The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), located in Kansas City, Mo., was founded in 1927 by Forrest "Phog" Allen, the legendary University of Kansas basketball coach. Formation of the NABC began as an emergency measure for the presentation of a united opinion the Joint Basketball Rules Committee, then the central governing authority of the game, announced without notice that it had adopted a change in the rules which virtually eliminated the dribble. Allen, a student of basketball founder James Naismith, organized coaches to take a stand in a nationwide protest which successfully postponed the adoption of the rule change for one year. It is worthy to note that the dribble still is part of the game of basketball. This marked the beginning of this collective group of coaches to serve as Guardians of the Game. Since its inception, the NABC has contributed numerous ideas and programs to help preserve and enhance the positive aspects of college basketball. These initiatives include establishing the original Basketball Hall of Fame (Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame), creating the format for today's NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, originating the Final Four Fan Fest concept and supporting Coaches vs. Cancer.
Since its beginning, the NABC has continually worked to further the best interests of the game of basketball as well as the players and coaches who participate in the sport. In doing so, the NABC has established the following goals and objectives to pursue its mission:
- To promote the ideals of integrity, sportsmanship and teamwork among men's basketball coaches and the players whom they coach;
- To unify coaches on issues pertaining to basketball at all levels;
- To provide member services which address the needs of the coach professionally, emotionally, financially, physically and spiritually;
- To encourage basketball coaches to serve as community outreach agents who elevate moral, ethical and educational values;
- To enlighten the general public, media, institutional educators and athletic administrators to the fact that coaches are good for the sport and the young people whom they serve;
- To work with the legislative arm of the NCAA on issues that affect basketball and intercollegiate athletics, in particular identifying issues that not only benefit the student-athlete but also the ability of the coaching staff to work effectively and beneficially within the institution.
Guardians of the Game
Guardians of the Game is a national awareness and education program led by the NABC that focuses attention on the positive roles coaches play in the lives of today's student-athletes, the game of basketball and the community. The program includes the association's four core values: advocacy, leadership, service and education. Each core value provides coaches with a platform to effect positive changes within the game, among student-athletes and their communities.
The largest professional association of basketball coaches, the NABC currently claims a membership of nearly 5,000 men's basketball coaches throughout the ranks of the NCAA, NAIA, junior and community colleges and high school. Active memberships are available for NCAA Division I, II, III and NAIA head coaches and full-time assistants. Associate memberships are available to former coaches with a required number of years of active membership. Activity memberships are afforded to junior college and high school head coaches and assistants as well as part-time assistants at four-year schools. Certain retired coaches, athletic directors, conference commissioners, AAU coaches, non-varsity scholastic coaches, directors of basketball operations at four-year schools, video coordinators and student managers can apply for Affiliate memberships. The NABC Board of Directors have final say on all membership matters and association bylaws.
The NABC is governed by a group of board of directors consisting of coaches and athletic administrators. The officers include a President, a 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Vice President and an Executive Director. The Executive Committee consists of the current officers and past presidents who conduct the finances of the association.
Formed in 1992 to allow the NABC to work more effectively with the NCAA and its committees, the NABC Congress consists of one NABC coach serving as a conference representative for each of the divisions of NCAA Basketball. Congress representative coaches serve to both relay information from the NABC Board of Directors to fellow conference coaches as well as help survey the membership and garner support for the organization.
Throughout its history, the NABC has formed numerous committees and working groups to address key issues in college basketball. Recent NABC committees have studied college basketball reform efforts, the NCAA Tournament selection process and legislation regarding the NBA Draft Combine.
The NABC holds its annual convention each spring in conjunction with the NCAA Men's Final Four. The NABC Convention serves as an opportunity for the basketball coaching community to address the issues surrounding the sport, as well as share ideas to further enhance the game. The convention also includes networking opportunities, educational PDS Clinics, and the NABC MARKETPLACE trade show. During Final Four weekend, the NABC sponsors several major events for college basketball coaches and fans alike, including the NABC College All-Star Game and the NABC Guardians of the Game Awards Show.
Coaches vs. Cancer
Coaches vs. Cancer is another program which demonstrates how the NABC's efforts extend beyond the game of basketball. Founded by the NABC and the American Cancer Society, Coaches vs. Cancer has become one of the association's most visible projects. Through the tremendous support and effort brought forth from men's basketball coaches, Coaches vs. Cancer has raised more than $70 million since its inception in 1994 for cancer research, patient services and prevention education.
Members of the NABC at all levels of college basketball and their student-athletes are eligible for numerous awards and recognition. NABC awards include the All-District and All-America programs, Coach of the Year, Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Big Man of the Year, Freshman of the Year, 30-Under-30, Metropolitan Award, Hillyard Award, Golden Anniversay Award, Cliff Wells Appreciation Award, and the prestigious Guardians of the Game Pillar Awards.
National Championship Trophy
Each year, the top-ranked team in the season's final Division I men's basketball coaches poll is awarded the coveted NCAA-NABC National Championship Trophy. The one-of-a-kind Waterford Crystal trophy is presented to the winning head coach immediately folllowing the Division I National Championship Game. Each national champion proudly displays the NCAA-NABC National Championship Trophy on campus as a reminder of its place in college basketball history.