10 College Basketball Coaches Headed for Milestone Wins in 2012-13
During every college basketball season, some of the best and brightest coaches in the sport hit some milestones.
They not only win individual games, but they also win games that help them amass a significant number of career victories.
Here is a quick look at 10 college basketball coaches who are headed for milestone wins in the upcoming season.
The top two on this list are definitely in a place that most coaches will never have the opportunity to stand.
Cuonzo Martin (Tennessee)
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Cuonzo Martin had some big shoes to fill when he followed Bruce Pearl at Tennessee.
Many predicted that he would struggle in a big way after the Vols saw their two best players, Scotty Hopson and Tobias Harris, leave for the pros.
But, Martin got UT to play defense and to play together, and they scratched out a decent 19-14 record.
As he is getting ready to start his second year at Rocky Top, Martin carries a 80-54 record after serving as an assistant coach under Gene Keady at Purdue for eight seasons, and three solid seasons as head coach at Missouri State.
It should not be too difficult for Martin to get to 100 career wins by sometime late in the 2012-13 season.
Shaka Smart (Virginia Commonwealth)
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Shaka Smart has packed a lot of accomplishments into his three years of coaching at VCU.
He has collected 84 wins, but he also has led the Rams to a 2010 CBI Championship, the 2011 Final Four and a 2012 Round of 32 appearance.
For Virginia Commonwealth's magical run in 2010-11, Smart received the Fritz Pollard and Clarence Gaines National Coach of the Year awards.
Smart's 2012-13 squad could be as good as any he's coached so far.
That's why he will have no trouble reaching the century mark by early January.
Matt Painter (Purdue)
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Matt Painter is considered one of the brightest young basketball minds in college basketball.
In eight seasons (one at Southern Illinois, seven at Purdue), he has gathered 185 wins with seven trips to the NCAA tournament and two Sweet 16 appearances.
Painter and the Boilermakers have a huge challenge in the upcoming season, replacing Robbie Hummell, Lewis Jackson and Ryne Smith.
Still, somewhere in the middle of the Big Ten schedule, Painter should cross the 200-win mark.
Sean Miller (Arizona)
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Sean Miller is getting ready to start his fourth season as the head coach at Arizona.
He has notched 69 wins in his first three years, more than any U of A coach in history.
Add that to his 120 victories at Xavier, and Miller is one of the top young coaches in the college game.
He is an exceptional recruiter who, this year, has pulled in one of the top groups of incoming players in the nation.
Early in the 2012-13 season, Miller will win his 200th game on his way to another deep run in this coming year's NCAA tournament.
Bill Self (Kansas)
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To say that Bill Self has been successful is an understatement.
In 19 seasons as a head coach (ORU, Tulsa, and Illinois before Kansas), Self has a super 476-158 record (75.1 winning percentage).
More specifically, at KU, Self has posted a spectacular 269-53 mark (83.5 percent), won a national championship and eight straight regular-season Big 12 titles. Wow!
At some point in late February, as the Jayhawks are bearing down for another stretch run, Self will get his 500th win, by the age of 50. That's not bad, right?
Jim Larranaga (Miami, FL )
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Jim Larranaga is a hard-working head coach who paid his dues over his 28-year coaching career at American International, Bowling Green and George Mason before landing the Miami job last year.
Larranaga is known most for leading GMU to an incredible run to the 2006 Final Four.
Last year, the Hurricanes were scrappy, just like their coach, and clawed out a respectable 20-13 record.
With an overall coaching record of 485-342, Larranaga should get to the 500-win mark during the heat of the ACC regular-season schedule.
Tubby Smith (Minnesota)
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Tubby Smith is one intense dude.
In 21 years prowling the sidelines as a head coach (for Tulsa, Georgia and Kentucky before Minnesota), Smith has collected 18 seasons of 20 victories or more.
More than half of his 491 wins came while coaching Kentucky (263-83; 76 percent), where he won the 1998 NCAA Championships and made three other trips to the Elite Eight and two to the Sweet 16.
Last season, Smith's Gophers posted their best record (23-15) since he arrived in Minneapolis five years ago.
This year's squad promises to be even better, which makes it all the more likely that Smith will notch his 500th career win before Christmas.
Roy Williams (North Carolina)
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Roy Williams has coached at two of the most prestigious college basketball programs: Kansas and North Carolina. He has been wildly successful at both stops.
Williams is No. 2 in all-time wins at KU (418-101) behind Phog Allen.
At North Carolina, his 257-68 mark is second only to Dean Smith.
It's not bad to be in second place behind coaching legends like Allen and Smith.
Williams' current record is 675-109, with twp NCAA championships, seven Final Fours and 10 30-win seasons.
No other coach in NCAA history has won 600-or-more games in fewer than 24 seasons. Williams took care of that in his 22nd season.
There's little doubt that late in the upcoming season Williams will reach another fantastic coaching achievement: 700 wins. That's a lot of W's.
Jim Calhoun (UConn)
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The final two coaches on this list are in a category that few coaches will ever be close to entering: the 900 Wins Club.
Before we enter the 2012-13 season, two names are on the club's membership role: Mike Krzyzewski (927 wins) and Bob Knight (902).
Jim Calhoun may not even know whether he is going to be physically able to withstand another season of college basketball coaching.
Since he is a three-time cancer survivor and had surgery last year to repair a painful condition in his back, I wouldn't think that his recent bike accident would deter him from being on the Huskies sidelines this season.
Calhoun's unbelievable career mark of 873-369 (70.1 percent) represents 40 years of Division I coaching (14 at Northeastern and 26 at UConn).
Along the way, he has won three NCAA championships (1999, 2004, 2011), one NIT title (1988) and seven Big East tournaments (1990, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2011).
UConn would have to come up with 27 victories this season to get their coach into this most elite club among college hoops coaches.
It might be a stretch to include Calhoun on this list for this year—but when you've logged four decades of college coaching, I will include you on this kind of list too, okay?
Jim Boeheim (Syracuse)
Thirty-six years ago, Syracuse hired a former player and assistant to be their head basketball coach: Jim Boeheim.
The university hasn't looked back since.
Boeheim is No. 2 in all-time victories (875 wins) among active college basketball coaches behind Coach K.
Under his leadership, the Orange have captured nine Big East regular-season championships, five Big East tournament championships, and have made 28 NCAA tournament appearances.
With a talented core returning and some big-time recruits arriving, there's every reason to think that by some time in late February, Boeheim will get his 900th career win and may even pass Bob Knight.