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Ben Jacobson named 2021-22 MVC Coach of the Year

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ST. LOUIS — UNI head men’s basketball coach Ben Jacobson has been named the Missouri Valley Conference’s (MVC) Coach of the Year, as announced by the league office on Thursday.

In his 16th season at the helm of the UNI program, Jacobson becomes the first coach in MVC history to earn Coach of the Year honors five times (2009, 2010, 2015, 2020), breaking a tie with Maury John of Drake. It is also the sixth time a UNI coach has earned the honor since joining the league in 1991-92, as Eldon Miller was named Coach of the Year in 1996-97.

Under Coach Jacobson, the Panthers claimed the program’s fourth regular season championship and third outright in school history this season. All four regular season titles in UNI history have come under Jacobson’s leadership. UNI enters the 2022 MVC Tournament as the top-seeded team in the field, seeking a fifth conference tournament championship in the Jacobson era (2009, 2010, 2015, 2016).

Coach Jacobson has totaled 319 wins since being named UNI’s head coach in March of 2006, most among active coaches in the MVC, and fourth most in league history. Jacobson ranks third in conference only games in MVC history with 174, a milestone he achieved earlier this season when passing former Creighton/Saint Louis coach Eddie Hickey with his 164th MVC win.

The Panthers return to action on Friday, March 4 as UNI opens up play at the MVC Tournament in St. Louis at 12 p.m. CT. The top-seeded Panthers will face the winner of Thursday night’s opening round matchup between Illinois State and Indiana State at the Enterprise Center.