2010 NCAA Tournament: Ranking All 16 Coaches in the East Region
The coaches in the East Region are definitely a motley crew. They range from tournament-seasoned veterans to March Madness virgins.
Some of them are notorious in the media, while others have only a paragraph on Wikipedia. Some have coached NBA lottery picks; others are local boys from Tennessee or Montana.
This is a good group of coaches because 10 of the 16 have led a team to the Sweet 16.
Without further ado, the top coaches of this region.
16. Mike Young, Wofford
Mike Young has really put Wofford basketball on the map and has been involved with the program for 20 years.
This is his first NCAA tournament and the first for the Terriers, who have only been in Division I since the '90s.
15. Wayne Tinkle, Montana
This guy definitely gets the award for best-named coach in the East Region.
But this Tinkle can manage a team too. He took an underdog Grizzlies team to the Big Dance this year and was on Larry Krystkowiak's staff when Montana upset Nevada to make it to the Big 32.
He's young, but the Big Sky and college basketball should watch out for Coach Tinkle.
14. Dino Gaudio, Wake Forest
Gaudio is lucky to have a second chance at Wake Forest after not having a single winning season at Army or Loyola.
As an assistant to Skip Prosser, Gaudio helped recruit phenom and NBA star Chris Paul and assisted on the 2004 Sweet 16 squad.
Because he was so close to Prosser, after his unfortunate death, Gaudio got the job and has gotten some great recruits (Gary Johnson, Jeff Teague, Al-Farouq Aminu) but has no success in March to show for it.
13. Steve Donahue, Cornell
As the legendary Fran Dunphy's padawan at Penn, Coach Donahue helped make the Quakers into an Ivy superpower. He took some of Penn's magic and slowly built the struggling Cornell Big Red into a perennial NCAA tournament team.
Donahue was a great shooter at Division III Ursinus, and excellent three-point shooting has been a hallmark of his recent Cornell teams. This could help his Big Red break the athletic barriers in the tournament.
12. Murry Bartow, ETSU
Bartow is one of the most underrated mid-major coaches in the country. He made the postseason three times at UAB and has yet to suffer a losing season at ETSU despite being a small fish in the Tennessee talent pool.
The Bucs have made consecutive tourney appearances, and his time as Bob Knight's assistant in the '80s has really worn off on Coach Bartow.
11. Buzz Williams, Marquette
Thanks to his connections with former Marquette coach Tom Crean, Williams easily got the Golden Eagles job. However, he hasn't disappointed on the court. He won a tourney game last year and won 22 games in a rebuilding year this season.
Marquette has the potential to make a Sweet 16 run in an easy draw, and Buzz should definitely move up this list after some more great recruiting classes and clutch Big East wins.
10. Todd Bozeman, Morgan State
Todd Bozeman's résumé reads like that of a child actor. He had a promising start at Cal, becoming the youngest coach to lead a team to the Sweet 16.
However, he was convicted of giving improper benefits to a recruit's parents and forced to leave college basketball.
He has resurrected his career at Morgan State, leading them to the postseason every year, and has really done a lot with very little talent in Baltimore.
9. Oliver Purnell, Clemson
Oliver Purnell is definitely one of the more experienced coaches in this region with 22 years of major college experience.
He has led three schools to the big dance and moved up the ladder from the Colonial Athletic Association to the ACC.
He's done a great job beating Clemson's rival South Carolina on the court and on the recruiting trail.
With four All-ACC players over the past three years, Purnell has led the Tiger to the Big Dance three straight years.
To move up on this list, though, he must win his first March tournament game.
8. Steve Alford, New Mexico
As a player and coach, Alford has always been on top. He won a national championship and gold medal as a point guard on Bob Knight's Indiana and USA teams. He built Missouri State into a mid-major powerhouse, making the Sweet 16.
At Iowa, Steve Alford used his basketball knowledge to win in the regular season, but he didn't have the talent to win in March.
He has turned around the Lobos program and given them a chance to have their best season in history with a careful, balanced style of play and great home court advantage at the Pit.
7. Fran Dunphy, Temple
In the 1990s, Fran Dunphy was the yin to the legendary John Chaney of Temple's yang in Philadelphia basketball. He quietly led the Penn Quakers to nine NCAA tournaments and dominated the Ivy League.
At Temple, Dunphy, with the help of superstar guard Dionte Christmas, began to dominate the A-10, knocking off teams like Villanova and Tennessee in regular-season play.
This may be Dunphy's most talented team ever with versatile scorers everywhere, and the Owls could make Philly proud.
6. Lorenzo Romar, Washington
Lorenzo Romar is a coach with great character, having worked with Athletes in Action and being voted the Pac-10 coach players would want to play for most.
He has transformed Washington into a conference powerhouse, winning the Pac-10 tournament in an off year.
Though he has two Sweet 16s, Romar has squandered No. 1 seeds and lost many good players to the NBA. He might not always be a big winner, but he will always have a big heart.
5. Mike Anderson, Missouri
Mike Anderson might not have that much experience as a head coach, but he can win everywhere.
Using the "40 Minutes of Hell" fast break and press juggernaut used by his former coach Nolan Richardson, Anderson has led UAB to a Sweet 16 and the woeful Mizzou Tigers to an Elite Eight.
His teams have never been talented but have shown heart and discipline in upsets against traditional powers Kentucky (No. 1 seed), Memphis, and Kansas.
With his love for the game and taxing offensive and defensive systems, Anderson's teams won't go down without a fight.
4. Bo Ryan, Wisconsin
Bo Ryan's tenure at Wisconsin hasn't been flashy, but he's made the Badgers a basketball power at a football school and made the tournament every year of his career at Madison.
His teams always excel at defense, and all of his players, except for NBA All-Star Devin Harris, have stayed at Wisconsin all four years.
With his dedication to defense and senior leadership (Trevon Hughes this year), Ryan will continue to have success in the Sweet 16, but he has yet to make it past the Elite Eight, even as a No. 2 seed in 2008.
3. Rick Barnes, Texas
In his long, successful career, Rick Barnes has managed to make two football schools into successful hoops programs: Clemson first and then Texas. At Providence, Clemson, and Texas, he has suffered one losing season and taken 18 teams to March Madness.
His main skill is recruiting because he has drawn blue-chip players like Kevin Durant, T.J. Ford, D.J. Augustin, and Damion James to Austin.
Barnes has won three regular season titles at Texas but has been to one Final Four. If he can harness his team's talents, Barnes could shoot up this list.
2. Bob Huggins, West Virginia
For two decades, Bob Huggins' big mouth, coaching, and recruiting skills have been a fixture in college basketball. He has won more games than John Wooden and took the Cincinnati Bearcats to 14 straight tournaments.
At Cincinnati, he recruited and developed many great players like Kenyon Martin, James White, and Nick Van Exel. He drew Michael Beasley to K-State, and his young players like Devin Ebanks were key contributors to West Virginia's Big East tourney run.
With his coaching acumen and his most talented team since Kenyon Martin's Bearcats, Huggins could have his first Final Four team in 20 years.
1. John Calipari, Kentucky
Though not as experienced as Huggins or Barnes, Calipari has put his mark on college basketball. At UMass, he led a mid-major team to a Final Four and made Marcus Camby into an NBA-caliber big man.
His dribble drive offense revitalized Memphis basketball and led to NCAA appearances and lottery picks for the Tigers.
Calipari has had five straight 30-win seasons and four straight Sweet 16s. He has recruited and developed NBA picks from Dajuan Wagner to Tyreke Evans and Derrick Rose, and probably DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall.
His teams are always talented, well-coached, and play offense with passion. Calipari just needs a championship to be cemented as a coaching legend.