Reggie Witherspoon to Receive 2011 Newman Award
BUFFALO, NY – University at Buffalo men's basketball coach Reggie Witherspoon has been selected to receive the 2011 Newman Award. The award is made in recognition of his outstanding service to UB and the Western New York community. Witherspoon will receive the award at the 35th Annual Convocation and Mass of the Holy Spirit at St. Joseph University Parish on September 18 at 11:30 am.
The Newman Award is given each fall at the opening Liturgy to the individual who exemplifies great values both on campus and in the broader community.
"It's humbling to win this award and I'm really grateful that they've mentioned me in the same breath as the past recipients," Witherspoon said. "It's a tremendous honor and a recognition of not just me, but everyone in our program and our families."
Witherspoon is entering his 13th season as the head coach at UB and his 164 wins rank third in school history. He has taken a once struggling basketball team to new heights since his hire. The Bulls have won at least 17 games in six of the last eight seasons. To put that in perspective, prior to Witherspoon's hire, Buffalo won 17 games just nine times over the first 85 years of the program.
Witherspoon has led Buffalo to the only three 20-win seasons in school history. The Bulls had a 23-win season and NIT berth in 2005, a 21-win campaign and a spot in the 2009 College Basketball Invitational and a 20-win season and 2011 CollegeInsiders.com Postseason Tournament appearance. The Bulls have posted 140 wins over the last eight seasons - including victories over Rutgers, Fresno State, Miami (FL), South Florida, Tulane, Temple, Penn State and Colorado.
An active member of the community he grew up in, Witherspoon is proud to be a Buffalonian. This is not the first time he has received community recognition as he was also named the 2005 Man of the Year by the Buffalo Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Club, Inc.
Past Newman Award winners:
2010 - Edward Schneider
2009 - Allison DeForges (Posthumoulsy) Human Rights Watch
2008 - Sue Rocque
2007 - Carol Smith Petro
2006 - Campus Police (John Grela accepting)
2005 - Barbara Ricotta
2004 - Prof. Joseph Gardella
2003 - Bill and Carol Greiner
2002 - Mary Anne Rokitka
2001 - Dennis Black
2000 - Robert Wagner
1999 - Joanne Plunkett
1998 - Prof. Charles Paganelli
1997 - Walter Kunz
1996 - William Barba
1995 - Bishop Edward Head