News & Events

Werner Ladder Steps Up To Support Atlanta Tipoff Club

Dec 21, 2016

Company Signs on as Title Sponsor of the Naismith College Coach of the Year Awards

ATLANTA (December 21, 2016) – On this day 125 years ago, Dr. James Naismith invented – and later coached – the game of basketball.  The Atlanta Tipoff Club, which since 1969 has honored his legacy by naming college basketball awards after him, today announced a multi-year agreement to make Werner Ladder the title sponsor of the Naismith College Coach of the Year Awards.  Additionally, Werner becomes the “official ladder of the Naismith Awards.”

As part of Werner’s partnership with the Atlanta Tipoff Club, the Werner Ladder Naismith Men’s and Women’s College Coach of the Year Awards will include a fan vote that will begin on March 3, 2017 and be hosted at

Werner and the Atlanta Tipoff Club also will jointly create the “Naismith Coaches Steps To Success” program where Werner will highlight coaches’ mentors who helped them get to the “top of the ladder,” as well as feature the relationships between players and coaches, helping their players climb the ladder of life. 

“Werner Ladder has been a long-time supporter of college basketball and we’re proud to have them join the Naismith Trophy family,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club.  “It has been a longstanding tradition for winning coaches to cut down the nets from atop a Werner ladder and now Werner will be able to honor the nation’s most outstanding men’s and women’s college coaches on a yearly basis.”

”We are incredibly excited to expand our college basketball partnerships to include the Atlanta Tipoff Club and Naismith Awards,” said Chris Filardi, vice president of marketing at WernerCo. “The most influential coaches promote success both on and off the court. From leadership development and teamwork to academic achievement, we are proud to help celebrate the Naismith Coaches of the Year.”

Both the Naismith Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Coach of the Year Awards have been presented since 1987.  Bob Knight of Indiana won the first men’s award; Tennessee’s Pat Summit won the inaugural women’s award.


About the Atlanta Tipoff Club

Founded during the 1956-57 season, the Atlanta Tipoff Club is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club administers the Naismith Awards, which have become the most prestigious national honors in all of college basketball. Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, the Naismith Trophy recognizes the top Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Players and coaches, as well as Boy’s and Girl’s high school basketball players and coaches.  Additionally, lifetime achievement awards are presented annually to overall contributors and college officials. The Naismith Trophy was first presented to UCLA’s Lew Alcindor (later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) in 1969.