Coming up in the 2012-13 season, some of the best college basketball coaches are getting ready to get their hands on some big wins.
Each of these coaches just needs a relatively small handful of victories to hit a memorable mark that will serve as a signpost to their career success.
This past season, several coaches did the same thing:
- Mike Krzyzewski became the all-time wins leader, and now has 927 W's.
- Rick Pitino blew past the 600-win line—he now has 627 career wins.
- Early this past season, Tom Izzo got his 400th win. He now has a record of 412-169.
Here's a quick look at 15 successful college coaches who are headed for some milestone wins in the upcoming season.
Josh Pastner had big shoes to fill when he was promoted in 2009 from assistant coach to head coach at Memphis.
Following John Calipari is no minor detail for any coach.
But Pastner, 34, has stepped up to the challenge.
In his first three seasons, he has led the Tigers to a 75-29 record, winning the Conference USA tournament in 2011 and both the conference's regular season championship and tournament title this past season.
With a super-solid returning squad plus another stellar recruiting class, Pastner is likely to notch his 100th career win by next March.
Shaka Smart is one of the hottest young coaches in college basketball.
In his first three years prowling the sidelines at VCU, Smart has gone 84-27.
He has led the Rams to a CBI Championship (2010), a Final Four appearance (2011) and to the Round of 32 in this year's NCAA tournament.
Many people thought that Smart would take a big job in a big conference following the 2011-12 season.
For now, he has stayed put at Virginia Commonwealth, and he will get his 100th win sometime in the middle of the upcoming season.
Sean Miller may be one of the hardest-working coaches in college basketball—and it is paying off.
As the head coach at Xavier, Miller posted a 120-47 record, making it to the Elite Eight once and Sweet 16 once during his five years in Cincinnati.
Miller, a relentless recruiter, has pulled in numerous elite-level players since coming to Arizona, while ringing up a 68-35 record.
Watch for Miller to get his 200th victory this season and the Cats to make a deep run in the 2013 NCAA tournament
Bruiser Flint has had two solid coaching runs during his 16 years as a Division I head coach.
He went 86-72 in five years at UMass.
In 11 years at Drexel, Flint has been named the Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year four times (2002, 2004, 2009 and 2012), where he has compiled a 199-141 record.
Some time in the middle of the 2012-13 season, Flint (285-213) will most likely pass the 300-win mark.
Gary Waters is another coach who is closing in on 300 career wins.
Waters brings a 293-217 record into 2012-13.
In six seasons at Cleveland State, he has notched a 122-82 record, winning the Horizon League (HL) Coach of the Year award in 2008, winning the HL Tournament Championship in 2009 and the Regular Season Championship in 2011.
The Vikings have made it to the postseason in four of six seasons under Waters.
The fact that Bo Ryan is closing in on 300-career Division I victories does not even come close to telling the tale of his coaching success.
Long before he coached at Wisconsin-Milwaukee (30-27) or at Wisconsin (268-101), Ryan was dominating Division III hoops at Wisconsin-Platteville with an outstanding mark of 353-76.
So, when he is honored sometime this fall for his 300th win, it literally won't tell half the story of what he has accomplished over 28 years of college head coaching.
Pulling in the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation won't hurt Ben Howland's chances of getting to 400 career wins in the 2012-13 season.
Howland has been successful at all three of his head coaching stops:
- Northern Arizona (79-59 in five years)
- Pitt (89-40 in four years)
- UCLA (208-97 in nine years)
On top of winning the Naismith National Coach of the Year Award in 2002, Howland has been named Coach of the Year in three different conferences:
- Big Sky (1998)
- Big East (2002)
- Pac-10 (2006)
Even though Kevin Stallings will have to rebuild the Vandy program because of graduation and early entry departures, he should still make it to 400 career wins in 2012-13.
Stallings (384-222) has done a fantastic job at Illinois State (123-63 in six seasons) and Vanderbilt (261-159 in 13 seasons).
Most recently, Stallings has been named the SEC Coach of the Year twice (2007, 2010).
Even though John Beilein and Kevin Stallings have the exact same number of Division I head coaching victories (384), it's a good bet that the Michigan coach will get their before the Vandy head man does.
Michigan is loaded. Vandy is reloading. 'Nuff said.
Beilein (384-252) was the head coach at the junior college and small college level for 13 years before scoring his first Division I job at Canisius (89-62).
He moved on to Richmond (100-53) and West Virginia (104-60) before settling in Ann Arbor at Michigan (91-77).
With tons of talent returning and a monster recruiting class arriving, Beilein and the Wolverines should cruise in 2012-13.
Don't expect Kansas' Bill Self to be resting on his laurels—the KU coach has 500 career wins in sight.
Self (476-158) has been named the Sporting News Coach of the Year three times (2000, 2009 and 2012) as well as the Naismith College Coach of the Year (2012) and the AP Coach of the Year (2009).
After rebuilding the ORU program in the mid-1990s (55-54), Self has been in the engineer's seat on a non-stop success train ever since.
- Tulsa (74-27 in three years)
- Illinois (78-24) in three years)
- Kansas (269-53 in nine years)
Self's teams have made 14 NCAA Tournament appearances in the last 15 years, been in two Final Fours (2008 and 2012) and won it all in 2008.
Bill Self isn't the only Division I coach who is closing in on 500 career wins—so is Tubby.
Tubby Smith (490-213) has excelled at four different successful Division I coaching stops.
- Tulsa (79-43 in four years)
- Georgia (45-19 in two years)
- Kentucky (263-83 in 10 years)
- Minnesota (103-68 in five years)
Smith's teams have made 16 NCAA tournament appearances in 21 seasons, winning it all in Lexington in 1998.
Smith was named the Naismith National Coach of the Year in 2003 while at Kentucky.
Lon Kruger's specialty is rebuilding programs.
After taking on a challenge to begin his head coaching career at Pan American (52-59), Kruger has done a fantastic job at:
- Kansas State (81-46)
- Florida (104-80)
- Illinois (81-48)
- UNLV (161-71)
In his first year at Oklahoma, the Sooners went 15-16, but they are getting ready to jump back up into the upper level of the Big 12.
Sometime early in the 2012-13 season, Kruger (494-320) will reach the 500-win mark. Couldn't happen to a better guy!
Roy Williams is one of the most successful coaches in college basketball.
Williams is the fourth active coach, and 13th overall, to win multiple National Championships.
In 2007, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Williams has been named the national Coach of the Year four times (1990, 1992, 1997 and 2006), the Big 8/Big 12 Coach of the Year seven times and the ACC Coach of the Year twice (2006, 2011)
He has coached his teams to 30 or more wins in 10 of his 24 years as head coach at Kansas (418-101) and North Carolina (257-68), and won two NCAA Championships—both at UNC (2005, 2009).
His 675 wins puts him No. 17 (tied with Denny Crum) on the college coaches' all-time wins list.
Late in the 2012-13 season, Williams will secure his 700th win, and it will be party time in Chapel Hill.
Going into the 2012-13 season, Jim Calhoun is No. 5 on the college coaches' all-time win list.
Calhoun started his run of coaching success at Northeastern, where he went 248-137 in 14 seasons.
But it has been his fantastic tenure at UConn that has propelled him into the college coaching stratosphere.
In 26 years in Storrs, Calhoun has gone 618-233, while winning three NCAA Championships (1999, 2004 and 2011), nine Big East regular season championships and seven Big East tournament titles.
UConn will have to do some serious rebuilding this next year.
After the Huskies' first three wins in 2012-13, Calhoun (877-382) will move ahead of Dean Smith on the all-time list.
While it is not likely, if Calhoun does a crazy coaching job next season, he could be looking at reaching 900 career wins.
When he does, Calhoun will surpass Bob Knight's career win total of 899.
Jim Boeheim is a unique individual, in that he has been a one-stop coach.
He played college hoops at Syracuse. He was an assistant at Syracuse. And, then, he was promoted to the head coaching position at Syracuse in 1978.
Unless something completely unexpected happens between now and the 2012-13 season, Boeheim will move into the No. 2 slot in the college basketball coaches' all-time wins list before Christmas.
He has an 890-304 record as the Syracuse head coach, which puts him only nine games behind Bob Knight.
On his watch, the Orange have made 29 NCAA tournament appearances, gone to the Final Four three times (1987, 1996 and 2003) and won it all in 2003.
Syracuse was one of the original members of the Big East. Under Boeheim, they have won 11 regular season conference championships and five tournament championships.
He is only 37 wins behind Coach K. But, unless something happens to Mike Krzyzewski, he is not retiring anytime soon, and I think he will make sure that he does not let his legacy as the college basketball coach with the most wins slip away.