Weber named National Coach of the Year finalist

Illinois head coach Bruce Weber was named a finalist for the 2009 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year award on Tuesday.

Weber has led his Illini squad to big turnaround this season, going 23-7 and earning a No. 23 national ranking a year after a disappointing 16-19 campaign. Illinois also currently sits in a second-place tie in the Big Ten at 11-6.

A Feb. 22 win at Ohio State gave Weber his 150th win with the Illini. He’s 151-54 in his six seasons in Champaign and is 254-108 in his career.

Weber is one of 10 finalists. The others are Jim Calhoun (Connecticut), John Calipari (Memphis), Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh), Darrin Horn (South Carolina), Trent Johnson (LSU), Lorenzo Romar (Washington), Bill Self (Kansas), Brad Stevens (Butler) and Roy Williams (North Carolina).