Fort Hays State Women's Basketball head coach Tony Hobson has been named the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Women's Four-Year College Coach of the Year for 2021-22. This is the second time Hobson has received this honor from the KBCA in his coaching tenure at FHSU, the first time being for the 2018-19 season.
Hobson guided Fort Hays State to a 30-4 record in 2021-22. The Tigers were Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association (MIAA) regular season and tournament champions, while earning the No. 1 seed and hosting rights for the Central Regional of the NCAA Tournament. It was the fourth time the Tigers were the top ranked team in the region during Hobson's tenure at FHSU. The Tigers posted a 19-3 record in MIAA play in a very strong conference top to bottom that saw four members compete in the Central Region of the NCAA Tournament. The MIAA regular season title was the fourth for Fort Hays State, all within the last eight years, and the tournament title was the second for FHSU. All six of those titles have been with Hobson at the helm. Since 2012, only three teams have won both the MIAA regular season and tournament titles in the same year. Fort Hays State has accomplished the feat twice (2018-19, 2021-22) in that span. FHSU finished the year ranked No. 7 in the WBCA Division II Top 25 Poll, the fourth time being ranked inside the Top 10 at season's end and all occurring since 2015.
Fort Hays State entered the NCAA Tournament at 28-3 overall. The Tigers defeated Minnesota State in the regional quarterfinals, then St. Cloud State in the semifinals to reach the regional final for the third time in the last eight years. The Tigers dropped a heartbreaker in the region championship game to Missouri Western by just one point on a late basket. The three appearances for Fort Hays State in the Central Region final (2015, 2019, 2022) are the deepest runs for the program in the NCAA Tournament.
The Tigers have now enjoyed 11 consecutive 20-win seasons under Hobson's guidance, making seven NCAA Tournament appearances in that span, all within the last eight years. In his 30 years of coaching women's basketball teams at the collegiate level, Hobson has put together nine 30-win seasons, which includes three at FHSU, five at Hastings (Neb.) College, and one at Barton (Kan.) Community College. All three of his NAIA national championship squads at Hastings College won at least 30 games in a season. He has reached the 20-win plateau in a season 24 times his 30 years as a coach, which helps add up to an astonishing 725-215 (.771) overall coaching record.
Hobson became the all-time wins leader in FHSU history during the 2018-19 season. Hobson took over the lead on the list in just his 11th season and now holds a record of 312-109 guiding the Tigers for 14 years. He also tops the all-time win percentage list for FHSU coaches at .741, with the closest on the list at .665.
The consistent run of success built by Hobson at Fort Hays State strongly impacts attendance at home games inside Gross Memorial Coliseum. Official attendance reports for the 2021-22 season will not be released until later, but Fort Hays State led NCAA Division II in attendance averaging 2,184 fans per game. No other program averaged 2,000 or better. The NCAA did not produce an official attendance report in 2020-21 due to COVID-19 restrictions nationwide, but FHSU led in average attendance that season as well. Prior to leading NCAA Division II the last two seasons, FHSU ranked second in the nation in average home attendance for six straight years.
This Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year honor gives Hobson 19 Coach of the Year honors in his 30-year history as a collegiate head coach.