College of Idaho’s Colby Blaine named NAIA Coach of the Year
The former CSI assistant coach picks up second national award
CALDWELL, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — After guiding the College of Idaho Men’s Basketball team to a national title last weekend, head coach Colby Blaine is now the newly named NAIA Men’s Basketball National Coach of the Year.
The Yotes beat Indiana Tech, 73-71, in Saturday’s NAIA championship, behind Fruitland High School graduate Jake O’Neil’s 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Middleton High School graduate Tyler Robinett added 11 points.
The championship marks the second one in program history, first since 1996 when the school was known as Albertson College and took home a NAIA Division II Championship.
C of I finished the 2022-23 season on a 36-game-win streak after losing their first contest of the season. Wood River High School graduate Johnny Radford was the team’s overall leading scorer for the season, notching 12.9 points per game.
Coach Blaine credits the men for putting in the work all season long and believing in themselves and the program.
“We still had those butterflies in our stomachs, like man are we good enough to win this game and I think that kept us on edge just enough to make sure that we played the right way, that we communicated the right way, to make the plays we needed,” Blaine said. “So I really enjoyed that about this team.”
Blaine just wrapped up his fifth year as head coach, ninth total with the program and has already won two national coach of the year honors.
Back in 2020, the Yotes were still a part of the NAIA Division II before the league consolidated the two divisions. The Yotes entered that tournament as the No. 1 seed, won the first game, but due to Covid-19, the tournament was canceled prior to the second round. The NAIA still honored Blaine with Division II Coach of the Year honors for their 31-3 record.
“All of these championship teams, they all experience the same things, the brotherhood, the tough times, you know, the luck, and so a lot of similarities between our 2020 team that was ranked No.1 when Covid hit, compared to this team as well,” Blaine exclaimed.
Blaine also won a championship with the College of Southern Idaho in 2011 as an assistant coach.
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