ST. LOUIS — Ben Jacobson made it a Northern Iowa trifecta Thursday when he was named the Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball coach of the year.
Earlier this week, UNI’s AJ Green was named Player of the Year. And, UNI wrapped up the regular-season MVC title on Saturday with a win at Drake, earning the No. 1 seed in this week’s conference tournament.
Now in his 14th season at UNI, Jacobson earned the coaching honor for the fourth time. Maury John of Drake is the only other coach to win the honor four times.
The longest tenured coach in the MVC, Jacobson edged Southern Illinois’ Bryan Mullins by six points in the voting (108 to 102). Jacobson received 24 first-place votes, Mullins 23.
SIU was picked to finish 10th in the preseason poll and finished fifth. UNI was picked to finish third.
UNI earned the regular-season MVC title and No. 1 seed for the first time since 2010. The Panthers will play either Drake or Illinois State at noon Friday.
Jacobson's 291 career wins rank fourth in the MVC and his 153 league wins are fifth-best.
Jacobson enters this year’s MVC tournament with a 16-9 record with four crowns.
The only other UNI coach to claim the MVC’s top honor was Eldon Miller in 1997.