MACON, Ga. (MERCER RELEASE) – Mercer head men's basketball coach was honored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes as the 2014 John Lotz "Barnabas" Award winner in an announcement by the organization on Monday.
The award is presented annually to the basketball coach who best exhibits a commitment to Christ, integrity and encouragement to others and lives a balanced life. Hoffman joins Tom Crean (Indiana, 2013), Don Myer (Northern State, 2012), Billy Kennedy (Texas A&M, 2011), Gary Waters (Cleveland State, 2010), Ritchie McKay (Virginia, 2009), Willis Wilson (Rice, 2008), Dale Layer (Colorado State, 2007), Steve Alford (Iowa, 2006), Dale Clayton (Carson-Newman, 2005), John Wooden (UCLA, 2004) and Homer Drew (Valparaiso, 2003) as winners of the award.
"This award is a testament to Bob's character and is representative of how he leads our student-athletes on and off the court," Mercer Director of Athletics Jim Cole said.
Hoffman has led the Bears to a 23-8 (14-4 A-Sun) record in 2013-14 and clinched the program's second consecutive Atlantic Sun regular season title last week. Since his arrival at Mercer in 2008, Hoffman has led Mercer to a 121-81 record, three championships, eight high-major wins and 12 postseason wins.
"It's an honor and I'm humbled to be associated with the organization and the other names in college basketball that have received this recognition," Hoffman said. "I'm grateful and thankful. There have been a lot of people – from my FCA leader in high school, Jim Koch – to others all over the country that have helped me throughout my coaching career. It's an honor for all of us."
The award is the latest in a long line of distinctions Hoffman has procured through 23 seasons as a collegiate head coach. Hoffman is the reigning A-Sun Coach of the Year and was also named the CollegeInsider.com A-Sun Coach of the Year in 2009. This season has seen Hoffman reach notable milestones, including the 500th win of his career on Nov. 13 and his 750th game coached on Nov. 29.
"I've been a part of FCA since I was in high school," Hoffman said. "I was an officer in high school, helped start back FCA's at different universities, and worked camps as a counselor and a coach. It's amazing what the organization has done to further the Kingdom all over the country."
Hoffman uses the platform of athletics to enrich the lives of others, leading his team's participation in numerous community service projects including Macon Impact, Rebuilding Macon, and the GEAR UP program.
In July of 2013, Hoffman's Bears were just one of 23 Division I programs to earn the National Association of Basketball Coaches Team Academic Excellence award, reserved for teams that maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better.
Hoffman's 2013-14 season continues on Tuesday, as the No. 2 seed Bears host No. 7 Jacksonville in the opening round of the Atlantic Sun Tournament. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.