LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Commonwealth Athletic Club of Kentucky announced the winners of the 2008 Adolph Rupp Awards. North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough was selected as the Player of the Year to receive the Adolph Rupp Award, and Tennessee's Bruce Pearl was selected Coach of the Year to receive the Adolph Rupp Cup.
Club spokesman Gerry Calvert, a former player for Rupp at Kentucky, had this to say about the selections, "Anybody who knew Coach Rupp well would tell you that Tyler is the kind of player he would have loved to coach, and Pearl is the kind of coach he would have loved to compete against. They both typify the passion, drive and excellence for which Coach Rupp will always be remembered."
The selections were made by a national selection committee consisting of over 40 present and retired sports writers, coaches, TV-radio broadcasters, and sports administrators. The awards will be presented at the Final Four in San Antonio on April 3rd, at the San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk.
From its inception in 1972, the Adolph Rupp Award has been considered one of the nation's most prestigious college basketball awards, with previous winners including Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan, and (most recently) Kevin Durant. The awards are given in memory of Adolph Rupp who coached at Kentucky from 1930 to 1972. Rupp retired with 876 victories and four NCAA Championships to his credit. Among men's NCAA Division 1 coaches with over 500 career wins, Adolph Rupp still maintains the highest winning percentage at 82.2%.
The Adolph Rupp Cup has been given since 2004, with previous winners including Phil Martelli, Bruce Weber, Roy Williams and Bo Ryan. Filling out the 2008 Rupp All-American Team along with Hansbrough are: Michael Beasley (Kansas State); D.J. Augustin (Texas); D.J. White (Indiana); and, Kevin Love (UCLA).