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Dragons Coach Bill Foy named NABC Coach of the Year

Published or Revised May 04, 2006

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Lance Natham, assistant manager of the Paris Brookshire’s supermarket, stands in front of a sign at the store’s entrance that honor’s the PJC Dragons’ national championship. A similar sign adorns the Super 1 Foods store in Paris, also a part of the Brookshire’s chain.

The National Association of Basketball Coaches has named Paris Junior College Coach Bill Foy Junior College Coach of the Year.

Foy, who led the Dragons to the NJCAA Division I national championship this season, will receive the award at NABC’s All College Basketball Awards ceremony Sunday. April 3, in St. Louis, Mo. The event is being held during the NCAA finals in that city.

The All College Basketball Awards night will recognize Foy, along with the NCAA Coach of the Year, College Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the year, Offensive Player of the year and other national awards, according to NABC.

Foy, a native of Fort Wayne, Ind., has compiled a 203-118 record during his 10-year tenure at Paris Junior College. The last seven years at PJC have been exceptional. His teams have advanced to the finals of the NJCAA Region XIV state tournament five years while compiling a 162-69 record.

This year’s sophomore-laden team that won the NJCAA national title March 26 has compiled a 54-16 record over the last two seasons.

The unranked Dragons swept through a four-game schedule in Hutchinson. Kan., that included sixth-ranked College of Southern Idaho and sixteenth-ranked Moberly (Mo.) Area Community College, which they defeated 70-61 in the tournament finals to win the NJCAA title.

Lamar Searight scored 18 points, while Rod Earls and Alexander Starr each added 10 points in the victory over Moberly.

Leading by 2 points, 29-27, at halftime, the Dragons went on a 6-0 run to begin the second half, but Moberly came back to take a 44-41 lead with 9:33 left in the game. But Earls and Mile Battle led a 9-2 Dragon run and helped stretch a Paris lead to 64-55 with just over a minute left in the game.

Searight hit six of eight free throws down the stretch to ice the victory for the Dragons.

Earls, from Little Rock, Ark., was named MVP of the tournament, while Starr received the Charles Fesher Sportsmanship Award. Foy was named Coach of the Tournament. Earls, Starr and Battle were named to the All-Tournament team.

The national title is the first for the PJC Dragons in basketball. PJC made it to the nationals in 1959 and came home with the fourth place trophy.

“It feels great (winning the title) because very few coaches get to end their season by winning a national championship,” Foy said.

PJC is the first unranked team to win the national championship since 1996 when Sullivan College of Louisville, Ky., won the title.

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