MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Roy Williams of Kansas was named Associated Press college basketball Coach of the Year today, the first Big Eight coach to ever win the award.
Williams led the Jayhawks to the championship game last season, but lost three starters from that team. Still, Kansas (27-5) managed to win the Big Eight title for the second straight season and was the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Regional, losing to Texas-El Paso in the second round. The Jayhawks were ranked second in the final poll of the season, Williams' fourth at Kansas.
The nationwide voting of sportswriters and broadcasters was conducted before the NCAA tournament on a 5-3-1 basis and was the closest since the award was started in 1967.
Williams received 21 first-place votes and 129 points to edge Jerry Tarkanian of UNLV, who retired after the season. Tarkanian had one less first-place vote than Williams and 117 points, one more than Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, who was named to the top spot on 14 ballots.
George Raveling of Southern Cal, who agreed to a contract extension yesterday, was fourth with 111 points and was followed by Perry Clark of Tulane (110) and Pat Kennedy of Florida State (96).
The remainder of the top 10 vote-getters was: John Calipari of Massachusetts, 83; Bob Huggins of Cincinnati, 77; Bob Knight of Indiana, 39; and Eddie Sutton of Oklahoma State, 35.
Krzyzewski, Huggins and Knight all have teams in the Final Four, but the other coach who still has a chance at the national championship -- Michigan's Steve Fisher -- didn't receive a vote.
Knight won the AP award three times, in 1975, 1976 and 1989. Sutton was a two-time winner, at Arkansas in 1978 and at Kentucky in 1986.
Randy Ayers of Ohio State won the award last season.
Williams, an assistant to Dean Smith at North Carolina for 10 years before taking the Kansas job, has a 103-30 record with the Jayhawks, winning at least 27 games each of the last three seasons.