Collegiate basketball coach Mike Magpayo is the latest recipient of the prestigious Joe B. Hall Award – the first Filipino-American to ever receive the honor.

The award is given to the best rookie head coach in the first division of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) of the United States and is named after legendary coach Joe Beasman Hall – who served as head coach of the University of Kentucky’s Wildcats from 1972 to 1985.

College Insider announced Magpayo’s win on April 1 – wherein they acknowledge the University of California coach’s skills.

“Dealing with the pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding the future of athletics at UC Riverside, Mike Magpayo led the program to a historic season,” said Angela Lento of

“Coach Magpayo’s attention to detail and leadership are second to none. He’s a star in the profession,” Lento added.

Besides being the first Filipino to receive the award, he’s also the first Asian-American to lead a Division I program. This, he accomplished, a year after taking the head coach position at the university.

Magpayo led his team – the Highlanders – to a third-place finish at the Big West Conference with an overall record of 14-8. He managed to raise the team’s winning percentage to 63.6% – a first for the school since joining the Division I tournament.

Magpayo outclassed seven other finalists for the Joe B. Hall award, specifically Wichita State’s Isaac Brown, Georgia Southern’s Brian Burg, Texas State’s Terrence Johnson, Loyola Marymount’s Stan Johnson, Southeast Missouri State’s Brad Korn, ETSU’s Jason Shay, and UNCW’s Takayo Siddle.

The UC Riverside Men’s Basketball congratulated their coach through a post on Instagram.

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Image credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea via Getty Images