Columbus State's Jonathan Norton wins state coaching award

Columbus State Jonathan Norton has guided the women's basketball team to a 28-1 record, a Peach Belt Conference championship, a berth in the PBC tournament semifinals and a No. 5 ranking.

Those accomplishments, which will include a berth in the NCAA Division II tournament when the bids are announced Sunday, earned Norton the Whack Hyder Women's Georgia College Coach of the Year.

The announcement was made the Atlanta Tipoff Club on Wednesday.

"It's a great honor, especially when you look at the folks who have won it before," Norton said. "It's a statewide award for all levels, not just Division II.

"But my take on all awards is that it's really more of a team award, a program award. It means we've had the most success this year and performed at a high level. That's a program award, not just one person. It starts with the players and, of course, my incredible coaching staff that makes me look good and makes my job easy."

Norton is the second CSU coach to win the award. Herbert Greene won the men's award in 2005.

Norton will receive the award at the Naismith Awards Banquet presented by AT&T on March 24 at the Georgia International Convention Center.

This is Norton's sixth season as the Lady Cougars' coach. Norton has compiled an 113-54 mark.

CSU is one of four women's teams in Division II to have just one loss.

The Lady Cougars face USC Aiken at 1 p.m. Saturday in the PBC tournament semifinals. CSU is the defending tournament champion.

-- David Mitchell contributed to this report.