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NJIT's Jim Engles is Finalist for Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award


NJIT Coach Jim Engles

NJIT Coach Jim Engles

March 24, 2011

BOSTON, Mass. - NJIT men's basketball coach Jim Engles is one of 16 national finalists for the 2011 Skip Prosser Man of the Year award, which is presented by the website CollegeInsider.com.

The Skip Prosser Award was established in 2008 to honor those who not only achieve success on the basketball court but who display moral integrity off of it as well.

Prosser, who died unexpectedly in 2007 at the age of 56, was best known as the coach of Wake Forest, where his teams averaged 21 wins per season from 2001 until his death in 2007. He also coached at Loyola (MD) and Xavier, posting a career record of 291-146 in 14 seasons as a head coach. He is the only coach in Division I history to take three different schools to the NCAA Tournament in his first years with the different schools.

Engles, who recently completed his third season as head coach of the Highlanders, has earned widespread respect for his work in building the NJIT program from the depths of a winless season the year before he took over to one that posted 15 wins in 2010-11.

He took over a team that went 0-29 in 2007-08, its second year of Division I competition. His first team in 2008-09 won one game, but the groundwork was laid for dramatic improvement that saw the wins total jump to 10 in 2009-10 and then 15 in 2010-11, despite having just one active senior in each of the two seasons.

In registering a 15-15 overall record this season, NJIT finished second in the Great West Conference with a 9-3 league mark and won 13 of the last 18 games overall.

"I am extremely honored and humbled to be included with such an outstanding group of coaches for an award that honors the memory of a great coach and person," said Engles. "It really is a credit to all the hard work and effort that my staff and players have put in for our program."

In addition to Engles, the finalists for the award are (listed alphabetically): Murry Bartow (East Tennessee State); Rick Byrd (Belmont); Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh); John Dunne (Saint Peter's); BJ Hill (Northern Colorado); Rob Jeter (Milwaukee); Sydney Johnson (Princeton); Greg Lansing (Indiana State); Jim Larranaga (George Mason); Chris Mack (Xavier); Mike Sutton (Tennessee Tech); Brad Stevens (Butler); Blaine Taylor (Old Dominion); Wayne Tinkle (Montana); and Gary Waters (Cleveland State).

"It's an outstanding group of sixteen finalists," said selection committee member Mark Prosser, son of the late Skip Prosser. "Each coach has done a first class job with his program and each would be a fine recipient of the award."

The winner will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com awards banquet on April 1 in Houston, site of the men's basketball championship.

CollegeInsider.com, founded in 1996 by Joe Dwyer and Angela Lento, is one of the most widely-read and respected websites devoted to college basketball. Among its many activities, the web site lends its name to the annual CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT). The men's Great West Conference Tournament champion earns an automatic bid to the CIT.