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Sports

Filipino Mike Magpayo feted as top first-year head coach

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Filipino Mike Magpayo feted as top first-year head coach
Coach Mike Magpayo
UC Riverside

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino coach Mike Magpayo is the recipient of an award given to the top first-year head coach in college basketball.

Magpayo, who led the UC Riverside Highlanders in their 2020-21 season, was named the 2021 Joe B. Hall award winner on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).

The 41-year-old steered the Highlanders to a 14-7 record, which was good enough to finish third in the standings of the Big West Conference.

The Highlanders also made it to the semifinals of the Big West Tournament for the first time since 2011.

UC Riverside men's hoops program have been one of the best in recent history under the first-year head coach.

Magpayo bested seven other finalists for the award, including Wichita State's Isaac Brown and Texas State's Terrence Johnson.

The Filipino head coach is the first head coach of Asian descent in the US NCAA Division I.

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