IUP’s Lombardi Named NABC Division II Atlantic Region Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Coming off yet another outstanding season on the IUP sidelines, Crimson Hawks’ head coach Joe Lombardi was named the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II Atlantic District Coach of the Year, announced Monday afternoon.

(Photo courtesy of IUP Athletics)

This is the second straight year Lombardi earned top coach honors in the region.

Lombardi led the best team in the Atlantic Region to Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Western Division regular season and conference tournament championships. The Crimson Hawks entered the NCAA tournament with a 28-2 overall record, one of the best marks in all of Division II.

The PSAC West regular-season title was the fifth straight for Lombardi – and 10th in 11 seasons – while he tallied his fifth conference tournament championship in 14 seasons at the helm of the program. Those five PSAC tournament titles are the second-most in conference history behind the great John Chaney (eight).

Lombardi helped IUP secure the top seed in Atlantic Region for the second straight season as the Hawks were set to host No. 8 seed Winston-Salem State at the Kovalchick Complex prior to the cancellation of the tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lombardi had the Crimson Hawks ranked in the NABC top-10 for 16 straight weeks after debuting at No. 11 in the preseason poll. IUP entered the NCAA tournament on a 10-game win streak while also posting a pair of 9-game streaks during the season.

This year’s .933 win percentage is the best of Lombardi’s tenure and the second-best in program history (.935, 1994-95).

IUP entered the year having lost four starters from last year’s 30-3 PSAC championship squad that advanced to the regional semifinals.

Lombardi is IUP’s all-time winningest coach with a 333-102 (.766) record in 14 seasons. Those 333 wins are third among active PSAC coaches and ninth all-time in the conference. His .766 win percentage is 10th in Division II history.

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