Gard snags National Coach of the Year honor

PHOTOS: Wisconsin vs. Notre Dame Sweet Sixteen
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 25: Head coach Greg Gard of the Wisconsin Badgers shouts in the first half against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regional at Wells Fargo Center on March 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

University of Wisconsin head basketball coach Greg Gard has received a major national coaching award, just four months after taking over the men’s basketball program.

Gard has been selected as the 2016 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year, which was announced Monday by CollegeInsider.com.

The men’s basketball team was 15-8 under Gard, who took over the basketball program in December following the retirement of longtime former coach Bo Ryan. Under Gard, the Badgers finished 22-13 and earned their 18 th -straight berth in the NCAA Tournament.

According to UWBadgers.com, Gard also became the first coach in NCAA history to lead his team to the Sweet 16 in his inaugural season as head coach since Xavier’s Chris Mack in 2010.

Gard was named full-time head coach at Wisconsin on March 7. He joins a list of past recipients, including Bob Huggins of West Virginia in 2015, and former coach Ryan back in 2008.

The award named after Jim Phelan, who spent his entire career at Mount Saint Mary’s University, and led the Mountaineers to the 1962 NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship.