BOSTON — University of Missouri Whitten Family Men’s Basketball Head Coach Dennis Gates was named a finalist for the Ben Jobe Award, Tuesday afternoon. The award is presented annually to the top Division 1 minority coach.
Gates, who was introduced Tuesday as Mizzou’s 20th head coach, , is one of 25 finalists and will join fellow finalist, Jerry Stackhouse from Vanderbilt, in the Southeastern Conference next season. Gates took over the Cleveland State program in 2019 and developed one of the best turnarounds in the nation.
He led Cleveland State to two Horizon League Championships, and back-to-back postseason appearances. The Vikings NCAA Tournament appearance in 2021 was the first for Cleveland State in 12 years and the third in program history. Gates led Cleveland State to a 39-19 mark over the past two seasons and was a two-time Horizon League Coach of the Year.
The award is named in honor of Coach Jobe, long considered an icon of basketball at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He is best known as the head coach of Southern University, a position he held for 12 seasons. He was also head coach at Alabama A&M, Alabama State, Talladega, Tuskegee and South Carolina State.
Jobe won 209 games at Southern and made four NCAA Tournament appearances. He also coached the Jaguars to one NIT appearance, five SIAC championships, 11 SWAC titles and two NAIA Tournament Championships. Perhaps his most memorable moment as a coach was leading No. 15 seed Southern to a 93-78 win over No. 2 Georgia Tech in the first round of the 1993 NCAA Tournament. It still stands as one of the great upsets in the history of the Big Dance.
Former winners of the award include Leonard Hamilton and Ed Cooley.