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Great Lakes' Russ Bergman named CBA Coach of the Year

March 14, 2005 - Continental Basketball Association 1 (CBA 1) News Release

Boise, ID (March 14, 2005) — The Continental Basketball Association announced today that Great Lakes Storm Head Coach Russ Bergman has been named the 2004-05 CBA Coach of the Year. It is the first such honor for Bergman, which is voted on by CBA General Managers.

“First of all I would like to thank my owner Greg Van Boxel for hiring me and giving me a chance to coach in the CBA again,” stated Bergman. “I would also like to thank the players for their sacrifices and hard work throughout the season. The team faced a lot of adversity this season with injuries to key players and NBA call-ups, but through it all we still managed to obtain the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs as the regular season Eastern Conference champions. I would also like to thank my Assistant Coach George Turner for helping me put this franchise in the postseason for the first time ever.”

Bergman led the Storm to a 28-20 record this season, winning the Eastern Conference regular season title with 189.5 quarter-points, finishing 11 quarter-points ahead of the second-place Rockford Lightning (178.5). He also earned Coach of the Month honors for the month of January after leading the Storm to a 9-2 record (5-1 at home, 4-1 on the road) and a 5.1 quarter-point average (56.5 total).

During the season, the Raymond, Illinois native helped his players receive a league-high nine Player of the Week awards and two CBA-to-NBA call-ups (Jackie Butler – New York Knicks; Jermaine Jackson – New York Knicks). Throughout his career as a CBA head coach, a total of 27 CBA players have now been called-up to the NBA under his direction.

Bergman joined the Storm with an impressive coaching resume that included success in both the college and professional ranks. He began as an assistant coach at Appalachian State, before he was named Head Coach at Coastal Carolina in 1975. During 19 seasons at Coastal Carolina, he compiled a record of 306-246 (.554), and is ranked second on the Big South Conference's All-Time Wins list with a record of 149-112 (in eight seasons after moving from NAIA to NCAA Division I). He also earned Big South Coach of the Year honors on three different occasions, and twice led the Chanticleers to the NCAA Tournament (1991 and 1993).

In 1994 Bergman left Coastal Carolina to become the head coach of the CBA's Oklahoma City Cavalry. In three seasons with Oklahoma City, Bergman took the Cavalry to the CBA playoffs all three years, reaching the conference finals in 1995 and capturing the CBA Championship in 1997 (defeating the Florida Beachdogs in six games). Bergman was named Head Coach for the National Conference All-Stars in 1996 and led the team to a 121-106 win over the American Conference All-Stars.

He currently ranks 14th on the CBA’s All-Time Coaches Winning Percentage list at .537 (160-138), while he ranks 15th in CBA Playoff victories (17), and 13th in Playoff Winning Percentage (.515).

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