Jabir a finalist for national coach of the year

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Jabir a finalist for national coach of the year

Jim Jabir has been selected as one of the four finalists for the 2013 Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year.

The University of Dayton coach, whose 27-2 team plays St. John’s in the first round of the NCAA tournament Sunday in Queens, N.Y., is up against Lindsay Gottlieb of California, Muffet McGraw of Notre Dame and Baylor’s Kim Mulkey. The announcement was made early Thursday afternoon.

Jabir already was named the Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year, an award he also won five years ago.

Although UD graduated four starters — and six players overall — from last year’s 23-7 team, Jabir has guided this year’s team to its best season in Division I basketball. The Flyers are No. 18 in the AP poll and No. 15 in the USA Today/Coaches poll, nationally ranked since November.

They were a perfect 14-0 in Atlantic 10 regular-season play and beat several schools from power conferences, including DePaul (Big East), Vanderbilt (SEC), Arizona State (Pac-12) and Michigan State (Big Ten).

When Jabir took over at UD a decade ago, the program had had one winning season in 10 years. The past six seasons his teams have won 142 games. After two bids to the NIT, the Flyers have made four straight NCAA tournament fields.

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