The Capital Athletic Conference Board of Directors announced Saturday that the annual CAC Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year Award will be re-named in honor of York College of Pa. mentor Jeff Gamber, who is retiring following the 2011-12 season.
Gamber, who will also retire as YCP’s men’s golf following the 2012 season, served as the Director of Athletics for the Spartans in the late 1980s during the formation of the CAC.
The announcement was made at a reception of alumni, family and friends prior to the Spartans’ final regular-season weekend home game under Gamber. YCP, in a three-way tie for first place, hosted first-place University of Mary Washington on Saturday.
As one of the founders of the conference, Gamber helped build the conference that has won 15 national championships, boasts four NCAA Woman of the Year national finalists, 11 NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship Award winners, one Academic All-American of the Year, 57 national Academic All-Americans, hundreds of sport All-Americans and thousands of student-athletes who earned CAC Academic Honor Roll recognition.
Gamber entered Saturday’s game vs. UMW with 488 career wins, all at York College. Winner of the CAC Coach of the Year Award four times (1993, 1995, 2002 and 2005), Gamber guided the 2005 Spartans to their only CAC title and a berth in the NCAA Division III Final Four.
Two of Gamber’s players have won the CAC Men’s Basketball Player of the Year award - Chad McGowan (2007 and 2008) and current assistant coach Nick Brady (2010). Additionally, four Spartans have been selected as the CAC Rookie of the Year - Jason Saurbaugh (1997), McGowan (2005), Brady (2007) and current point guard Julian Watson (co-winner in 2009).
Gamber is the second long-time athletic director and coach to be honored by the CAC Board of Directors. In 2010, the Bill Finney CAC Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year Award was re-named in honor of former Marymount University AD and women’s basketball coach Bill Finney upon his retirement. Like Gamber, Finney was a founding AD and associated with the conference for two decades.
The only other CAC award named in recognition for long-time service is the Richard C. Cook All-Sport Award, named for the first Commissioner who retired in 2007 after 15 years of leading the CAC.