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Northwest Missouri State's Ben McCollum is the recipient of the 2020 Clarence Gaines award, which is presented annually to the top Division II coach in America.

March 26, 2020


BOSTON, MA -- Northwest Missouri State's Ben McCollum is the recipient of the 2091-20 Clarence Gaines Award, presented annually to the top Division II college basketball coach and named in honor of the legendary former Winston Salem State head coach.

McCollum guided the Bearcats to a 31-1 record, the MIAA regular season championship and the MIAA postseason tournament championship. The Bearcats led the nation in three-point field goal percentage at 45.7% (359-of-785) and were ranked No. 1 in the final NABC and D2CCA national polls.
Last season McCollum, who has won seven consecutive MIAA regular season titles, became the first non-division I coach to win the prestigious Coach John McLendon award, which is presented annually the best coach in all levels of college basketball.

One of the true legends of all-time, Gaines retired from Winston-Salem State University in 1993 with a record of 828-446. At the time he was the winningest active basketball coach in NCAA history. Gaines was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982.

During his 47-year tenure as coach and athletic director at WSSU he coached professional basketball greats Cleo Hill (first African-American from an historically Black college and university to be drafted No. 1 by the National Basketball Association, St. Louis Hawks, 1961) and Earl "The Pearl" Monroe. 






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