first round to the Michigan Wolverines. The Grizzlies’ 26 wins were the third most in program history and included 13 consecutive wins, seven straight road wins and an undefeated record at home, the first since 1992.

DeCuire headed the change in defensive philosophy this season that helped Montana improve upon last year’s 16-16 record. The Griz ranked in the top 25 in Division I for turnovers forced, steals and turnover margin.

The other winners across the 25 districts include: John Becker (Vermont), Kevin Baggett (Rider), Tony Bennett (Virginia), Mike Jones (Radford), Dan Hurley (Rhode Island), Chris Mack (Xavier), Chris Holtmann (Ohio State), Bill Self (Kansas), Mark Few (Gonzaga), Bill Coen (Northeastern), Steve Henson (UTSA), Scott Nagy (Wright State), Steve Donahue (Penn), Nate Oats (Buffalo), Jay Joyner (North Carolina A&T), Porter Moser (Loyola Chicago), Eric Musselman (Nevada), Bashir Mason (Wagner), Matt McMahon (Murray State), Mike Hopkins (Washington), Rick Barnes (Tennessee), Wes Miller (UNCG), Donte Jackson (Grambling), Bob Marlin (Louisiana) and Kelvin Sampson (Houston).

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