Oregon Head Coach Dana Altman earned his second John Wooden Pac-12 Coach of the Year award on Monday, after his Ducks finished the season 23-8 (13-5). The Quack Attack won eight of its last nine to help Altman wrap up his 18th consecutive winning campaign. That accomplishment puts him in the company of basketball royalty; Roy Williams, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boheim, Bill Self, Tom Izzo and Stew Morrill are the only other coaches to ever string together 18 of those seasons in a row.
Thirteen of Altman’s 18 were at Creighton, but in his five short years in Eugene he’s already begun to craft an unlikely dynasty. The Ducks have not had a sub .500 year under the Nebraska native, and boast an impressive 120-55 record with him at the helm. The team has also just finished its fourth in a row with 20 or more wins, an Oregon-only streak matched only by Hall of Famer and Duck legend Howard Hobson.
This year looked like it might be the exception to Altman’s success, early, as the Ducks began the 2014-15 season sans four of the previous year’s starters, including both big men and point guard Johnathan Lloyd. Coach Altman’s patchwork squad flourished under pressure, though, and not only finished second in the Pac-12, six slots above its projected finish, but also locked down a spot in the NCAA tournament and sent two players to the Pac-12 all-conference team, two to the all-freshman team and one to the all-defensive team. Everyone on the court over-performed except Altman, who just did what he’s always done: win.
Top Photo by John Sperry