Southern Miss head coach Larry Eustachy has been named the Conference USA Gene Bartow Coach of the Year, in a vote by the league's 12 coaches, the league office announced Wednesday morning.
Eustachy joins James Green (2001 Conference USA) and M.K. Turk (1985-86 Metro Conference) as the only coaches at Southern Miss to take home Coach of the Year honors.
In his eighth year, Eustachy guided the Golden Eagles to a 24-7 record and second-place finish in Conference USA. The 24 wins are the most since joining Division I and the 11-5 record conference record ties the 2001 squad for the best C-USA record.
On February 25, Eustachy posted his 400th career victory with a win over Rice, becoming the 43rd active head coach to reach that milestone. He enters the C-USA Championship with a career record of 401-256 in 21 seasons as a head coach. At Southern Miss, Eustachy is currently at 141 wins, and is behind only M.K. Turk (301) and Lee Floyd (246). His average of 17.6 wins a season is tied for second with Floyd and behind only Fred Lewis (17.8).
This is the fifth conference Coach of the Year award for Eustachy, who was twice named Big West Coach of the Year at Utah State and twice earned Big 12 Coaching honors at Iowa State. In 2000, he was the Associated Press National Coach of the Year and was the runner-up for that same award in 2001.
Southern Miss opens the 2012 Conference USA Tournament this Thursday, March 8, as the No. 2 seed. They will face the winner of No. 7 Rice and No. 10 East Carolina in the Quarterfinals at noon in Memphis, Tenn.