Nov. 3, 2007
Houston - University of Houston head men's basketball coach Tom Penders will be given the 2007 "Mr. Sportsman 2007" award at the annual Interfaith Charities, Inc. "Mr. Sportsman Dinner" on Tuesday, Nov. 6 at the Houstonian Hotel.
Penders is entering his fourth season as Houston's head coach and 34th season overall as a collegiate head coach with a 57-39 record at the school, giving him the best three-year start for any Cougar men's basketball coach.
He also enters the 2007-08 season needing just 16 more victories to join a list of 28 NCAA Division I coaches who have won 600 games in their career. Penders enters the 2007-08 campaign with a 584-400 career record.
Penders came to Houston after coaching at George Washington, Texas, Rhode Island, Fordham, Columbia and Tufts.
Penders coached three seasons at George Washington and led the Colonials to the 1999 NCAA Tournament. In his 10 years at Texas, he set a school record with 208 victories and led the Longhorns to three Southwest Conference championships and 10 NCAA tournaments. He went to Texas after leading Rhode Island to the NCAA Sweet 16 and one NIT appearance in his two seasons there. He also led Fordham to five straight NIT tournaments.
Each year Interfaith Charities honors an outstanding Houstonian for supporting IFC's purpose and leadership in the community. Proceeds from the dinner go directly to the IFC scholarship fund, which benefits a variety of Interfaith organizations from homes for the aged, to activities for inner-city schools to non-sectarian hospitals.
Penders joins former UH coaches Guy V. Lewis, Bill Yeoman and Pat Foster as recipients of the Mr. Sportsman award. Lewis was honored in 1970, while Yeoman received the award in 1976 and Foster earned the honor in 1992.
Penders begins his quest for 600 victories on Friday, Nov. 9 when the Cougars play host to Morehead State at 8:00 p.m. on Guy V. Lewis Court at Hofheinz Pavilion.