Indiana Basketball: Power Ranking the Top 8 Head Coaches in Hoosiers History
Indiana University has a long, proud tradition of men's basketball.
The Hoosiers have won 1,685 games in their history, including five national titles and 20 conference titles.
During that 112 years of history, the Hoosiers have had many good coaches, short-tenured coaches and coaches that have disgraced the program.
Here's a look at those coaches that helped shape the program, power ranking the eight coaches who coached at least 50 games in Bloomington.
8. Kelvin Sampson
Kelvin Sampson put a black eye on the Indiana basketball program.
Time after time, he committed recruiting violations and was punished. But, that never deterred him.
He and his assistants made a reported 550 illegal calls to 17 recruits. For that, he was banned from recruiting off-campus and making phone calls for one year.
Despite that punishment, Sampson continued to make phone calls, basically laughing at the NCAA in the process.
Now, Sampson was a decent coach at IU, going 43-15 in almost three seasons.
But, that's not enough to forgive that he set the Hoosiers back a few years, as the NCAA imposed a three-year probation on the program.
Not until this past season did the Hoosiers fully recover.
7. Harry C. Good
Harry C. Good coached the Hoosiers from 1943-46, compiling a 35-29 record.
Unfortunately, Indiana never made the NCAA Tournament and Good couldn't sustain what Branch McCracken started, eventually giving the job back to McCracken in 1946.
6. Lou Watson
Lou Watson coached in Bloomington from 1965-71 and compiled a 61-60 record with one conference title and one NCAA Tournament appearance.
The 1966-67 team coached by Watson was known as the "Cardiac Kids" for their heart-stopping finishes to games.
In that year, they won the Big 10 title and lost in the Mideast region semifinals to Virginia Tech, 79-70.
Watson was a longtime assistant to Branch McCracken and was sandwiched between him and another Hoosiers' coaching legend, Bob Knight.
5. Tom Crean
Tom Crean has had it tough since he left Marquette for Indiana.
But, you have to give it to him for sticking to the plan and building the Indiana program up the way it should be.
This past year, the Hoosiers experienced success because of that and made it to the Sweet 16, where they lost to eventual national champion Kentucky.
Crean could eventually move up on this list with a little more time at the school.
I'll say one thing about Crean...he understands that when players put on an Indiana uniform, they're representing something that's bigger than themselves.
Only schools like UCLA, Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina can be put into that same conversation.
4. Mike Davis
Mike Davis was decent in his time as head coach at Indiana.
From 2000-06, Davis went 115-79 with one Big Ten title and four NCAA Tournament appearances.
After taking over for Bob Knight in 2000, Davis had success, making it to the 2002 national title game, where they lost to Maryland, 64-52.
Then, things got a little troubling for Davis as he missed the NCAA Tournament in 2004 and 2005.
By the time 2006 rolled around, Davis buckled under the pressure and announced his resignation.
3. Everett Dean
Everett Dean coached the Hoosiers from 1924-38, winning three conference titles.
During his time in Bloomington, his teams went 162-93.
Dean took over three years after graduating from Indiana, and three years later, the Hoosiers won their first Big Ten title, beating Wisconsin 35-20.
2. Branch McCracken
The first great coach at Indiana, Branch McCracken coached from 1938-43 and 1946-65.
During his tenure, McCracken won four conference titles, made four NCAA Tournaments and won two national titles.
Early in his coaching career, McCracken helped guide the Hoosiers to the first 20-win season in college history, going 20-3 in 1939-40, a year in which they won the national title as well.
The Hoosiers won their second national title in 1953, defeating defending champion Kansas by one point.
By the end of his career at Indiana, McCracken won 364 games, including 210 in the Big Ten.
The court at Assembly Hall is named in his honor.
1. Bob Knight
Known as a coach who has no filter, it's hard to dispute that Bob Knight is one of the best coaches to ever coach in college basketball.
During his time at Indiana, Knight went 661-240, winning 11 conference titles, making 24 NCAA Tournament appearances and winning three national titles.
In his second season as head coach, Knight helped lead the Hoosiers to the national title game where they lost to UCLA.
Two years later, they won their third national title in school history, beating Michigan 86-68, amassing a perfect record on the season, which ironically is the last time that it's happened in men's basketball.
Knight and his Hoosiers would go on to win two more national titles (1981, 1987) and made six Final Fours.
"The General" is truly one of the greatest coaches ever and he deserves the top spot as the best coach of all time at Indiana.
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