October 26, 1958 |
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
Eastern Michigan (asst.)
St. Vincent–St. Mary HS
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
MAC Coach of the Year (2013)
Keith B. Dambrot (born October 26, 1958) is an American college basketball coach and the current men's basketball head coach of the University of Akron. Dambrot also coached NBA Star, LeBron James, while serving as head coach of St. Vincent-St. Mary High School.
Early coaching career
Dambrot began his head coaching career at Division II schools Tiffin University for two seasons from 1984 to 1986 and at Ashland University for two seasons from 1989 to 1991, At Ashland, he led his team each year into the NCAA D-II Men's Basketball tournament. In between, he was an assistant coach at Eastern Michigan University.
Central Michigan University
Dambrot replaced Charlie Coles as coach of Central Michigan University for the 1991–92 season. However, he only lasted two seasons, and was fired for making a controversial comment before a game against Miami University.
Coaching LeBron James at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School
The incident at Central Michigan had essentially blackballed Dambrot from college coaching. In 1998, he became the head coach at St. Vincent–St. Mary HS in Akron, Ohio. During his three seasons there, he guided the Fighting Irish to a 69–10 record. During the last two years of his tenure as coach there, future NBA star LeBron James was on his squad, and they won two consecutive state championships, as well as were nationally ranked. Before playing for Dambrot, James had met with him, and followed up on the accusations made about him during his stint at Central Michigan. In his book, Shooting Stars, James said that he did not believe that Dambrot was a racist.
University of Akron
Dambrot left St. Vincent-St. Mary in 2001 to return to coaching as an assistant at the collegiate level at his alma mater, the University of Akron. Since becoming the head coach of Akron in 2004, Dambrot has led Akron to the postseason in four-straight and five of the last six seasons – participating in the NCAA Tournament in 2009 and 2011, the National Invitation Tournament in 2008 and 2006 and the College Basketball invitational (CBI) in 2010. Akron has won 20-plus games in each of the last six years – one of only 20 teams in the country to do so – and posted 19 victories in Dambrot's first season (2004–05). The Zips have won at least 23 games in each of the last six seasons – a feat unmatched in program history. Additionally, Akron has competed in the Mid-American Conference Tournament title game in each of the last five years and is just the second league school to have appeared in at least five-straight finals (Miami (Ohio) 1997–2001).
In his seven seasons in charge of the program, Akron has amassed a 162–75 (.684) overall record, including an 80–36 mark in MAC play and a 91–15 tally in home games (50–8 in MAC play at home). Those 162 victories are tied for the most by a MAC team and are tied for 29th-best nationally during that seven-season span. In 13 seasons as a collegiate head coach he owns a 270–145 (.651) overall record. Dambrot enters the season in fifth place in league history with a .628 win percentage while coaching in the MAC (182–109 overall; 162–75 Akron, 20–34 CMU), eighth in overall wins (182), 11th in league games winning percentage (.600, 90–60) and 10th in conference wins (90).
Named the 2009 Best Mid-Major Coach by Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports, Dambrot's time at UA has been highlighted by mentoring a total of 20 All-MAC honorees, 10 MAC All-Tournament selections, two tournament MVPs and one player of the year honor. Also during his watch, seven players have been added to the school's 1,000-point scorer's list and he coached Akron's all-time assists leader (Dru Joyce, 503), all-time blocked shots leader (Romeo Travis, 165), all-time winningest player (Chris McKnight, 97 victories over a four-season span) and the all-time games played leader (Steve McNees, 141).
The list of accolades received by UA players over the last seven seasons also include Romeo Travis being named Honorable Mention All-America (the program's first such honoree since 1989) and MAC Player of the Year (first in program history) in 2007, Cedrick Middleton (2007) and Brett McKnight (2009) earning MAC Sixth Man of the Year (only two honors of that kind in program history), and Nate Linhart (2009) and Jimmy Conyers (2010) being selected as the MAC Defensive Player of the Year. Linhart also earned league tournament MVP honors in 2009. In 2011, Zeke Marshall earned league tournament MVP honors after helping the Zips to their second MAC title in three seasons.
In 2010, Dambrot was elected into the Summit County Sports Hall of Fame for his contributions at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, and at The University of Akron as both a student-athlete and head coach. He was also a finalist for the Red Auerbach Coach of the Year Award, which is awarded by the Jewish Coaches Association.
Head coaching record
|Tiffin (Division II independent) (1984–1986)|
|Ashland (Great Lakes Valley Conference) (1989–1991)|
|1989–90||Ashland||22–8||13–5||T–2nd||NCAA D–II 2nd Round|
|1990–91||Ashland||26–5||14–4||T–1st||NCAA D–II Elite Eight|
|Central Michigan (Mid-American Conference) (1991–1993)|
|Akron (Mid-American Conference) (2004–present)|
|2005–06||Akron||23–10||14–4||T–2nd (East)||NIT 2nd Round|
|2007–08||Akron||24–11||11–5||2nd (East)||NIT 2nd Round|
|2008–09||Akron||23–13||10–6||3rd (East)||NCAA 1st Round|
|2009–10||Akron||24-11||12-4||2nd (East)||CBI 1st Round|
|2010–11||Akron||23–13||9-7||T–3rd (East)||NCAA 1st Round|
|2011–12||Akron||22-12||13–3||1st (East)||NIT First Round|
|2012–13||Akron||26-7||14-2||T–1st (East)||NCAA 2nd Round|
|2013–14||Akron||21–13||12–6||2nd (East)||CIT First Round|