After a season of success, Fresno State men’s basketball first-year head coach Justin Hutson was named the Joe B. Hall National Coach of the Year on Friday by the College Insider Awards at the Final Four in Minneapolis, according to Fresno State Athletics.
Hutson was honored with the national award, which is presented annually to the top first-year coach in NCAA Division I college basketball.
“I want to thank the College Insider for giving me such a great award – the Joe B. Hall Award,” Hutson said, according to the release. “I’d also like to thank my staff for all their efforts and work, Dr. Castro for believing in me and giving me this opportunity and all of my administration for the support we have had. Red Wave, the best is yet to come.”
In his first season, Hutson coached the ‘Dogs to the nation’s best record by a first-time head coach, finishing the season at 23-9 overall and 13-5 in Mountain West play.
The transition of head coaches was seamless for Fresno State, as the Bulldogs finished third in the MW during the 2018-19 campaign and earned their third Mountain West tournament semifinal appearance in the last four seasons.
Fresno State’s season was highlighted by finishing 2018-19 ranked ninth in the country in 3-point field goals per game (10.7 made 3-pointers per game) and 24th nationally in both 3-point field goal percentage defense (225-735, 30.6 percent) and 3-point field goal percentage offense (342-897, 38.1 percent). The Bulldogs’ defense also led the MW in steals (7.1 steals per game) and turnovers forced (13.7 per game).