Don Maestri was named the 2009 Sun Belt Coach of the Year, while juniors Brandon Hazzard, Richard Delk and Michael Vogler were each named All-Conference players by a vote of league coaches and media.
The award is the seventh for Maestri in his 27 seasons as the helm of the Trojans, but his first in the Sun Belt Conference. TROY has been a member of the Sun Belt Conference since the 2005-06 season.
Maestri has won coach of the year awards in five different conferences, tying him with West Virginia’s Bob Huggins for the most among active coaches. Maestri led the Trojans to their first above .500 record since the 2003-04 season with a 19-12 finish and their first above .500 finish in the Sun Belt with a 14-4 record.
“A coach of the year award is totally different than and all-conference award. All-conference awards are based upon individual performances. The Coach of the Year Award is a group award. To get it, you have to have a successful season and that includes the coaches, players, both our managers – Christian Laing and Demarcus Weems, our athletic trainer – Alyson Steed, Barry McKnight – our broadcaster and our SID – Taylor Bryan, because everyone worked hard all season. It is truly an honor for the whole group, not just the head coach,” Maestri said.
The Trojans and South Alabama had three players named to all-conference teams. Hazzard was named to the first team after averaging 18.3 points per game in conference play. He also shot a team-best 45 percent from behind the 3-point arc for the season.
Hazzard was named the league’s Player of the Week three consecutive weeks from Feb. 2-18.
Delk, a first-year player at TROY, was named the Sun Belt’s second team and was also honored as the league’s Newcomer of the Year. Delk scored 14 points per game with five rebounds and 2.5 assists. His award marks just the second time a TROY player has won an individual award in the SBC. Former Trojan Sammy Sharp was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2007.
Vogler rounded out the Trojans’ awards with a third team honor. He leads the Sun Belt in both assists (161) and steals (57). He also averaged a career-best 10.2 points per game.
Vogler also ranks on a pair of TROY’s single-season record lists. His 161 assists this season are good enough for fourth all-time, while his 57 steals are seventh. He ranks sixth at TROY in the assists category for a career with 276.