Ranking the 10 Scariest Coaches in College Basketball
Situations like what happened with Mike Rice at Rutgers earlier this year means the microscope is on college basketball coaches around the country.
The non-stop media attention and the way athletics continue to change make it important for every coach to recognize the line one cannot cross when disciplining players.
There are many coaches who have figured out how to get results while not crossing this line.
Some of these coaches can be rather scary with the way they interact with players and officials in a game.Others strike fear in the hearts of players and members of the media with the way they handle a press conference.
Let’s look at the 10 scariest coaches in college basketball.
10. Mike Montgomery: California
We saw a glimpse of Mike Montgomery’s intensity earlier this season when he shoved one of his players in a game.
The California head coach pushed guard Allen Crabbe in the chest during a timeout in the second half of a game against USC.
Montgomery later apologized for his actions, but it doesn’t change the fact that he has a very passionate coaching style. He’s not afraid to get in the faces of his players if he’s not happy with how they’re performing.
He’s also a coach who has no problem letting an official know when he disagrees with a particular call.
9. Bo Ryan: Wisconsin
Bo Ryan is a tough, intense, scary coach who fits perfectly at Wisconsin.
The physical defense that serves as the foundation of the Wisconsin program is enough to scare any opponent and Ryan sets the tone for that frightening defense.
Despite being known as one of the funnier coaches in America when he’s away from the court, Ryan’s scowling look towards officials is one of the more intimidating things in college basketball.
Ryan is obviously a very direct communicator, and it can be quite scary depending on the message he’s communicating.
8. Tom Izzo: Michigan State
At 5’9”, Tom Izzo doesn’t look like a scary coach.
However, that 5”9” frame is full of intensity and passion from one of the best coaches in college basketball.
Izzo is regarded as a coach who always maximizes the talent out of the players on his team. One of the reasons he’s able to do that is because of the tough standard of accountability he sets for his players.
The look and words a Michigan State player often receives from Izzo after not hustling or executing is enough to make sure he gets scared straight.
7. Bill Self: Kansas
Bill Self has never been afraid to let his players know exactly what he thinks of them.
Whether it’s yelling at a player from the opposite end of the court or telling the media following a game that he thinks he has the worst team in the history of Kansas basketball, Self is often brutally honest with his analysis.
With the amount of pressure on whoever occupies the head coach spot at Kansas, it’s an advantage that Self understands that pressure. He passes those expectations on to his teams and does what he needs to in order to make sure his players are prepared.
6. Thad Matta: Ohio State
Thad Matta usually becomes scarier when his face becomes bright red and his blood pressure begins to rise.
The Ohio State coach has great relationships with his players, but he has an incredibly intense approach to the game that you can see in his face.
Matta’s teams haven’t given him many reasons to be scary in the past few seasons, but that hasn’t kept him from getting after officials who make questionable calls against the Buckeyes.
5. Sean Woods: Morehead State
Many know Sean Woods for making a huge shot to give Kentucky a one-point lead in overtime in the NCAA East Regional Final against Duke in 1992 (you know, the one that ended with that infamous Christian Laettner shot).
Now, Woods is the head coach at Morehead State and he’s already established quite a reputation for some of his in-game antics.
Woods was suspended for one game last season after shoving a player in a game against Kentucky. He’s also been known to be verbally aggressive during games, often yelling at his players.
Woods is a young coach who’s still learning, but he currently has one of the scarier approaches in the game.
4. Tim Floyd: UTEP
When a coach becomes so angry that he gets ejected from a game and escorted off the court by police officers, he can be rather scary.
This happened with Tim Floyd last season when he was ejected in the second half of a game on the road against East Carolina.
The UTEP coach has experience working with players and officials at all levels of the game and he knows when a scarier approach to the game will be more effective.
And if he gets too scary in one place, he’s developed a reputation for being a coach who’s always looking for his next job anyway.
3. Bob Huggins: West Virginia
Bob Huggins always looks comfortable in his classic windbreaker as he patrols the sidelines for the Mountaineers, but his demeanor usually makes everyone else uncomfortable.
Huggins is known as one of the most relentless coaches in the country when it comes to questioning officials and he’s also not afraid to speak his mind to his players.
He’s never been one to worry about his public image and it takes a unique type of player to succeed with Huggins.
Yet it’s Huggins’ intense, in-your-face approach that has made him successful over the years.
2. Mike Krzyzewski: Duke
As a graduate of the United States Military Academy and former assistant under Bob Knight, Mike Krzyzewski brings an approach to the game that incorporates an element of fear.
He runs the Duke program with a discipline and intensity that scares Duke players when they don’t play as hard as possible.
Krzyzewski also is one of the most vocal coaches in the country when it comes to officials and he’s received many technical fouls for berating referees about calls he didn’t agree with.
With over 900 wins, Mike Krzyzewski is also a coach that strikes fear in many of his opponents.
1. Frank Martin: South Carolina
A stare from Frank Martin is one of the most frightening things in college sports.
As a former assistant to Bob Huggins, it’s clear that Martin brings the same intense approach to the game that Huggins does.
Martin also showed last season that he’s not afraid to call out his team in front of the media, which he did following a South Carolina loss to LSU.
He coaches the game with an incredible amount of emotion, and when that emotion involves anger, Frank Martin is an intimidating presence who scares everyone around him.