One of the winningest active Division I coaches with over 300 career wins and 10 NCAA Tournament appearances to his credit, Bruce Weber begins his fourth season at Kansas State in 2015-16 after being named the school’s 24th head men’s basketball coach on March 31, 2012.
Weber has guided the Wildcats to 20-win seasons and NCAA Tournament appearances twice during his tenure, including a record-setting inaugural campaign in 2012-13 in which he helped the school to its first conference championship in 36 seasons. His 62 wins are the third-most by a head coach in the first three seasons in school history, which includes 32 in the ultra-competitive Big 12 Conference. Weber and Lon Kruger are the only head coaches to guide the Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament in their first two seasons.
Despite a trying season in 2014-15 that saw K-State drop 10 games by 10 points or less, including seven by 5 points or less, Weber still helped the Wildcats collect five Top 25 wins, including back-to-back over Top 15 foes Kansas and Iowa State. The victory over the Jayhawks marked the first time in 32 seasons that the Wildcats have posted consecutive wins over their archrivals at home. In addition, the squad posted double-digit wins at home for the 14th consecutive season, including five over eventual NCAA Tournament teams.
Weber’s second season included his 10th NCAA Tournament appearance and 12th 20-win campaign, as K-State compiled a 20-13 record to go with a 10-8 mark in the nation’s most difficult conference, the Big 12, in 2013-14. The season was highlighted by a 10-game winning streak from Nov. 24, 2013 to Jan. 7, 2014, which tied for the ninth-longest in school history, and a 15-game home court winning streak that was the longest in Bramlage Coliseum history and the longest since a 20-game streak at Ahearn Field House from Jan. 28, 1981 to Jan. 30, 1982.
Weber’s record-setting inaugural season is considered one of the best men’s basketball seasons in school history, as the Wildcats tallied a 27-8 overall record and a 14-4 mark in league play en route to its first-ever Big 12 regular season championship and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The 27 wins were the second-most in school history, while the 14 in league play tied the school record held by the 1958-59 team. The league championship was the 18th in school history and the first since the 1976-77 season.
For his efforts, Weber was named the 2013 Big 12 Coach of the Year by both the league coaches and The Associated Press and District Coach of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). He has now been named conference Coach of the Year in three different times in three different leagues, the Missouri Valley (2003), Big Ten (2005) and Big 12 (2013). He is one of three coaches to win the Big 12 title in his first season since the inception of the league in 1997, while his 27 wins are third-most by a first-year head coach in Big 12 history.
Weber, 58, has compiled a 375-193 (.660) in his 17 seasons as a head coach, which includes stints at Southern Illinois (1998-2003) and Illinois (2003-11). His .660 winning percentage ranks 28th among active Division I head coaches, while he is the 41st coach (21st active coach) in NCAA history to take three different schools to the NCAA Tournament. Weber's teams have participated in postseason play in 12 of his 17 seasons, including 10 NCAA Tournament appearances. He has won 11 NCAA Tournament games, including trips to the Sweet 16 in 2002, 2004 and 2005, while his 2004-05 Illinois squad played North Carolina for the NCAA Championship.
Weber's teams have won a combined six conference regular season and tournament championships, including the 2002 and 2003 Missouri Valley Conference, 2004 and 2005 Big Ten Conference and 2013 Big 12 Conference regular season titles. He has won 20 or more games in all but four of his 17 campaigns, including an Illinois school record 37 wins in 2004-05, and he has averaged 22.1 victories a season in his head coaching career.
Weber has won numerous Coach of the Year honors in his career, including consensus National Coach of the Year accolades in 2005. Among the National Coach of the Year awards earned by Weber in 2005 were the Naismith Award, The Associated Press, Adolph F. Rupp Cup, U.S. Basketball Writers Association's Henry Iba Award, National Association of Basketball Coaches, Chevrolet/CBS, The Sporting News and Basketball Times. He was also selected as the 2003 Missouri Valley Conference and 2005 Big Ten Coach of the Year.
In all, Weber has 36 years of college coaching experience, which includes 19 seasons as an assistant coach for coaching legend Gene Keady, a native of Garden City, Kan., and 1958 Kansas State graduate. Weber spent his entire assistant coaching career with Keady, first at Western Kentucky (1979-80) and then Purdue (1981-98). The coaching duo helped the Hilltoppers to the Ohio Valley Conference regular season and tournament titles and a trip to NCAA Tournament in 1980 before moving to West Lafayette the following season. In Weber's 18 years at Purdue, the Boilermakers won six Big Ten titles, played in 14 NCAA Tournaments and made three NIT appearances.
All told, he has been a part of nearly 800 victories, 25 NCAA Tournament appearances and 13 conference championships in coaching stints at Western Kentucky, Purdue, Southern Illinois, Illinois and K-State.
Weber earned a bachelor's degree in education from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee in 1978 and a master's degree in education administration and physical education from Western Kentucky University in 1981.
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