WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.- The National Sports Media Association (NSMA) has announced that Virginia State University's men's basketball coach Lonnie Blow Jr. (Division II) is the 2018-19 winner of the Clarence "Big House" Gaines College Basketball Coach of the Year Award. Also receiving the honor is Kelvin Sampson (Division I), the head coach at the University of Houston. The Gaines Awards will be presented during the 60th annual NSMA Awards Banquet on June 24, 2019, at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Blow led VSU to a 28-5 record and the best record in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association's Northern Division. The Trojans followed that by winning the CIAA Tournament championship, the third in Blow's career. That earned VSU a berth in the NCAA Division Two tournament, where they beat Notre Dame College (Ohio) before falling short in the regional semifinals. The National Association of Basketball Coaches named him the co-coach of the year for the Atlantic Region of Division II.
Blow's Trojans have a record of 131-43 in his six seasons at Virginia State. Before that, he had two separate stints as the head coach at St, Augustine's in Raleigh, N.C. His overall coaching record over nine seasons is 193-70. He is the only coach to win CIAA Championships at two different institutions (St. Augustine's - 2010; VSU - 2016, 2019). He was also an assistant coach at Old Dominion and a successful high school coach in a career that began in 1984.
Blow is a Virginia native who starred in basketball at Virginia Wesleyan College. He and his wife Donna are the parents of an adult son, Kenneth.