Record-Courier staff report
Ohio senior point guard D.J. Cooper and Akron head coach Keith Dambrot were honored with the Mid-American Conference's top awards from the 2012-13 season.
Cooper was tabbed as the league's Player of the Year, while Dambrot was honored as the Coach of the Year by votes turned in by a 27-membrer media panel.
In the Player of the Year vote, Cooper received 16 to top Akron's Zeke Marshall (7) and Buffalo's Javon McCrea (2). Dambrot received 24-of-27 votes in the Coach of the Year race. Ohio's Jim Christian, Toledo's Tod Kowalczyk and Western Michigan's Steve Hawkins each received one vote.
Cooper, who is the first Bobcats player to win POY since Gary Trent (1993-95), ranks sixth in the nation with his 7.2 assists per game and leads Ohio in scoring (14.2) and steals (2.1).
"I'm very happy for D.J." said Christian. "He's had a great season and has been integral in everything we've accomplished. He has left an unparalleled mark on the Ohio University men's basketball program."
For his career, Cooper has recorded the most assists in the history of the MAC and is Ohio's all-time leader in assists (914), steals (323), 3-pointers made (267), games started (136) and games played (140). He also ranks fourth all-time at Ohio in points (2,035). His 914 assists are the 12th-most in the history of Division I college basketball.
Dambrot has guided the Zips to a 24-6 record and the program's second-consecutive MAC Regular Season championship (14-2), just the third repeat performance in the league in the last 30 years. Akron's 13-0 start to conference play broke Miami (Ohio)'s 55-year old record for the best league start in the MAC's 65 years of basketball (12-0, 1957-58). Dambrot is just the second coach in Akron history to win Coach of Year honors (Dan Hipsher, 1998).
"Earning Coach of the Year is a tribute to the consistency and success of our program, not only this season, but over the past nine years," Dambrot said. "There are a lot of people that have made this program a success, from the players and coaches to the support provided from the University."