FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — University of Arkansas women’s basketball coach Tom Collen was named as one of eight finalists for 2012 Russell/WBCA Division I Coach of the Year Award, the WBCA announced Thursday. Collen, who became the first Razorback women’s basketball coach to earn Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year, was selected from Region Three. The winner will be announced during the second annual WBAC Awards Show Monday, April 2, in Denver, Colo. “The WBCA congratulates these eight coaches on being named finalists for this year’s Division I Coach of the Year award,” said WBCA CEO Beth Bass. “Each coach was selected by their peers and is deserving of this honor for their terrific seasons. On behalf of the WBCA and its members, I wish all five of these finalists the best of luck at the WBCA Awards Show in Denver.” Collen’s Arkansas Razorbacks posted a program-best SEC regular-season record (10-6) and tied for fourth place in the conference standings. Adding to their list of “firsts,” Collen’s team landed an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time during his five-year tenure as head coach of the team. The other finalists include Muffet McGraw of Notre Dame (region 1), Brenda Frese of Maryland (region 2), Curt Miller of Bowling Green (region 4), Kim Mulkey of Baylor (region 5), Coquese Washington of Penn State (region 6), Reagan Pebley of Utah State (region 7) and Tara VanDerveer of Stanford (region 8). Miller and Scott worked with Collen as assistant coaches at Colorado State before becoming head coaches.