Liberty's McKay wins Phelan award as national coach of year

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) -- Liberty University announced Friday that men's basketball coach Ritchie McKay has named the recipient of the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award.

The award has been in existence since 2003. Past winners include Virginia's Tony Bennett, Kentucky's John Calipari, Mississippi State's Ben Howland, Notre Dame's Mike Brey and West Virginia's Bob Huggins. McKay is the first winner of the award since 2011 not to come from a major conference, according to a story posted to Liberty basketball's website.

Liberty (29-7) won the Atlantic Sun championship and earned its first-ever NCAA Tournament win by upending Mississippi State. Liberty lost in the second round to Virginia Tech.