University at Buffalo men's basketball coach Nate Oats is one of 10 finalists for the Joe B. Hall Award, given to the top first-year head coach in the nation.
The award is determined y a 15-member committee made up of five current Division I head coaches, five former head coaches and five staff members of the website collegeinsider.com.
Oats coached UB to a 20-15 season and the Bulls' second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. UB was the first team to win the Mid-American Conference in back to back years since 2001 and 2002. Oats became the first UB head coach ever to win 20 games in his first season.
The award is named after the former Kentucky player and coach. It will be given on Monday in Houston.
The other finalists: Chris Beard, Little Rock; Linc Darner, Green Bay; Nathan Davis, Bucknell; Steve Forbes, East Tennessee State; Eran Ganot, Hawaii; Eric Konkol, Louisiana Tech; Matt McCall, Chattanooga; Matt McMahon, Murray State; Montez Robinson, Alcorn State.