A Bakers Dozen of the Nerdiest Coaches in College Basketball
I'm sure you've had the sensation. A sleek, athletic and obviously talented basketball team runs out onto the floor. You tap the fellow fan next to you on the shoulder. When he turns you ask him who the nerd is that's sitting on the end of the bench. Is that the water boy? Statistician? Team Physician? But you are not prepared for the unbelievable answer he gives you:
"That, my friend, is the Head Coach."
13. Fran McCaffery, Iowa
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Stiff and starched, McCaffery looks and talks more like a US Senator than he does a basketball coach. And he'll have to keep that serious face for awhile if he aims to turn around a struggling Iowa basketball program.
Jokes aside, McCaffery is a decent coach who led the Siena Saints to the best five year stretch in their history when he posted a good record of 112-51.
12. Rick Majerus, Saint Louis
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Majerus looks looks like the school fat kid until he puts his glasses on. Then he looks like he swallowed the school nerd and kept his glasses.
Seriously, Majerus is one of the finest coaches in the NCAA, who once took the Utah Utes all the way to the NCAA title game before being topped by Kentucky 78-69.
11. Buzz Williams, Marquette
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Buzz Williams may not be too nerdy looking. But he is down right strange in appearance. Squat and thick shouldered, Williams looks like Super Toe, the 1970s field goal kicking toy, without a helmet on and has been known to do a hilarious dance walk when one of his players stuffs the ball.
This year Williams has his nationally ranked Marquette squad is off to excellent start. After winning the Paradise Jam tournament the Eagles boast a record of 8-0
10. Tony Barbee, Auburn
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It is very hard for a black person not to look cool, but Barbee seems to pull it off. His features are much too big for his head and his nose is enormous in comparison to the rest of his face. While his hair-do sometimes appears as if it's been taped down in spots.
Barbee is a hot young coach who led UTEP to a 26-7 campaign in 2010-11. Good enough for C-USA coach of the year honors. Now he'll try his hand at stabling an Auburn program which has floundered in recent years.
9. Fran Dunphy, Temple
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Dunphy is your classic sad sack, who seems to look as if he's taking bouts of depression throughout the game. Before he shaved his mustache he looked like he was ready to go cruising at a moments notice. In any case, the front pocket pen clinches it.
Dunphy amassed an impressive record at Penn before he took over in Philadelphia. He won ten Ivy League titles and his 310 wins is second all time in that conference.
8. Andy Kennedy, Mississippi
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Kennedy might be a little geeky looking, but that's not why he's on our list.
Kennedy acted like a raving lunatic in an altercation outside a Cincinnati bar in 2008 and was hit with an assault charge after punching a taxi driver. Also he allegedly peppered the driver, who is an Arab, with racial slurs. He later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct. But the punch line comes when his wife counter sued the cabbie.
She said, in the suit, that the stress had been too much on Kennedy and had left him, ahem, unable to perform in bed.
Kennedy's Mississippi teams have not performed to much better on the, no pun intended, hardwood. He has amassed just a 133-78 mark at Ole Miss and the Rebels have not been to the Big Dance since 2002.
7. Frank Martin, Kansas State
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Frank Martin is a cool looking guy from the forehead down. There is however something seriously wrong with his hair. I don't know if it's plugs or what but he looks as if he just came back from an audition for a Frankenstein movie.
Levity aside, Martin is a fine coach who has averaged 20 wins a season at KSU.
6. Lou Henson, Illinois
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Okay so Henson is not an active coach, but while we're on the subject of hair-dos I couldn't miss a chance to show his famous comb over to the world for a final time.
Henson is perhaps the best coach ever to lead the Fighting Illini in Champagne. His 779 victories at New Mexico State and Illinois combined is sixth on the all-time wins list.
5. Jim Tillette, Samford
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Willowy and slight, Tillette looks as if he might fall over on the sideline at any moment. Actually that's what happened when he collapsed and fell into a seizure during a January 2010 game at UNC Greensboro. His Bulldogs won the game without him 70-67.
Thankfully Tillette recovered and is actually a very good coach who has amassed a 140-114 record in Southern Conference play. His upstart bulldogs have been to the NCAA Tournament twice in his fifteen seasons at the helm.
4.Mike Jarvis, Florida Atlantic
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What's the deal with the goatee which leads up to a shaved head? It's an odd look to be sure. Jarvis could probably get away with it if he only reamed out his players in a raw-raw, rock em-sock em voice like most coaches do in all sports. But when he opens his mouth a cultured and refined dialect that would make the most astute Harvard professor blush with envy comes out. Strange.
Jarvis is one of only four Division 1 coaches to win 100 games with three different schools. After being fired from Saint John's he picked himself up off the canvas and turned around the Florida Atlantic program. Jarvis inherited a team which finished only 6-26 and had them in the NIT and at 21 wins in just three seasons.
3. Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame
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Okay I know that this is supposed to be a male list, but every time I see Muffet take the floor I can hear The Waitresses singing "Square Pegs" in my head. And what the Hell kind of a nick name is Muffet. I hate to even think what she had to do to earn that moniker.
Ann "Muffet" McGraw is probably the best basketball coach, male or female, in Notre Dame history. A consistent 20 game winner in 24 super seasons under the dome, she has led the Irish to the Final Four three times and captured the 2001 National Championship.
2. Mick Cronin, Cincinnati
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When Cronin gets in a huddle with the tall trees he must feel like Al Pacino on Easter Island. It looks as if he could fit in one of his player's pockets. Plus Cronin has a face which looks like he's just waiting for a body builder to kick sand into it. He's just a pair of glasses away from being Number 1 on our list.
Cronin was a whiz at Murray State where he led the Racers to a 69-24 ledger in three seasons. He then inherited a dreadful Cincinnati program which he has slowly but surely turned around. The Bearcats won a healthy 26 games last season.
1. Jim Boeheim, Syracuse
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Drum roll please. And the number one nerdiest looking coach on our list has truly been the king of the college basketball coaching geeks for almost four decades. Boeheim looks as if he was separated at birth from 80s spiv-rocker Joe "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" Jackson. Gangly, gawky and awkward, Boeheim must have had opposing players and coaches thinking "Who the hell is this Guy?" when he first showed up on the end of the bench back in back in 1976.
Boeheim is one of the greatest coaches in NCAA history. He has never had a losing season at Syracuse, this his 36th year. Always a contender who usually has his teams on a deep tournament run, he led the Orange to the 2003 NCAA Title.