NABC Guardians of the Game Awards

Guardians of the Game is a national awareness and education program of the NABC. The goal of the program is to focus attention on the positive aspects of basketball and the role coaches play in the lives of student-athletes, in addition to the contributions coaches make to their communities. The Guardians of the Game program emphasizes four core values:

Advocacy - NABC coaches are advocates for the game of basketball, student-athletes, and coaches, providing leadership and guidance on issues affecting the basketball community.

Education - NABC coaches are committed to continuing education and the development of their profession in order to be better mentors, teachers, and leaders.

Leadership - NABC coaches provide moral and ethical leadership on issues affecting the game of basketball and society.

Service - NABC coaches serve as community leaders who help enhance their communities through civic involvement.

Click here to submit nominations for the 2020 NABC Guardians of the Game Awards.


2002   Ed Bilik, Springfield

2003   Jerry Krause, Gonzaga

2004   Don Showalter, Mid-Prairie High School

2005   Chris Mowry, Santa Fe CC

2006   Bill Leatherman, Bridgewater College

2007   Jud Heathcote, Michigan State University

2008   Pete Smith, Guerin Catholic HS - Noblesville, IN 

2009   Mike Turner, Albion College

2010   Mac Petty, Wabash College (presented by SofSole)

2011   Pat Cunningham, Trinity University 

2012   Bill Brown, California (Pa.)

2013   Danny Miles, Oregon Tech

2014   Ed Hall, Old Dominion

2015   Tom O'Connor, George Mason

2016   Charlie Brock, Springfield College

2017   Lanny Van Eman, University of Arkansas

2018   Bill Raleigh, Southwestern University

2019   Tony Ingle, Dalton State College



2002   John Wooden, UCLA

2003   Robert Murrey, USA Coaches Clinics

2004   Kevin McCarthy, State University of NewYork-Cobleskill

2005   Herb Magee, Philadelphia University

2006   Jim Burson, NABC President

2007   Gary Smith, University of Redlands

2008   Steve Moore, College of Wooster 

2009   Claudie Mackey, Elizabeth City State University 

2010   Paul Hewitt, Georgia Tech 

2011   Charlie Coles, Miami (OH) University 

2012   Mike McConathy, Northwestern State University

2013   Brett Reed, Lehigh University

2014   Ernie Nestor, U.S. Naval Academy

2015   Cliff Garrison, Hendrix College

2016   Oliver Eslinger, California Institute of Technology

2017   T.J. Otzelberger, South Dakota State University

2018   Murray Garvin, South Carolina State University

2019   Larry McKenzie, Minneapolis North HS (Minn.)



2002   Dave Gavitt, Providence/Big East

2003   Lonnie Porter, Regis University

2004   Eddie Sutton, Oklahoma State

2005   Harry Statham, McKendree College

2006   Russell F. Booth, Glenwood City High School

2007   Steve Bankson, Baldwin-Wallace College

2008   C. Alan Rowe, Widener University

2009   George Blaney, University of Connecticut

2010   Bob Burchard, Columbia College 

2011   Don Meyer, Northern State University

2012   Lorenzo Romar, University of Washington

2013   David Hixon, Amherst College

2014   John Erickson, Coach and Administrator

2015   Charlie Titus, UMass Boston

2016   Ben Braun, Eastern Michigan, California, Rice

2017   Gary McKnight, Mater Dei High School

2018   Lonn Reisman, Tarleton State University

2019   Steve Ridder, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University



2002   Ron Naclerio, Cardozo H.S. (N.Y.)

2003   Hal Smith, Malone College

2004   Bo Ryan, Wisconsin-Madison

2005   Bill Van Gundy, Genesee CC

2006   Jim Kessler, Grace College

2007   Richard Reed, Sacramento State University

2008   Dave Rose, Brigham Young University

2009   Ron Hunter, IUPUI

2010   Jim Satalin, Coaches vs. Cancer

2011   Bill Self, Kansas 

2012   Scott Nagy, South Dakota State

2013   Matt Brown, Coach

2014   Gary Stewart, Stevenson University

2015   Tom Herrion, Georgia Tech and Pat Skerry, Towson University

2016   Gregg and Peggy Nibert, Presbyterian University

2017   Dan Hays, Oklahoma Christian University

2018   University of Houston Men's Basketball Staff

2019   John Thompson III, Georgetown/Commission on College Basketball