Chris Victor, who took over the Seattle University men’s basketball team under difficult circumstances at the start of the season and then led the team to a share of the Western Athletic Conference title, was named WAC coach of the year Monday.
Seattle U guards Darrion Trammell and Cameron Tyson were named first-team All-WAC, with the Redhawks being the only team to have more than one player on the eight-player first team.
Trammell was also named to the five-player All-WAC defensive team and Tyson was on the five-player All-WAC newcomer team.
“The recognition from your peers means a lot to me, but big picture, it is hard to accept this as an individual award,” Victor said. “Coach of the year is my whole coaching staff, our whole support staff, our whole team. To me, it’s recognition for the year our program has had.”
Seattle U (23-8, 14-4) claimed a share of the league title with a win Saturday at home against Chicago State and earned the No. 2 seed in the WAC tournament this week in Las Vegas.
The Redhawks earned byes all the way to the semifinals Friday, when they will play an opponent to be determined. The winner of the WAC tournament receives a bid into the NCAA tournament.
It has been a remarkable year for Victor, who was promoted from assistant coach to interim head coach when Jim Hayford resigned under pressure at the start of the season after reportedly repeating a racial slur.
Victor had the interim tag removed last Monday as the Redhawks were getting ready to conclude their best season since returning to Division I 12 years ago.
“It has been a unique season that has come on pretty quick,” Victor said.
Seattle U, which last played in the NCAA men’s tournament in 1969, reached 23 wins for the first time since 1958-59.
Trammell, a third-year sophomore who transferred to Seattle U after a season at City College of San Francisco, leads Seattle U in scoring (16.7 points per game), assists (5.1) and steals (2.6).
Tyson, the former Bothell star who spent a season at Idaho and two at Houston before transferring to Seattle U for this season, is averaging 14.7 points and 5.3 rebounds, both second on the team.
“It’s awesome, especially with the year those two guys have had,” Victor said of Trammell and Tyson’s selection to the first team. “It was great for them to be recognized for their success this season.”
New Mexico State’s Teddy Allen was named WAC player of the year and Utah Valley’s Fardaws Aimaq repeated as defensive player of the year.