Niagara Gazette — ATLANTA – Niagara men’s basketball head coach Joe Mihalich was honored by his peers Friday as the recipient of the 2013 Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award. Mihalich accepted the award at the CollgeInsider.com Awards banquet in Atlanta—the site of this weekend’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four.
In his 15th season at Niagara, Mihalich led the youngest team in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference to its first regular-season title since the 2004-05 season, featuring a starting lineup consisting of three sophomores, one freshman and a red-shirt transfer senior. The regular season championship earned for Niagara its fifth trip to the postseason during the Mihalich era with a berth in the National Invitational Tournament.
The 2012-13 team also increased its previous win total by five games, thanks in part to a school-best ten consecutive victories in conference play — the Purple Eagles' best-ever start in its 24 seasons in the MAAC. Niagara went 8-1 during the month of January, its best record for January since going 7-0 during the 1958-59 season under John J. 'Taps' Gallagher. Niagara cracked the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll at No. 25 in January to enter the poll for the first time in five seasons.
By the end of the regular season, the Purple Eagles had tied their second-best MAAC record at 13-5 and went 7-2 in conference road contests to tie the 2000-01 team for best MAAC road record in program history.
Mihalich reached a personal milestone on Dec. 12, when he earned his 250th career win in a 75-59 victory over Hartford.
The Skip Prosser Award was established in 2008 to honor those who not only achieve success on the basketball court but who display moral integrity off of it as well. Prosser posted a career record of 291-146 in 14 seasons as a head coach in which during his time at Wake Forest, they averaged 21 wins per season while playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference, one of the most respected conferences in college basketball. Prosser passed away in July 2007.