Nuggets coach George Karl has officially won the 2012/13 Coach of the Year award, the team announced today in a press release. Karl beat out Erik Spoelstra (Heat), Mike Woodson (Knicks), Gregg Popovich (Spurs), and Frank Vogel (Pacers), who rounded out the top five.
Karl, who received 62 of 121 possible first-place votes, guided the Nuggets to a 57-25 record and a No. 3 seed in a competitive Western Conference. Although the team fell to the Warriors in the first round of the playoffs, its regular-season results, without a legit superstar, were impressive.
This year's Coach of the Year race was viewed as wide open, so I'm surprised Karl received more than half of the first-place votes. Besides the coaches who finished in the top five, Lionel Hollins (Grizzlies), Mark Jackson (Warriors), Tom Thibodeau (Bulls), and Kevin McHale (Rockets) were among the candidates worthy of consideration. Those four, along with P.J. Carlesimo (Nets), all finished in the top ten.
The Nuggets will hold a press conference at 12:30 CST today to formally present Karl with the award.