WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (April 12, 2024) – Kevin Keatts, the men’s basketball coach at North Carolina State University, and Alfred Jordan, the men’s basketball coach at Clark Atlanta University, have been named the Clarence “Big House” Gaines College Basketball Coaches of the Year by the National Sports Media Association. The Gaines Awards will be presented during the NSMA’s 64th awards banquet on July 1, 2024 in Greensboro, N.C.

Keatts, the Division I winner of the Gaines Award, took NC State on a magical run through the postseason. After finishing the regular season with a 17-14 record, the Wolfpack swept five games in five days to win the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament in Washington, D.C., the Wolfpack’s first ACC Tournament title since 1987. As the ACC’s automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament, NC State then rang up four straight wins to reach the national semifinals, where the Wolfpack lost to eventual runner-up, Purdue University. In seven seasons at NC State, Keatts’ teams are 139-94. His NC State teams have won at least 20 games in five of his seven seasons at NC State.

After going 8-20 in his first season at Clark Atlanta, Jordan’s second team showed a marked improvement. The Division II Gaines Award winner led the Panthers to a 22-5 record during the regular season, with the five losses coming by a total of 11 points. Clark Atlanta then won three straight games to take the Southern Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Tournament championship and advance to the NCAA Division II South Regional, where they lost to Florida Southern College. For his efforts, Jordan was named the SIAC Coach of the Year and HBCU National Coach of the Year by BOXTOROW.

Born in Lynchburg, Va., Keatts played four seasons as a point guard at Ferrum (Va.) College, before he earned his bachelor’s degree at Marshall University, where he served as an assistant coach for two seasons. After serving as head coach at Hargrave Military Academy (Va.) for 10 seasons, Keatts joined Rick Pitino’s staff at the University of Louisville for three years, before being named the head coach at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Keatts’ teams made the postseason in each of his three years in Wilmington, including back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament his last two years. He is one of only two coaches in the last 40 seasons to lead the Wolfpack to four consecutive seasons of .500 or better in conference play. Keatts and his wife Georgette, have two sons, K.J. and Kaden.

Jordan is a Harlem, N.Y. native, who earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Clark Atlanta while playing point guard for the Panthers from 2006-‘09. Prior to starting as head coach, Jordan served eight seasons as an assistant at his alma mater, two seasons as an assistant at University of Arkansas – Little Rock, and one season as an assistant at Morehouse College. He and his wife Cherokee, are the parents of son Alfred Jr., and daughter, Aria.

The 64th NSMA Awards Banquet and national convention are set for Grandover Resort – a Wyndham Grand Hotel in Greensboro, N.C. for the first time June 30-July, 2024. For additional information, please visit www.nationalsportsmedia.org. Tickets to the NSMA awards weekend and national convention are available here: https://bit.ly/3T4BMX5.



The Clarence “Big House” Gaines College Basketball Coach of the Year Awards are presented to the head coach in NCAA Divisions 1 and 2, who may not earn recognition from mainstream outlets. An NSMA committee votes on the awards at the conclusion of the NCAA men’s and women’s tournaments.

Gaines was the head basketball coach at Winston-Salem (NC) State University for 47 seasons. His teams won 828 games, including the 1967 NCAA Division II National Championship. That team was led by Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, who went on to an NBA Hall of Fame career. Among other notable players Gaines coached were Cleo Hill, the first NBA first-round draft choice from a historically Black college or university, and sports media personality Stephen A. Smith. A former president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), Gaines was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982. He died in 2005.

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