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Kent State Sweeps Coach and Player of the Year Awards as Ford and Greene are HonoredPosted March 14, 2011
The Mid-American Conference began handing out its 2011 post-season awards last week and Kent State was well represented, following a historic regular season in which the Golden Flashes claimed their second straight MAC title. Head Coach Geno Ford (pictured, front) was bestowed the MAC Coach of the Year award for the second consecutive season, while junior forward Justin Greene was named the MAC Player of the Year.
Kent State entered the 2010-11 season with 10 first-year student-athletes and only three players who had previous experience in the program. Despite the influx of fresh faces into the line-up, Ford guided the Golden Flashes to a 12-4 league record and a 21-10 overall mark, as he became the first MAC coach in 48 years to lead his team to consecutive outright regular season titles. He is only the fifth head coach in the 64-year history of the league to accomplish that feat.
"We've had a pretty special season thus far and that can be attributed primarily to the unselfishness of our players," says Ford. "I am honored to receive the award, but the real credit for the recognition of this individual achievement is due in large part to the effort of the players on the team and our entire coaching staff. When you win a championship of any sort it is because of the collaborated production of so many people.”
Ford earns his second straight MAC Coach of the Year accolade, making him the fourth coach to receive the recognition in back-to-back years. It is the ninth time that Kent State has had a head coach honored. In three years at the helm of the Golden Flashes program, Ford has gone 35-13 (.729) in conference play amongst his 64-35 (.646) overall record.
"The invaluable contributions made by our coaching staff, Associate Head Coach Rob Senderoff, Assistant Coaches Jordan Mincy and Bobby Steinburg, and Director of Operations Jaden Uken were an instrumental part of our success," says Ford. "We are fortunate to receive such overwhelming support from Kent State University President Dr. Lester A. Lefton, Director of Athletics Joel Nielsen and Sport Supervisor Tom Klienlein and that has ensured the continued success of our men's basketball program."
Only the third player in school history to be named MAC Player of the Year, Greene receives the honor following a season in which he was the only player in the league ranked in the top 10 in points, rebounds and blocked shots. A six-time MAC East Player of the Week recipient this season, Greene also ranked among the league leaders in field goal percentage. He closed out the regular season recording three straight double-doubles to bring his season total to 11, ranking him second in the league.
"This award was really made possible by my teammates," says Greene. "I am thankful to be honored, but our focus right night is on winning the MAC Tournament and getting to the NCAA. That has been our ultimate goal all season and nothing has changed."
In the regular season finale versus The University of Akron, he reached the 1,000 career point mark, making him just the fifth Kent State player to reach that milestone in his junior year.
"Justin is a special person and a special player that has been a part of championship teams in high school and in college because of his effectiveness statically and his unselfishness as a player," says Ford. "The most improved player in the country last season, he has continued to work and made huge strides again this year. This is a well-deserved award for Justin in a league that has so many great players."
For up-to-date information on Kent State’s basketball tournament results and schedule, go to www.kentstatesports.com.