Howard’s Kenny Blakeney Wins 2023 Coach John McLendon Award

By Derek Bryant Sports Information Howard,

 

CollegeInsider.com named Howard University men’s basketball head coach Kenneth Blakeney its recipient for the 2023 Coach John McLendon Award. The announcement came Thursday afternoon, three days after the D.C. native won the 2023 Eastern College Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.

Blakeney, who finished his fourth season at the helm for HU, became just only the second HBCU coach to receive the prestigious honor (Horace Broadnax – Savannah State, 2012).

“I don’t think there are a lot of people that truly understand what Kenny Blakeney has been able to accomplish at Howard,” said Angela Lento, Vice President of CollegeInsider.com. “It was not that long ago that he was finding it difficult to even get an opportunity to coach. [Howard] Director of Athletics Kery Davis hit a grand slam with this hire. There are a lot more wins and many more accolades in the future for Kenny Blakeney.”

Blakeney, who also was named BOXTOROW HBCU Coach of the Year and Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Coach of the Year, led the Bison to their first outright league regular season title since 1986-87, going 11-3 in conference play. On March 11, he guided HU to its first tournament championship since 1992 and a berth to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 31 years.

The 2022-23 season marked the second consecutive season that Howard had posted a winning record, the first time in over 35 years.

The Coach John McLendon award named in honor of a one of the greatest coaches in the history of the sport. A trailblazer and one of the true pioneers of the game, McLendon became the first African American coach to win an integrated national championship. His team went on to win the NAIA Division I Men’s Tournament in 1957, 1958 and 1959, making him the first coach in history to win three consecutive NAIA championships.

This award is presented annually to the top collegiate head coach and includes Division I, Division II, Division III, NAIA and NJCAA.

The recipient of the annual award is determined by a 10-member voting committee, which consists of current and former head coaches, along with two senior staff members of collegeinsider.com.

Ending their season with a 22-13 record, the Bison won both the conference tournament and the regular season championship, marking their fifth and fourth times winning them, respectively.

For Blakeney, he heads to Houston to coach Team Dr. Dick Barnett in the second annual HBCU All-Star Game. The event is set for Sunday, April 2 at Texas Southern University, airing on CBS.

ABOUT THE JOHN MCLENDON AWARD

 

The Coach John McLendon award named in honor of a one of the greatest coaches in the history of the sport. A trailblazer and one of the true pioneers of the game, McLendon became the first African American coach to win an integrated national championship. His team went on to win the NAIA Division I Men’s Tournament in 1957, 1958 and 1959, making him the first coach in history to win three consecutive NAIA championships.

 

(Photo Credit – CollegeInsider.com)

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A lifelong sports fan and follower of HBCUs, Willie Alexander Hines is an expert on any sport with tremendous recall of history and newsmakers.