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The 100 Greatest Coaches in College Basketball History

Thad NovakCorrespondent IOctober 19, 2011

The 100 Greatest Coaches in College Basketball History

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    College basketball players come and go, but coaches have a longevity rarely seen in any other sport. Names like Krzyzewski, Knight and Rupp are inextricably linked with the programs they turned into dynasties.

    UConn’s Jim Calhoun, who in March became the oldest coach to capture an NCAA championship, now has three such titles on his résumé.

    With Calhoun nearing the top five in all-time victories, he has taken his place among the greatest names in the coaching profession.

    Read on for more on Calhoun and the rest of the top 100 coaches in the history of the college game.

100. Brad Stevens

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    Four years is an awfully short time to earn a place on this list, but it’s hard to find fault with Brad Stevens’ performance so far.

    Stevens has compiled a 117-25 record while leading Butler to back-to-back NCAA championship games and a school-record four consecutive tournament berths.

99. Larry Brown

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    Although his NBA coaching accomplishments are better-known, Larry Brown made two NCAA title games in just seven collegiate seasons.

    His UCLA Final Four run was later vacated, but he took Kansas to five consecutive tournaments, two Final Fours and the Danny Manning-fueled 1988 national title.

98. Everett Case

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    Although Duke and North Carolina are the current powerhouses, much of the credit for basketball’s preeminence in the state of North Carolina belongs to former NC State coach Everett Case.

    The Wolfpack’s all-time wins leader with 377, Case won six consecutive championships in the Southern Conference (from which the ACC spun off) and four more in the ACC, making six NCAA tournaments in all.

    Image from hoophall.com

97. Ralph Willard

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    Currently an assistant under Rick Pitino at Louisville, Ralph Willard revived the basketball program at his alma mater, Holy Cross.

    Willard—who won 338 games in all between Western Kentucky, Pitt and Holy Cross—led the Crusaders to three consecutive NCAA tournaments, a Patriot League first, and earned one NIT and four NCAA bids for the program in all.

96. Howard Hobson

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    Although Howard Hobson took Yale to its first NCAA tournament in 1949, his larger legacy rests at Oregon.

    Hobson, who won 495 games in his career, led the 1938-39 Ducks—nicknamed the “Tall Firs” despite being tall only by 1939 standards—to the first-ever NCAA tournament title.

    Image from hoophall.com

95. Hec Edmundson

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    In 27 seasons as the head coach at Washington, Hec Edmundson won 488 games.

    Edmundson, a former track star who unsurprisingly favored fast-break offenses, also took the Huskies to their first NCAA tournament in 1943.

    Image from washingtonsportshof.com

94. Fred Schaus

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    Fred Schaus coached alma mater West Virginia for only six seasons, but he won 146 games and made the NCAA tournament all six years.

    With no small help from star guard Jerry West, Schaus’ Mountaineers made the national title game in 1959 for the only time in school history.

93. Jim Snyder

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    Despite playing in the shadow of the best Ohio State teams in history, Jim Snyder assembled an impressive record of his own with the Ohio Bobcats.

    Snyder won 355 games at Ohio, taking the school to the first seven of its 12 all-time NCAA tournament appearances.

    Image from ohiobasketballhalloffame.com

92. Dave Odom

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    Dave Odom (with more than a little help from prize recruit Tim Duncan) led Wake Forest to its first ACC tournament titles in three decades, winning in 1996 and 1997.

    In all, Odom’s Demon Deacons made eight NCAA tournaments and won one NIT, while Odom compiled a .645 regular season winning percentage.

91. Roy Skinner

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    With 278 career victories, Roy Skinner is the winningest coach in Vanderbilt history.

    Skinner also played a key role in integrating the SEC when he made Perry Wallace the first African-American player in conference history.

    Image from news.vanderbilt.edu

90. Stan Watts

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    When a coach writes a book called Developing an Offensive Attack in Basketball, it’s pretty clear where his priorities lie.

    Stan Watts won 371 games at BYU, and his 1966 NIT champs (one of two such titles he won) averaged 95.5 points a game.

    Image from hoophall.com

89. Hugh Durham

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    A first-class coach for some largely second-tier programs, Hugh Durham took both Florida State and Georgia to the only Final Four appearances in either school’s history.

    Durham also holds the distinction of being the winningest coach at three different schools: FSU, Georgia and Jacksonville.

    Image from hughdurhamaward.com

88. Skip Prosser

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    George "Skip" Prosser started his career with a bang, taking Loyola (MD) to the only NCAA tournament berth in school history in his first season as a head coach.

    Prosser went on to win 125 games at Xavier and 126 more at Wake Forest, making a combined nine NCAA tournament appearances between the two schools before his death from a heart attack in 2007.

87. Rick Stansbury

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    In 13 years at Mississippi State, Rick Stansbury has taken the Bulldogs to six of the 10 NCAA tournament appearances in school history.

    He surpassed his predecessor, Richard Williams, as the winningest coach in school history, a mark currently at 272 victories and counting.

86. Pete Gillen

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    The most successful coach in Xavier’s proud history, Pete Gillen won 202 games with the Musketeers.

    His teams made seven NCAA appearances in nine seasons, getting as far as the Sweet 16, and Gillen would later take Providence to the 1997 Elite 8.

85. Cam Henderson

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    Cam Henderson won 631 games as a basketball coach—mostly at Marshall, where he also coached football and baseball—but it’s not for his stats that he makes this list.

    Coaching in the early days of basketball’s rise as a college sport, Henderson is one of the coaches credited with inventing the 2-3 zone defense, an innovation that benefited a few other luminaries on this list.

    Image from dewv.edu

84. Charlie Spoonhour

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    Although Charlie Spoonhour won just 373 total games in his coaching career, he established himself as the most accomplished coach at two different schools.

    Before taking the St. Louis Billikens to three of their six all-time NCAA berths, Spoonhour went 197-81 at Missouri State (then Southwest Missouri State), leading them to a win over Clemson in the school’s first-ever tournament game as part of a string of four straight NCAA bids.

83. Terry Holland

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    The undisputed greatest coach in Virginia history, Terry Holland holds the Cavaliers’ record with 326 wins.

    He also took the school to its only two Final Fours and only ACC title, not to mention recruiting one of college basketball’s greatest individual players in Ralph Sampson.

82. Jay Wright

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    After leading Hofsra to back-to-back America East titles, Jay Wright was brought on to succeed Steve Lappas at Villanova.

    In his decade with the Wildcats to date, he’s already racked up 224 wins (against 110 losses) and a current string of seven straight NCAA berths with one Final Four.

81. Dave Gavitt

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    After two years at alma mater Dartmouth, Dave Gavitt got the unenviable job of replacing the legendary Joe Mullaney at Providence.

    Gavitt took the Friars to five NCAA tournaments (including a Final Four) in 10 years before stepping down to become the first commissioner of the Big East Conference he had been instrumental in founding.

    Image from friars.com

80. Clem Haskins

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    Clem Haskins led the Minnesota Golden Gophers to a school-record 31 victories and the program’s only Final Four appearance in 1997.

    Under Haskins, the Gophers accumulated 11 of their 12 all-time victories in NCAA tournament play.

79. Ben Braun

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    Current Rice head coach Ben Braun is coming up on the 600 win plateau for his career, thanks largely to his work at other schools.

    Braun’s 185 wins at Eastern Michigan are a school record, and he’s second in Cal history with 219 wins in a tenure that included five NCAA tournament bids.

78. Dick Bennett

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    The coach who made Wisconsin into a national contender, Dick Bennett took a team with three all-time NCAA tournament appearances and led them to three more tournaments in five seasons, including the 2000 Final Four.

    Bennett had also led UW-Green Bay to its first three NCAA tournament berths (upsetting Jason Kidd and Cal in 1994) and taken UW-Stevens Point to the NAIA title game (with a bit of help from future Blazers All-Star Terry Porter).

77. Tex Winter

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    Before becoming one of the NBA’s most famous assistants, Tex Winter pioneered his triangle offense as the head coach at Kansas State.

    He won 261 games with the Wildcats, leading them to two Final Fours in 1958 (with All-American Bob Boozer) and 1964.

76. Phil Martelli

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    Phil Martelli starts the 2011-12 season sitting on 300 victories as the coach at St. Joseph’s.

    He won national Coach of the Year honors in 2004 for leading the Hawks to a 30-0 regular season and an Elite 8 finish, one of five NCAA bids his teams have received. 

75. Ned Wulk

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    One of the few coaches to win 400 games at a single school, Ned Wulk finished his Arizona State career with a record of 406-272.

    He also assembled one of the single most talented lineups in college history, a 1979-80 squad featuring five future NBA starters and headlined by the backcourt of Byron Scott and Fat Lever.

    Image from thesundevils.com

74. Jack Hartman

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    Jack Hartman brought Southern Illinois basketball into Division I, winning the 1967 NIT behind star guard Walt Frazier.

    Hartman made an even bigger mark at Kansas State, winning a school-record 295 games with the Wildcats.

73. Jack Friel

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    Washington State hasn’t had a whole lot of basketball success, but what there has been has belonged to Jack Friel.

    The longtime coach set a school record with 495 victories, and he took the Cougars to their only Final Four in 1941 (losing the title game to Wisconsin).

    Image from washingtonsportshof.com

72. P.J. Carlesimo

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    P.J. Carlesimo coached Wagner to an NIT berth just three years after the school jumped to Division I all the way from D-III, but the best was yet to come for the coach.

    Carlesimo went on to win 378 games while guiding Seton Hall to its first six NCAA tournament appearances, including the school’s only Final Four (a one-point OT loss to Michigan in the 1989 title game).

71. Mark Few

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    In 12 seasons since replacing Dan Monson at Gonzaga, Mark Few has taken the Zags to 12 NCAA tournaments (including four Sweet 16s) and won a school-record 315 games.

    Only two coaches in history (Clair Bee and Jerry Tarkanian) have reached 200 wins faster than Few, who did it in 247 career games.

70. Paul Westhead

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    Currently calling the shots for Oregon’s women’s team, Paul Westhead not only won NBA and WNBA titles as a head coach, but also made a mark at the men's college level.

    Westhead’s Loyola Marymount Lions made three consecutive NCAA tournaments, including an Elite 8 finish in spite of Hank Gathers’ tragic 1990 death, and set a Division I record by averaging 122.4 points per game in 1989-90.

69. Jamie Dixon

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    In just eight seasons as the head coach at Pitt, Jamie Dixon has already moved into second place on the school’s all-time list with 216 victories.

    The defensive-minded Dixon has made eight NCAA tournament appearances, already a school record for a head coach, as is the Elite 8 finish his 2009 team achieved.

68. Bobby Cremins

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    Whether or not Bobby Cremins succeeds in rebuilding the program at the College of Charleston—which he led to an NIT berth last season—his performance at Georgia Tech earns him a spot on this list.

    Cremins won 354 games while leading the Yellow Jackets (a team with one previous NCAA tournament appearance all-time) to nine consecutive NCAA bids, highlighted by a Kenny Anderson-led Final Four run in 1990.

67. Thad Matta

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    In Thad Matta’s 11 years as a head coach, his teams have played in 10 NCAA tournaments and one NIT.

    The current Ohio State coach, who won big at Butler and Xavier before heading to Columbus, has a career winning percentage of .768.

66. Rick Barnes

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    Although Rick Barnes was a winning coach at George Mason, Providence and Clemson, it’s at Texas that he appears to have found his long-term home.

    Barnes’ 322 wins to date are a school record, and his 13 seasons so far have featured 13 trips to the NCAA tournament (including a pair of Elite 8 finishes).

65. Fran Dunphy

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    Although Fran Dunphy has taken Temple to the last four NCAA tournaments, his ultimate legacy will likely rest with a different Philadelphia school.

    Dunphy is the all-time winningest coach at Penn (310 wins, second in Ivy League history), and took the Quakers to nine NCAA tournaments in 16 seasons.

64. Ben Howland

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    After leading Northern Arizona to its first-ever NCAA tournament berth, Ben Howland earned a shot at Pitt, where a philosophy based on physical defense turned around a sub-.500 team and helped the Panthers make a pair of Sweet 16s.

    All that was just the warmup for Howland’s efforts at UCLA, where he made three consecutive Final Fours and has won 189 games in his eight seasons so far.

63. Steve Fisher

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    Officially, most of Steve Fisher’s brilliant Michigan record has been vacated, but on the floor, he led the Wolverines (and the storied Fab 5, whom he recruited) to three NCAA title games (one as interim coach for the postseason only).

    Fisher has resurrected his career by turning San Diego State into a contending team, highlighted by the school’s first two NCAA tournament wins in last spring’s Sweet 16 run.

62. Norm Sloan

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    Although he set the career victories record at Florida (since broken by Billy Donovan), Norm Sloan will always be linked to his alma mater, North Carolina State.

    Sloan compiled a 266-127 record with the Wolfpack, highlighted by the school’s first national title behind superstar David Thompson in 1974.

    Image from theacc.com

61. Tom Davis

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    Tom Davis, almost invariably called Dr. Tom, holds the Iowa school record with 269 coaching victories.

    Davis, who won 598 games in all at five different schools, took the Hawkeyes to nine NCAA tournaments (including an Elite 8) in 13 seasons.

60. Everett Shelton

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    The head coach at Wyoming from 1939-59, Everett Shelton amassed 328 victories with the Cowboys.

    He led the school to eight NCAA tournament berths, including its only national title in 1943.

    Image from hoophall.com

59. Bo Ryan

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    In ten seasons to date as the head man at Wisconsin, Bo Ryan has already won 242 games (23 short of the school record that Bud Foster took 25 years to set).

    Ryan’s defense-first Badgers have yet to make a Final Four, but they’ve made the NCAA tournament every year of his tenure after totaling just seven bids in the rest of their history.

58. Doggie Julian

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    Alvin “Doggie” Julian coached Holy Cross for just two seasons, but the team (keyed by the legendary Bob Cousy at point guard) made the Final Four both times and won the 1947 national title.

    Julian later coached at Dartmouth for 18 seasons, taking the school to three NCAA tournament berths (1956, 1958 and 1959, the most recent appearance in program history.)

    Image from hickoksports.com

57. Jim Harrick

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    After making four NCAA tournaments with Pepperdine, Jim Harrick turned around a slumping UCLA program, taking the Bruins to the tournament in each of his eight seasons.

    Harrick’s crowning achievement was the 1995 national title, still the only championship for the program not won by John Wooden.

56. Ralph Miller

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    The rare coach to win 200 games at two different schools, Ralph Miller started his career at Wichita State (then called the University of Wichita), which he led to its first NCAA tournament berth in 1964.

    After a few seasons at Iowa, Miller became a legend at Oregon State, where his teams made eight NCAA tournaments and he collected the last 359 of his 674 victories.

55. Joe B. Hall

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    Joe B. Hall’s 297 wins at Kentucky are second only to the total of his mentor, Adolph Rupp.

    More remarkably, he’s the only man in college hoops history to win a national championship as a player (1949) and coach (1978) for the same school.

54. Jim Valvano

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    In the two decades since Jim Valvano’s retirement, NC State has won six NCAA tournament games—or, the same number Valvano’s Wolfpack won in 1983 alone en route to the school’s second national title.

    In addition to that legendary upset, in which Lorenzo Charles’ buzzer-beater stunned Akeem Olajuwon and Houston, Valvano’s teams made six other NCAA tournaments in his 10 years with the Wolfpack.

53. Frank McGuire

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    A charter member of the college basketball Hall of Fame, Frank McGuire took his alma mater (St. John’s) to the 1952 Final Four and recruited NBA stars like Brian Winters and Alex English to South Carolina in the 1970s.

    In between, McGuire led North Carolina to the second undefeated championship season in NCAA history, edging out Wilt Chamberlain and Kansas in the triple-OT 1957 title game.

    Image from chapelhillmemories.com

52. Tubby Smith

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    If Tubby Smith can take his Minnesota team to the Sweet 16 or farther, it’ll be the fourth different program Smith has led to that plateau.

    Smith’s greatest success came at Kentucky, where he made three Elite 8s after starting his Wildcats career with the 1998 national championship.

51. Rick Majerus

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    Currently entering his fifth season at St. Louis, Rick Majerus has a long way to go before he matches the success he had at Utah.

    Majerus posted a .773 winning percentage with the Utes, leading the team to 10 NCAA tournaments including a title-game loss to Kentucky in 1998.

50. Pete Carril

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    The winningest coach in Ivy League history, Pete Carril led the Princeton Tigers to 11 NCAA tournaments (including the epic 1996 upset of defending champion UCLA).

    An even more remarkable legacy than his 514 wins is the famed “Princeton offense” he devised, whose backdoor cuts and high-post passes have influenced coaches at every level of basketball.

49. Dale Brown

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    Iconic LSU coach Dale Brown spent 25 years at the Tigers’ helm.

    He won a school-record 448 games, making 10 consecutive NCAA tournaments at one stretch with the help of star recruits like Chris Jackson (the future Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf) and Shaquille O’Neal.

48. Bill Self

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    In his nine seasons at Kansas, Bill Self has posted a ludicrous .837 winning percentage, made four Elite 8s and won a national title (in 2008).

    Adding in his days at Oral Roberts, Tulsa and Illinois, Self has 444 career victories and 14 NCAA bids in 19 seasons as a head coach.

47. Lou Carnesecca

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    One of many teams caught in the gambling-fueled collapse of New York City basketball in the 1950s, the St. John’s RedMen (as they were then called) hadn’t made the NCAA tournament in five years when Lou Carnesecca took over as head coach in 1965.

    Carnesecca rebuilt St. John’s as a national power, winning a school-record 526 games and taking his teams to 18 NCAA tournaments (including the 1985 Final Four) in 27 seasons.

46. Joe Mullaney

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    Providence’s most successful head coach, Joe Mullaney finished his Friars career with a 319-164 record.

    Mullaney led the school to two NIT titles and its first three NCAA tournament appearances.

45. Gene Keady

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    In 25 years at Purdue, Gene Keady took the Boilermakers to five Sweet 16s and 18 NCAA tournaments in all, though he never made a Final Four.

    Keady, currently serving as an assistant to Steve Lavin at St. John’s, holds the Boilermakers’ record by a wide margin with 512 career victories.

44. Digger Phelps

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    Before he joined ESPN’s broadcast team, Richard “Digger” Phelps set a Notre Dame record with 393 coaching victories.

    Phelps’ 1973-74 squad ended UCLA’s record 88-game winning streak, the first of seven times (a record he shares with Gary Williams) that a Phelps-coached Irish squad took down the No. 1 team in the nation.

43. Jud Heathcote

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    Jud Heathcote took over a Michigan State team that had made two NCAA tournaments in its history and turned it into a national power.

    Heathcote, who won 339 games in East Lansing, led the Spartans to nine NCAA bids highlighted by the legendary Magic Johnson-led championship run of 1979.

42. Slats Gill

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    Coaching the same school for 36 years tends to produce some outsized stats, but even so, Slats Gill’s 599 wins at Oregon State are a remarkable total.

    Gill’s career spanned the birth of the NCAA tournament, and he took the Beavers to a pair of Final Four appearances in his tenure.

41. Rollie Massimino

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    Although his career is still ongoing at NAIA Northwood, Rollie Massimino’s legacy will always rest on his days with Villanova.

    Massimino’s Wildcats made five Elite 8s, none more memorable than in 1985, when No. 8-seeded Villanova shot 78.6 percent from the floor to upset Patrick Ewing’s Georgetown Hoyas and become the lowest-seeded champion of all time.

40. John Calipari

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    John Calipari holds the dubious distinction of having two different Final Four appearances vacated, one each in his highly successful stints at UMass and Memphis.

    Even excluding his vacated wins, Calipari has won 467 games in his 20-year college career, with last spring’s Final Four marking the 11th official time he’s taken a school to the NCAA tournament.

39. Nolan Richardson

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    The only coach with a Junior College National Championship, an NIT title and an NCAA title, Nolan Richardson led Western Texas Junior College and Tulsa before joining the program that would bring him national prominence.

    At Arkansas, Richardson’s “40 Minutes of Hell” full-court press came into its own, and he made three Final Fours with the Razorbacks, winning the 1994 national title behind Corliss Williamson.

38. Billy Tubbs

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    One of the great offense-first coaches at any level of basketball, Billy Tubbs piled up 640 career victories bookended by two stops at alma mater Lamar.

    Tubbs’ greatest success came at Oklahoma, where he won 333 games and took the Sooners to eight consecutive NCAA tournaments (losing in the 1988 title game to Danny Manning and Kansas).

37. Gary Williams

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    The face of Maryland basketball for better than two decades, Gary Williams retired this offseason with 461 wins at his alma mater, including the only NCAA championship in school history.

    Williams, who took the Terrapins to 14 NCAA tournaments in all, won a total of 668 games at the Division I level.

36. Pete Newell

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    Best known by modern fans for his eponymous Big Man Camps, Pete Newell was a hugely successful coach in his own right.

    Newell led the California Golden Bears to 234 wins, highlighted by the school’s only NCAA title in 1959 (and only other Final Four appearance, losing in the title game to Ohio State the following season).

    Image from basketball.org

35. Bob Huggins

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    Bob Huggins’ latest 20-win season at West Virginia has vaulted him into the top 20 all-time for Division I with 691 career wins.

    Huggins’ greatest success came at Cincinnati, where he won 399 games and made a Final Four to start a string of 14 consecutive NCAA tournament bids.

34. Al McGuire

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    The defining head coach in Marquette history, Al McGuire led the Warriors (as they were then known) to 295 victories and nine NCAA tournaments.

    In 1977, McGuire’s Marquette squad upset Dean Smith’s North Carolina team for the only national championship in school history.

    Image from marquette.edu

33. John Thompson Jr.

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    Georgetown basketball is on the map thanks to the efforts of John Thompson Jr..

    The unknown Hoyas went from 12-14 in Thompson’s first season to an NCAA tournament berth three years later, and he would eventually lead the program to three Final Fours (all featuring Patrick Ewing) including the 1984 national title.

32. Norm Stewart

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    In 32 years at the helm of Missouri basketball, Norm Stewart led the Tigers to 16 NCAA tournaments, including a pair of Elite 8 finishes.

    Stewart won 634 games at his alma mater, and his overall total of 728 victories is 17th all-time for Division I.

31. John Chaney

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    After leading Cheyney State to eight Division II tournaments (and one national championship), John Chaney got the job that would define his career at Temple University.

    Chaney won 516 games at Temple, leading the Owls to 17 NCAA tournaments and five Elite 8s with his signature matchup zone.

30. Edgar Diddle

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    The first man to coach 1,000 games at the same school, Edgar Diddle helmed Western Kentucky from 1922-1964, and the signature red towel he carried has been incorporated into the modern Hilltoppers logo.

    Diddle, who won 759 games, took his team to seven NITs (back when that was the most prestigious postseason tournament) and three NCAA tournaments.

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29. Ray Meyer

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    Ray Meyer coached DePaul for over 40 years, winning a total of 724 games (18th all-time for Division I).

    Meyer’s Blue Demons made two Final Fours (the second keyed by freshman Mark Aguirre) and won the 1945 NIT behind the great George Mikan, whose eponymous Drill was invented by Meyer to improve the big man’s agility.

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28. Phog Allen

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    An inaugural member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, Forrest "Phog" Allen won 590 games as the head coach at Kansas.

    Allen’s Jayhawks won the 1952 NCAA championship, 25 years after Allen helped found the National Association of Basketball Coaches…the organization that created the NCAA tournament.

27. Jack Gardner

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    Jack Gardner is one of only two coaches to take two different schools—Kansas State and Utah—to multiple Final Four appearances.

    His 339 wins at Utah are the second-best total in school history, and his 147 wins with the Wildcats rank third in the history of that program.

    Image from continuum.utah.edu

26. Lou Henson

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    The career victories leader at both New Mexico State (289) and Illinois (423), Lou Henson took both schools to the Final Four behind future NBA standouts like Sam Lacey with the Aggies and Nick Anderson with the Illini.

    Henson’s 779 career victories (including his brief stay at Hardin-Simmons) place him 11th on the all-time list.

25. Jim Phelan

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    Jim Phelan started coaching at Mount St. Mary’s in 1954 and stayed for the next 49 years.

    His 1,354 games is an all-divisions record, and the school joined Division I in 1988, allowing Phelan to coach enough seasons at that level to qualify for the D-I record books (where his 830 wins place seventh all-time).

    Image from jimphelanaward.com

24. Fred Taylor

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    One of the very select group of coaches to take teams to three consecutive NCAA title games, Fred Taylor won 297 games at Ohio State.

    His 1960 Buckeyes, featuring Hall of Fame forwards Jerry Lucas and John Havlicek, won the school’s only national title, and his teams made a total of three more Final Four appearances in his 18 years.

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23. Jerry Tarkanian

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    Despite having more than 50 games vacated over the course of his coaching career, Jerry Tarkanian is still 16th all-time with 729 Division I victories.

    Tark the Shark will always be most associated with UNLV, the program he put on the map with an overall record of 307-42, including a run of three Final Four appearances in five seasons highlighted by the 1990 national title.

22. Guy Lewis

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    Perhaps the best coach never to win a national title, Guy Lewis won 592 games in 30 years at the helm of the Houston Cougars.

    He took the team to all five Final Four appearances in its history, led by stars like Elvin Hayes, Akeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler.

    Image from uhcougars.com

21. Rick Pitino

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    When Rick Pitino took Louisville to the 2005 national semifinal, he became the first coach ever to reach the Final Four with three different schools (Providence and Kentucky being the others).

    Pitino’s three point-heavy motion offense and aggressive full-court press had its greatest success at Kentucky, where his teams made three Final Fours and won the 1996 national title.

20. Tom Izzo

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    After a long apprenticeship under the revered Jud Heathcote, Tom Izzo has surpassed his mentor as the winningest head coach in Michigan State history.

    Izzo’s teams have made six Final Fours, including the 2000 squad that won the national title, and the Spartans have one of the nation’s longest active streaks with 14 consecutive tournament bids.

    *The original version of this slide erroneously listed Izzo's total of Final Four appearances as four. Thanks to Matt in the comments for catching the mistake. The author regrets the error.

19. Denny Crum

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    Denny Crum spent his entire 30-year head coaching career at Louisville, winning a school-record 675 games.

    In Crum’s first season, he made the first of his six Final Four appearances, a total that included a pair of national championships.

18. Branch McCracken

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    Proof that there was basketball at Indiana before Bob Knight, Branch McCracken coached his alma mater to 364 victories.

    McCracken also won the first two NCAA titles in Hoosiers history, in 1940 and 1953.

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17. Don Haskins

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    Although Don Haskins won 719 games and made 14 NCAA tournaments at Texas Western (now UTEP), it’s for one season that he’ll forever be remembered.

    Haskins’ 1966 Miners were the first team with an all-black starting lineup to win an NCAA championship, beating Adolph Rupp’s all-white Kentucky Wildcats in the title game.

16. Ed Jucker

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    Ed Jucker’s slowdown offense wasn’t exactly an instant hit at Cincinnati, but then the Bearcats started winning at a level even Oscar Robertson’s teams hadn’t managed.

    Jucker led Cincy to back-to-back NCAA championships in 1961 and 1962, missing a three-peat by the margin of a two-point OT loss in the 1963 title game against Loyola (Chicago).

    Image from gocreighton.com

15. Billy Donovan

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    One of the few men to play and coach in a Final Four, Billy Donovan has become the defining head coach in Florida history.

    Donovan has won a school-record 360 games in his 15 seasons, highlighted by back-to-back national titles in 2006 and 2007.

14. Eddie Sutton

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    Another of that rare breed of coach with 200 wins at two different schools, Eddie Sutton took Arkansas to its first Final Four (and nine straight tournaments overall) before building a dynasty at Oklahoma State.

    Sutton made two more Final Four appearances with the Cowboys, winning a total of 804 games to finish eighth on the all-time list for Division I.

13. Lute Olson

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    The coach who made Arizona basketball a national power, Lute Olson took over a team with three all-time NCAA berths and had them in the Final Four within five years.

    He won 589 games and one national title with the Wildcats, and his 781 overall victories—including nine years at Iowa and five at Long Beach State—are good for 10th in Division I history.

12. Hank Iba

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    In a 41-year coaching career—mostly at Oklahoma A&M, later to be renamed Oklahoma State—Hank Iba won 751 games.

    Iba, who also coached three U.S. Olympic teams, was the first coach to win back-to-back NCAA titles, behind seven-foot center Bob Kurland in 1945-46.

    Image from hoophall.com

11. Lefty Driesell

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    In his long coaching career, Charles "Lefty" Driesell racked up at least 100 wins at each of the four schools he helmed.

    Best known for his days at Maryland—where he won an NIT title and made eight NCAA tournaments with two Elite 8 finishes—Driesell is ninth all-time with 786 wins at the Division I level.

10. Clair Bee

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    In 21 years at Rider and Long Island, Clair Bee set a Division I record for career winning percentage at .824.

    The inventor of the 1-3-1 zone, Bee led LIU to 43 consecutive wins and a pair of NIT titles in 1939 and 1941 (when that championship was far more prestigious than the newly-created NCAA tournament).

    Image from hoophall.com

9. Phil Woolpert

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    As the head coach of the San Francisco Dons, Phil Woolpert challenged convention by using three black starters: Hal Perry, K.C. Jones, and Bill Russell.

    The move paid off and then some, as the Dons won back-to-back national titles and a then-record 60 consecutive games from 1954-57.

    Image from hoophall.com

8. Jim Boeheim

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    In a 35-year head coaching career spent entirely at Syracuse, Jim Boeheim and his signature 2-3 zone have won 856 games (one ahead of Jim Calhoun for fifth place on the all-time list).

    Carmelo Anthony carried the Orange to Boeheim’s only national title, but Syracuse does have two other championship game appearances in Boeheim’s tenure.

7. Roy Williams

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    In 24 seasons as a head coach, Roy Williams has made 22 NCAA tournament appearances, with the other two seasons being an NIT berth and a year spent on probation for his predecessor's violations at Kansas.

    After making four Final Fours without a championship with the Jayhawks, Williams and his famed fast break finally broke through to win a pair of NCAA titles with North Carolina (a total to which he might well add in 2011-12).

6. Jim Calhoun

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    When Jim Calhoun took over at UConn, the Huskies had won three NCAA tournament games in their history.

    Calhoun has won 48 such games at UConn (50 all told), part of a resume that includes 855 total victories (sixth all-time) and three national titles.

5. Adolph Rupp

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    There have been many great coaches to lead the Kentucky Wildcats, but none can compare with the Baron, Adolph Rupp.

    Rupp won 876 games (fourth-most all-time), every one of them at Kentucky, and led the Wildcats to one NIT and four NCAA championships—including the 1948 title team, the “Fabulous Five,” whose starting lineup he imported wholesale to win gold at the 1948 Olympics.

    Image from bigbluehistory.net

4. Dean Smith

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    A national champion as a player under Phog Allen at Kansas, Dean Smith did more than his share of winning as a head coach.

    The Tar Heels legend recorded a then-record 879 victories and took his teams to 11 Final Fours, winning a pair of national titles.

3. Bobby Knight

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    As unpopular as Bobby Knight was with most non-Hoosier fans, his success was undeniable.

    Knight holds the Division I record with 902 career victories, and he led Indiana to three national titles, including the nation’s last undefeated championship in 1976.

2. Mike Krzyzewski

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    Mike Krzyzewski is on the cusp of the crowning achievement of his career, as three more victories will move him past Bobby Knight into first place on the all-time Division I list.

    Coach K’s incomparable career at Duke has already brought him four national championships, tying him with Adolph Rupp for second-most all-time.

1. John Wooden

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    The coach to whom all others will be compared and found wanting, John Wooden established the greatest dynasty in college basketball history.

    Wooden’s UCLA Bruins won a record 88 consecutive games and a total of 10 national titles, with a streak of more national championships in a row (seven) than any other coach has won in a career.

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