We just did a ranking of the football coaches in the ACC so why not rank the ACC basketball coaches?
This is just incredible the amount of coaching talent in ACC basetkaball. That might explain why the ACC is setting records for success in the NCAA tournament the last two years.
1) Mike Krzyzewski – Duke
Coach K has astonishing record. He’s a legendary coach, that has been to 12 Final Four’s and 5 National Titles. He’s the winningest men’s basketball coach in NCAA history, and he just won the National Title in 2015. Krzyzewski will have Duke pre-season ranked in the top 5 for the 2016-2017 season – just incredible.
2) Rick Pitino – Louisville
7 Final Fours for Pitino with 3 different teams is all-time great stuff. He has won a couple of national titles too, and one as recently as 2013 with the Louisville Cardinals. This past season might have been one Pitino’s best coaching jobs.
Despite a post-season ban, he kept the Cardinals focused and playing hard to the tune of finishing 21-6 (10-4) in the ACC.
3) Roy Williams – UNC
If you thought Roy Williams was slipping, you’d be wrong. This year’s North Carolina team ranked in the top 10 all year, won the ACC regular season championship, the ACC Tournament championship and came within seconds of winning the national title. He’s been 8 Final Fours, and has won 2 national titles.
4) Jim Boeheim – Syracuse
Jim Boeheim went to his 5th and most improbable Final Four in 2016. He has a national title, and has won 988 games in his Hall of Fame career. I can count on one hand how many coaches could have got this year’s Syracuse team to the Final 4.
5) Tony Bennett – Virginia
Tony Bennett has 89 games the last 3 years at Virginia. The Cavaliers have a perennial ACC and National Basketball power. He is considered one of the best young basketball coaches in the country. His resume only lacks a Final 4. Bennett will get there. He is too good a coach.
6) Jim Larranaga – Miami
What a job Jim Larranaga has done at Miami. In his 5 years at Miami, he’s been to the Sweet 16 twice. He had the magical Final 4 run with George Mason in 2006, and has nearly 600 career wins. This was one the ACC’s best basketball hires since 2010.
7) Mike Brey – Notre Dame
It seems like the older Mike Brey gets, the better he gets. For years he seems like an underachieving coach in the NCAAs, but the last two years he’s made the Elite 8. His offenses are some of the most fun to watch in the country. Brey has been to the NCAAs 11 of the last 16 years.
8) Buzz Williams – Virginia Tech
The only reason Buzz Williams is 8th on this list is because of the astonishing coaching depth of the ACC, but make no mistake he is an excellent coach. Williams had 3 straight Sweet 16 or better seasons at Marquette. He also won nearly 64% of his games in the rugged Big East back in the last 2000s and early 2010s. He came to the ACC, and had a major rebuilding project at Virginia Tech. In 2 years he the Hokies winning 20 games and finishing 10-8 in the ACC. He’ll have the Hokies in the NCAA tournament within 2 years.
9) Mark Gottfried - N.C. State
Mark Gottfried’s first 4 years at NC State were pretty solid. He averaged 23 wins a year, and made 2 Sweet 16s. There was still an undertone that he could have achieved more, but overall that’s pretty good. This year though the Wolfpack really struggled, going 16-17 (5-13). Is it just a 1 year hiccup, or are there more struggles ahead? 2016-2017 will be a critical year for Gottfried.
10) Leonard Hamilton – Florida State
Leonard Hamilton is a solid coach. He won the ACC in 2012, and from 2009 to 2012 went to 4 straight NCAA tournaments. The Noles have missed the NCAAs the last 4 years, and that is starting to make FSU fans a little uneasy. There should be a fair amount of talent on the 2016 team, so we will see if FSU can make it back to the Big Dance.
11) Brad Brownell – Clemson
Brad Brownwell looks a lot like Leonard Hamilton. Most people feel like he can coach, and I believe that too. His teams are never usually that bad, but the Tigers have now gone 5 straight years without an NCAA Bid. The pressure is starting to mount on Brownell to get back the NCAAs. The Tigers will have a new arena in 2016.
12) Josh Pastner – Georgia Tech
The Josh Pastner hire at Georgia was met with at best mixed reviews. He had four straight NCAA appearances at Memphis, but missed that last 2 years. Pastner was definitely not popular with Memphis fans at the end of the his tenure. He’s still young at only age 38, is a noted recruiter but there are way too many question marks to have him higher on this list.
13) Kevin Stallings – Pittsburgh
I wouldn’t even say the Kevin Stallings hire was met with mixed reviews. This was a hire that universally panned by critics and Pitt fans alike. Vanderbilt slid into the NCAAs last year, though many felt they didn’t deserve and they were out by the First Four portion of the NCAAs. They had missed the NCAAs the 3 previous years. He a had a few decent teams at Vanderbilt, but he didn’t accomplish much playing in a mediocre basketball conference like the SEC.
14) Danny Manning – Wake Forest
There were high hopes when Danny Manning came to Wake Forest. After two years and just 7 ACC wins, I’m starting to wonder if Manning can turn the Deacs around. Wake Forest had decent talent. When you look at how quickly Virginia Tech was turned around, then you really start to wonder about Manning.
15) Jim Christian – Boston College
4-32 is Jim Christian’s ACC record the last two years is an embarrassment. This hire was questioned at the time it was made, and nothing Christian has done has changed opinions. In a league like the ACC you need to be able recruit, and still be a great coach. Christian just seems overwhelmed coaching in the ACC.