What makes a great basketball coach? The answer may vary depending on who you ask, but there are certainly some traits that all great coaches share. If you’re looking for the next great basketball coach here are 10 people who fit the bill.
Tom Izzo- Michigan State
Tom Izzo has been the Head Coach of the Michigan State Spartans men’s basketball team since 1995. Under Izzo, the Spartans have won one NCAA championship (in 2000), six Final Fours (1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2009, 2015), seven Big Ten Championships (1999, 2000, 2002, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2020), and appeared in 28 NCAA tournaments. Izzo has been named Naismith College Coach of the Year three times (1998, 2009, 2016) and National Coach of the Year four times by various outlets (1998 by AP; 1998 by UPI; 2009 by Sporting News; and 2016 by CBS Sports). Additionally, he has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year seven times: once by UPI (1998) and six times by the media (1998–99 season; 1999–00 season; 2001–02 season; 2008–09 season; 2009–10 season; 2011–12 season).
John Beilein- Michigan
John Beilein has been the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Michigan since 2007. He is a two-time national coach of the year, and has led the Wolverines to six NCAA tournament appearances, including four Sweet Sixteen appearances and two Elite Eight appearances. Beilein is also a five-time conference coach of the year, winning four Big Ten Coach of the Year awards and one acc coach of the Year Award
Chris Holtmann- Ohio State
Chris Holtmann is in his third season as the head coach of the Ohio State men’s Basketball team He has led the Buckeyes to a 58-24 record, including a 28-12 mark in Big Ten play. Holtmann has also been named the Big Ten Coach of the Year twice and was a finalist for the award in 2019.
Holtmann took over a Ohio State team that had been to just one NCAA Tournament in the previous four seasons and led the Buckeyes to the tournament in each of his first two seasons. He has also guided Ohio State to a pair of top-10 finishes in the Big Ten Standings
Prior to coming to Ohio State Holtmann spent three seasons as the Head Coach at Butler. He led the Bulldogs to a 70-31 record and two NCAA tournament appearances, including a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2017.
Matt Painter- Purdue
Matt Painter is currently in his 15th season as the head men’s basketball coach at Purdue University During his time at Purdue, he has led the Boilermakers to 5 Big Ten regular season titles, 3 Big Ten Tournament titles, and 1 NCAA National Championship appearance. In addition, he has been named the Big Ten Coach of the Year on 3 occasions.
Under Painter’s leadership, Purdue has become one of the Premier Basketball programs in the country. He has recruited and developed some of the best players in the country, and his teams have had a lot of success both on and off the court.
Fran McCaffery- Iowa
Fran McCaffery has been the Head coach of the Iowa Hawkeyes men’s basketball team since 2010. He has led the Hawkeyes to six NCAA tournament appearances, including four in a row from 2015 to 2018. McCaffery has also won three Big Ten regular season titles and two Big Ten Tournament titles. In 2020, he was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year.
McCaffery is one of the most successful coaches in Iowa history. He has a winning percentage of .658, which is second only to Tom Davis in Iowa history. McCaffery has also led the Hawkeyes to more wins than any other coach in Iowa history. In addition to his success at Iowa, McCaffery has also been successful at previous stops, including Siena, UNC-Greensboro, and Lehigh.
McCaffery is known for his ability to develop players and get the most out of them. He has coached many All-Americans and NBA players including Luka Garza who he coached to two straight First Team All-American selections. Garza is also a two-time winner of the John R. Wooden Award, which is given to the nation’s top player
With his success at Iowa and his ability to develop players, McCaffery could be the next great basketball coach
Richard Pitino- Minnesota
Richard Pitino is one of the young, up-and-coming Basketball Coaches in the NCAA. He’s already made a name for himself by leading the Minnesota Golden Gophers to the NCAA tournament in just his second season as head coach
Pitino has the Golden Gophers pointed in the right direction. They’re a young team that is improving each and every season. If Pitino can continue to develop his players and recruit well, there’s no reason why Minnesota can’t be a regular contender for conference titles and deep runs in the NCAA Tournament under his watch.
Archie Miller- Indiana
Archie Miller is in his third year as the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers and he has quickly turned the program around. In his first season, the Hoosiers went just 18-16, but they improved to 20-14 in his second year and made the NCAA Tournament This season, they are off to a great start with a 12-2 record.
Miller is a very Good Coach and he has already proven that he can win at a high level. He has Indiana Basketball back on the map, and he has them contender in the Big Ten If he can keep this up, he could be the next great coach in college basketball
Nate Oats- Alabama
Nate Oats is in his second season as the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Alabama He led the Crimson Tide to a school-record 26-win season in his first year and helped the team earn its first NCAA tournament berth since 2012. Alabama also won the SEC Regular Season championship, only the third time in program history. Prior to arriving at Alabama, Oats spent four seasons as the head coach at Buffalo, where he led the Bulls to an 89-41 (.685) record, two Mid-American Conference regular season championships and two NCAA Tournament appearances.
Buzz Williams- Virginia Tech
Williams is definitely a name to watch out for in the coaching world. He’s got a great track record, having led Marquette to the NCAA Tournament five times in his six seasons there. He’s also got experience coaching in the Big 10, having served as an assistant at Illinois from 2003 to 2008.
Scott Drew- Baylor
Scott Drew has been the head coach at Baylor University since 2003. In that time, he has led the Bears to 14 NCAA tournament appearances, including four Sweet Sixteen appearances and two Elite Eight appearances. He has also won four Big 12 Regular Season championships and two Big 12 tournament championships. In 2020, he was named the Smith College Coach of the Year.
Drew is one of the most successful coaches in Baylor history, and he has the Bears program contenders for a National Championship on a yearly basis. He is also known for his ability to develop players and get the most out of his teams.