After leading the Owls to their best season in history, men's basketball coach Mike Jarvis added another accomplishment to the list by being named the Sun Belt Conference coach of the year.
In Jarvis' third year as head coach, the Owls tied school records for most wins in a season with 21 -- and the longest winning streak at eight games. FAU also received an invite to the National Invitational Tournament, which was its second time participating in the post season.
"Without the determination and effort of this team, I don't think I would have been named coach of the year. We won this together," Jarvis said.
Players agree that Jarvis is worthy of the award.
"He isn't only a coach, but also a teacher. That's what separates him for the others. He's the most influential coach I've played for," guard Raymond Taylor said.
"Coach Jarvis is always trying to make us better. No matter how well we are planning he always sees room for improvement. That's what makes him an excellent coach," added center Brett Royster.
Jarvis' molding of FAU into a competitive basketball program is not a surprise since he has been successful at every school for which he has coached. He's won 101 games at Boston University, 143 games and a Sweet 16 appearance at George Washington University and 110 games and a Big East championship at St. John's University.
Even with his accomplishments, Jarvis' coaching path has been a rocky one. At the end of his tenure at St. John's in 2003, coaches on Jarvis' staff were accused of paying players, forcing Jarvis to leave coaching. Jarvis then left New York for Boca Raton, where he worked as an analyst for ESPN.
"It's difficult to be at the top of your profession and then all of a sudden you're not doing it at all. It must have been the lowest I felt in my life," Jarvis said.
Although Jarvis was working as an analyst, he still had the urge to coach. He says his life took a turn after he committed himself to Christ.
"Coming to Boca Raton was like a blessing. If I stayed in New York I probably would have not been saved," Jarvis said.
Jarvis has left the once-low point in his life and has taken the Owls and himself to new heights. He has also been named National Association of Basketball Coaches district coach of the year and is a finalist for Ben Jobe Award. Both Taylor and Royster have been named to both the first and third Sun Belt teams.
"Every player and coach on this team has contributed to the success this year. If we continue this next year, who knows where we will be?" Jarvis said.