Over the years, the college basketball ranks have had coaches come and go, they have had some stay and dominate, and some who just couldn't make it.
They have also had those select coaches, who year after year get the job done. Who never miss a beat. They recruit hard, practice well, and show it on the court.
The college basketball game isn't an easy one to stay in, ask any coach who has been there. From the fans, to the administration, it's not easy to stay on the good side of the faithful of your team.
The college game has so many good coaches, but when I think about the best, the absolute smartest, toughest, best coaches in the country, these are the five that come to my mind.
Maybe a top five isn't enough, because there are far more than just five very good coaches in America, but it's fun to do it this way.
Tom Izzo has became the face of Michigan State basketball over the years, and Spartan fans have grown to be just fine with that.
Arriving at Michigan State as an assistant in 1979, Izzo showed right away he had what it took to be a coach on the next level.
Izzo would serve under Michigan State head coach Jud Heathcote, Izzo was a key to helping the head man in recruiting, and play calling. Izzo was an assistant from 1979 to 1995.
Heathcote would retire, and recommend Izzo to be the head coach for the Spartans the following year.
The rest is history.
Since becoming the head man at Michigan State Izzo had compiled a 336-137 record. He has won over 20 games tem times, and 30 games three times. He has 14 post season appearances, 2 NIT, 12 NCAA. He has made it to the Sweet 16 eight times. The Elite 8 six times. The Final Four five times, and the 1999-2000 national championship. He also led the Spartans to a 31-7 record this past season, and a national runner-up finish.
Over his time at Michigan State Izzo has won so many big games, recruited great kids, and been a role model for people all over the college basketball world. It's hard not to have this man on this list.
Izzo will continue his great success as Michigan State, so look forward to keeping him around Spartan fans.
One of my all time favorite coaches, Tubby Smith, whether you agree or don't agree, deserves to be on here.
From his time at Georgia, his great years at Kentucky, and now at Minnesota, Tubby Smith has took on his doubters year in and year out. They say he can't recruit, he can't coach, he can't win big games.
Well for those who think that, you're wrong.
At Tulsa Smith went 79-43 in four years. He took Tulsa to the NCAA tournament in his final two years there, both went to the Sweet 16. Since then, I haven't even saw Tulsa in the tournament. I could be wrong, but if so, they haven't been back to the Sweet 16.
At Georgia he went 45-19 in two seasons, taking the Bulldogs to the Sweet 16 in his first season there.
His glory days were just around the corner, at the University of Kentucky.
As the Wildcats head man Smith posted a 263-83 record. He won 20 or more games in all 10 of his seasons, and 30 or more twice. He had six Sweet 16 appearances, he went to the Elite Eight four times, a Final Four appearance, and the 1997-1998 national title.
During his years at Kentucky, especially the last two, he was nothing but bashed from the UK faithful. He couldn't recruit, win, and his coaching style didn't fir the Kentucky standards.
Smith was also talked about "not being able to win with his own players" after his lone national title with what many say, "Pitino's players". Smith was under to much heat at Kentucky, and finally got out.
Now at Minnesota, Smith is turning the Golden Gopher program back around. In his first two seasons he is 42-25, with back to back post season appearances, and 20 win seasons.
Smith has a solid recruiting class coming in for 2009-2010, ranked in the top 25 or many recruiting websites, and the Gophers should be contending to win the Big 10 again this upcoming year.
Like him, dislike him, believe he can't recruit, the stats for this man don't lie. 429 wins, 16 20-win seasons, and many good recruits, this man is a top coach in the country.
It's hard to have a top coaches in college basketball list and not have this man on there.
Whether you love him or hate him, I prefer to dislike him, he has to be on here.
Calipari got his feet wet coming straight out of playing college ball. He became an assistant at Kansas under Ted Owens and Larry Brown from 1982-1985. After his time as a Jayhawk assistant, he moved on to help the Pittsburgh Panthers from 1985-1988.
Calipari got his first head coaching experience in the college game from 1988 to 1996, he was the head coach at the University of Massachusetts.
At UMass, Calipari compiled a 193-71 record. He won 20 or more games six times, and 30 or more twice. He helped UMass to seven postseason appearances, 2 NIT, 5 NCAA.
He had three Sweet 16 appearances, made it to the Elite Eight twice, and had a Final Four appearance in 1995-1996, when his UMass team went 35-2.
His time in the college game game to a brief pause in 1996. He became the head coach for the New Jersey Nets for the next three years. In his first year he had a 26-56 record.
He came back the next season and won 43 games, and helped the Nets to the playoffs. The following season he started off 3-17, and was fired.
He would then return back to the college game, to the Memphis Tigers. His time in Memphis was very successful, and Memphis fans should deeply miss their old head man.
He won 252 games in nine years, never winning less than 21 games. He had three NIT appearances, winning the 2001-02 NIT, and the semi's in 2004-2005. He had four straight Sweet 16 appearances, three straight times in the Elite Eight, a Final Four, and the national runner up in 2007-2008.
Calipari is a great coach who has to be on this list. Now he should help bring the Kentucky Wildcats back to the promise land, which I'm sure he will.
If you asked me to make a list of top college coaches three to four years ago, this man would be the No. 1 selection.
Now that Coach K, thank goodness for that nickname so we don't have to spell out his last name, has tailed off and isn't the top coach in American anymore.
Don't get me wrong, he is still atop the coaching tree and is a strong push for the best in America. His recruiting ability, being able to change things up, his philosophy, and everything he does, makes him the coach he is today.
One of the best, and a strong push on my list as the best.
Since arriving at Duke in 1980, he coached at Army for five seasons compiling a 73-59 record, Krzyzewski has won a many of big games, put together a great stat sheet, and became a role model and hero for kids, and adults, across America.
Since coming to Duke in 1980, Coach K has put together a 760-215 record. He has had 26 postseason appearances.
Eighteen Sweet 16 appearances, he has been to 11 Elie Eights, 10 Final Fours, seven championship games, and three national titles. He has won 20 or more games 24 times, and 30 or more 10 times.
Coach K is a brilliant coach, who we all do love to hate. He is a Blue Devil, how can you like him?
Like him or not, he is a great coach, and to many and most, the best coach in America. He isn't my No. 1 choice, but he is pretty close to it.
I didn't make him my No. 1 choice because he is my favorite coach in America and he coaches my beloved Tar Heels', but because he truly is the best of the best.
Roy Williams has shown over the years he can win, he can recruit, and he can get the kids he wants.
His career began as a head coach for Charles D. Owens high school. His college coaching experience came in 1978 to 1988. Williams served as an assistant to Tar Heels' legendary coach Dean Smith.
Williams was a key in helping Smith in recruiting and calling and coming up with plays. After aiding Williams for ten years, Williams got the call from Kansas. Williams accepted the coaching job, and hit the ground running.
While at Kansas Roy had a 418-101 record. He had fourteen post season appearances. He went tot he Sweet 16 nine times, the Elite Eight five times, and four Final Four appearances. He also had two national runner up finishes in 1990-1991 and 2002-2003.
Williams would then accept to return back to the place that got him started, the University of North Carolina.
Since becoming a Tar Heel, for the second time, Williams has compiled a 176-37 record. He has had six postseason appearances. That includes four Sweet 16 appearances, four times in the Elite Eight, three times in the Final Four, and two national championships.
His career stats, 594-138 record, 20 postseason appearances, 13 Sweet 16 appearances, nine times in the Elite Eight, seven Final Fours, four championship game appearances, and two championships.
Williams is the face of college coaching right now, and he should stay there. Kids love the man. They love his style, his ability to coach and motivate, and his ability to send guys to the NBA. Guys like Paul Pierce, Raymond Felton, Rashad McCants, and on, and on.
He is the best of the best in my book, and no, not because he is a Heel. Williams is the best because of what he has done on the sidelines in such a short period of time.