10 Most Ridiculous Coach's Outfits in College Hoops History
Bruce Pearl, former head coach of the University of Tennessee's men's basketball team, famously wore a bright orange suit in contests against division rival Kentucky and in-state rival Vanderbilt.
His blazer became quite famous, and Pearl's name became synonymous with the garish outfit, forever linking himself with one of the most ridiculous fashion statements in sports today.
But amongst college coaches, Pearl's orange bonanza isn't even the craziest outfit in the sports' history.
Who takes the crown as the king of the crazy outfits? Let's take a look.
Steve Alford, New Mexico
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From the lengthy suit jacket to the polka-dotted tie, everything about this outfit just looks wrong for New Mexico's head coach, Steve Alford.
Standing at 6'2'', Alford played basketball himself at Indiana University and for the Indiana Pacers. He looks like he borrowed the suit from one of his seven-foot centers and then picked out the tie at the discount aisle at Target.
Bob Huggins, West Virginia University
Bob Huggins wore this buttery yellow full suit in a game in 2008 but thankfully retired it after his squad only scored 39 points.
If he'd just worn the top, it still would have made the list. But the same color pants? And the same color shoes?
Who knows what Huggins was going for, but respectability was certainly not it.
Sidney Lowe, Former Coach of North Carolina State
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Sidney Lowe consistently wore this bright-red blazer, so he honestly must have considered it a good look.
That color red looks excellent on his former team's jerseys, but on a blazer, it looks like something you'd dress your kids up in for a family holiday card.
"Oh, look how cute Sammy looks in his little red suit!"
Maybe that's why Lowe's teams never lived up to their expectations—they were too busy gaffing at their coach's wardrobe.
Ray Mears, Former Coach of Tennessee
Ray Mears started the trend of full-color suits, which he passed on to Pearl and the new generation of color-blinding coaches.
This is the picture that ended up on the cover of his book, Big Orange Memories.
Big orange is right.
You have to give the coach props for displaying his colors proudly, of course, but it doesn't make those pants any easier to look at.
Bruce Pearl, Former Coach of Tennessee
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When Bruce Pearl was at Tennessee, he would wear the orange blazer against divisional rivals in memory of Mears, who died in 2007.
That's an excellent sign of respect coming from a coach marred by scandal and honor issues, so for that show of deference to Mears, Pearl's outfit is downgraded from "insanity" to "quite odd."
But when you look like an orange sorbet popsicle screaming up and down the sidelines, you have to keep in mind that your sign of respect doesn't make anyone respect you.
John Thompson III, Georgetown
John Thompson III is normally a very suave dresser, but he wasn't feeling it with this full moss-colored blazer and pants set.
If it was just the suit top, it'd be okay, but the color becomes simply laughable when combined with matching pants.
Not his best look.
Rick Pitino, Lousiville
In a February 2008 contest, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino participated in the "white-out" night and rocked an all-white suit that looked like he'd swiped it right out of the '60s.
But at halftime, Pitino came back out in a black suit.
When asked by ESPN's Erin Andrews, Pitino said that at first that he'd spilled Diet Coke on the suit during intermission.
As ESPN's Pat Forte reported, however, the real reason was far more humorous—
Saying he hadn't worn a linen suit since first communion, Pitino was sweating right through the sucker…and wearing blue drawers underneath. To avoid a memorable wardrobe malfunction on national television, he switched suits.
That's a real shame for Pitino, who rocked the all-white suit, but it isn't really a shame for anyone watching at home. Thank you, Pitino, for taking the necessary precautions and avoiding turning "white-out" night into "blue drawers" night.
Rick Majerus, Saint Louis
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Rick Majerus isn't the kind of man you'll be seeing in a suit very often, as he normally wears a sweater and khakis on game day.
But apparently his sweater was dirty on this game day (back when he was coaching for Utah), and he showed up in this amazing Hawaiian shirt. Couple that with his face, which is nearly as red as the Utah uniforms, and this blue number ranks up there amongst the most ridiculous of the ridiculous.
You have to wonder if Majerus wearing the Hawaiian shirt inspired this next coach...
Arnold Gib, Hawaii
Yes, this is in fact a college basketball coach. And, no, he wasn't just a Hawaiian visitor the school pulled out from the middle of a luau.
Arnold Gib accepted the chance to become Hawaii's head coach last season and went for the casual "Just got off the airplane" tourist look instead of a suit and tie. That takes courage, but I suppose the saying "When in Rome" also works for "When in Hawaii."
Tom Hodges, Morehead State University
Tom Hodges, the women's basketball coach at Morehead State University, decided to take utter leave of his fashion sense in an effort to bring attention to his program.
"It's a little bit outside my comfort zone, but anything that gets Morehead State in the headlines and puts our great university front and center, I'm all for it," he told USA Today.
You have to give the guy credit for his determination, but I hesitate to say that the snappy outfits—which he started wearing last November—would bring the kind of respect and attention that Hodges wants.
It's pretty hard to look at Hodges and think professional when he looks like he just stole the suit from the local circus. If you really want some attention, Coach, try wearing a rainbow wig and a big red nose.