We are Guardians of the Game

NABC members uphold the core values of leadership, advocacy, service, education and inclusion.


Coaches are “Guardians of the Game.” We share a collective responsibility to serve and support student-athletes, fellow coaches and the game of basketball.

Guardians of the Game is a national awareness and education platform led by the NABC. The goal of the platform is to amplify the positive role coaches play in the lives of student-athletes and the contributions coaches make to their communities and society at large.

The Guardians of the Game program emphasizes five core values:


Advocacy – NABC members advocate for the best interests of student-athletes, coaches, and the game of basketball.

Leadership – NABC members are role models and provide leadership on issues impacting the game of basketball and society.

Service – NABC members strengthen their communities through civic involvement and service.

Education – NABC members support student-athlete academic excellence and are committed to helping coaches develop professionally on and off the court.

Inclusion – NABC members champion the cause of diversity, equity and inclusion and support equal opportunities for all in the coaching profession.


NABC Guardians of the Game Pillar Awards

NABC Guardians of the Game Pillar Awards are presented annually to NABC members who uphold the core values of advocacy, leadership, service, education and inclusion.

  • Advocacy - Presented by CoPeace

    2002   Ed Bilik, Springfield

    2003   Jerry Krause, Gonzaga

    2004   Don Showalter, Mid-Prairie High School

    2005   Chris Mowry, Santa Fe Community College

    2006   Bill Leatherman, Bridgewater

    2007   Jud Heathcote, Michigan State

    2008   Pete Smith, Guerin Catholic High School

    2009   Mike Turner, Albion

    2010   Mac Petty, Wabash

    2011   Pat Cunningham, Trinity

    2012   Bill Brown, California (Pa.)

    2013   Danny Miles, Oregon Tech

    2014   Ed Hall, Old Dominion

    2015   Tom O’Connor, George Mason

    2016   Charlie Brock, Springfield

    2017   Lanny Van Eman,  Arkansas

    2018   Bill Raleigh, Southwestern

    2019   Tony Ingle, Dalton State

    2021   Tad Boyle, Colorado

    2022   Mike DeWitt, Ohio Wesleyan

  • Leadership

    2002   Dave Gavitt, Providence/Big East

    2003   Lonnie Porter, Regis University

    2004   Eddie Sutton, Oklahoma State

    2005   Harry Statham, McKendree College

    2006   Russell F. Booth, Glenwood City High School

    2007   Steve Bankson, Baldwin-Wallace

    2008   C. Alan Rowe, Widener

    2009   George Blaney, Connecticut

    2010   Bob Burchard, Columbia

    2011   Don Meyer, Northern State

    2012   Lorenzo Romar, Washington

    2013   David Hixon, Amherst

    2014   John Erickson, Coach and Administrator

    2015   Charlie Titus, UMass Boston

    2016   Ben Braun, Eastern Michigan/California/Rice

    2017   Gary McKnight, Mater Dei High School

    2018   Lonn Reisman, Tarleton State

    2019   Steve Ridder, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical

    2021   Phil Martelli, Michigan

    2022   Dan Gavitt, NCAA

  • Service - Presented by CoPeace

    2002   Ron Naclerio, Cardozo High School

    2003   Hal Smith, Malone

    2004   Bo Ryan, Wisconsin

    2005   Bill Van Gundy, Genesee Community College

    2006   Jim Kessler, Grace

    2007   Richard Reed, Sacramento State

    2008   Dave Rose, Brigham Young

    2009   Ron Hunter, IUPUI

    2010   Jim Satalin, Coaches vs. Cancer

    2011   Bill Self, Kansas

    2012   Scott Nagy, South Dakota State

    2013   Matt Brown

    2014   Gary Stewart, Stevenson

    2015   Tom Herrion, Georgia Tech and Pat Skerry, Towson

    2016   Gregg and Peggy Nibert, Presbyterian

    2017   Dan Hays, Oklahoma Christian

    2018   University of Houston Men’s Basketball Staff

    2019   John Thompson III, Georgetown/Commission on College Basketball

    2021   Rob Krimmel, Saint Francis and Eric Reveno, Georgia Tech

    2022   Mike Schult, Edgewood

  • Education

    2002   John Wooden, UCLA

    2003   Robert Murrey, USA Coaches Clinics

    2004   Kevin McCarthy, State University of New York-Cobleskill

    2005   Herb Magee, Philadelphia

    2006   Jim Burson, NABC President

    2007   Gary Smith, Redlands

    2008   Steve Moore, Wooster

    2009   Claudie Mackey, Elizabeth City State

    2010   Paul Hewitt, Georgia Tech

    2011   Charlie Coles, Miami (OH)

    2012   Mike McConathy, Northwestern State

    2013   Brett Reed, Lehigh

    2014   Ernie Nestor, U.S. Naval Academy

    2015   Cliff Garrison, Hendrix

    2016   Oliver Eslinger, California Institute of Technology

    2017   T.J. Otzelberger, South Dakota State

    2018   Murray Garvin, South Carolina State

    2019   Larry McKenzie, Minneapolis North High School

    2021   Leonard Hamilton, Florida State

    2022   LeVelle Moton, North Carolina Central

  • Inclusion

    2021   Tommy Amaker, Harvard; John Calipari, Kentucky; Frank Martin, South Carolina

    2022   Tavaras Hardy, Loyola Maryland