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Mitchell named Coach of the Year

Mitchell named Coach of the Year

Mitchell named Coach of the Year
April 24th, 2007

New York, NY (Sports Network) - Sam Mitchell, who guided the Toronto Raptors to an NBA-best 20-game improvement this season, was named Coach of the Year on Tuesday.

Mitchell garnered 49 first-place votes and 389 points from a panel of 128 sports writers to become the first Raptor head coach to capture the Red Auerbach Trophy.

Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan was second with 301 points (39 first-place votes) and Dallas' Avery Johnson was third with 268 points (28 first-place votes). Candidates were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third-place vote received.

In his third season as the Raptors' head coach, Mitchell led his club to its first Atlantic Division title and a franchise-record-tying 47 wins. That gave Toronto the third seed in the Eastern Conference and home court advantage in the playoffs for the first time in team history.

That was a dramatic turnaround, as the Raptors went just 27-55 in 2005-06.

Mitchell played 13 seasons in the NBA before retiring in 2002. It took him just two years as an assistant coach before being tabbed head coach of the Raptors in June of 2004.

The Raptors finished 33-49 in his first season as head coach.

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