Langston University men’s basketball coach Chris Wright was named the 2023 Jack Bennett Man of the Year Award on Thursday.
Named in honor of Jack Bennett, the all-time winningest coach at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, the award “represents winning with integrity.” Bennett compiled a 200-56 record, winning five Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles, five NCAA Tournament appearances, and two national championships.
Wright assumed the helm of a Langston University basketball program in April 2022 that went 1-37 over the two previous seasons, including 1-27 last year, and immediately transformed the Lions into winners, going 31-3.
Langston also claimed the Sooner Athletic Conference regular season, the school’s first Sooner Athletic Conference tournament crown, and earned a no.2 seed in the NAIA Tournament.
“Last season Langston was 1-27. This season the Lions were 31-3. What else really needs to be said about the job Chris Wright has done,” said Joe Dwyer, President of CollegeInsider.com. “It’s without question one of the best, if not the best, single-season turnaround in college basketball history at any level. Chris Wright is an excellent coach and a quality individual.”
Before he arrived at Langston, Coach Wright spent four seasons as the head men’s basketball coach at Talladega College, where he went 106-25. In his last season with the Tornadoes, 2021-22, Wright led Talladega to a 32-6 record, winning the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Championship and advancing to the NAIA Championship game but losing to GCAC foe Loyola (La.), 71-56.
Wright is the second coach of an HBCU to win the Jack Bennett. Current Grambling coach Donte Jackson won the award while he was at Stillman in 2016.