Coaches The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time  

Ranker NCAA Basketball
Originally by
24.6k votes 3.6k voters 43.8k views 118 items

List Rules Only NCAA college basketball coaches. No NBA coaches

Leading the best teams most likely to win March Madness 2018, the best college basketball coaches of all time are the winningest and most decorated men ever to coach NCAA college basketball. From the legends of the game from many decades ago to those coaches currently in their prime, these top college basketball coaches of all time will always be remembered as the best leaders and most brilliant minds to ever steer the best college basketball teams into the history books.

Easily regarded by many as the best college basketball coach ever, John Wooden won a remarkable 98-straight games and 10 NCAA titles over a 12-year span while coaching the UCLA Bruins in the 1960s and 1970s. Neither feat has ever been accomplished and quite simply no other coach has ever come close to this level of success.

But there are some areas where other coaches have topped the great Wizard of Westwood. Many current and former college basketball coaches from various divisions have a higher win count, like McKendree legend Henry Statham or Oregon Tech mainstay Danny Miles, or a higher winning percentage, like longtime Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp. There are also plenty of best current college basketball coaches who could very well meet or top Wooden's record of 12 NCAA titles such as Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who through 2013 sits with 11 championships, or Rick Pitino or Roy Williams, both of which each sitting on seven titles a piece.

However you rank the best college basketball coaches ever, do it below by voting up the ones you think are best, voting down those that aren't, adding any not listed or re-ranking this list of the top NCAA college basketball coaches of all time!

list ordered by

1
931 546
John Wooden is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
John Robert Wooden was an American basketball player and coach. Nicknamed the "Wizard of Westwood," as head coach at UCLA he won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period, ...more

2
1,127 671
Mike Krzyzewski is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Duke Blue Devils men's basketball Michael William "Mike" Krzyzewski is an American basketball coach and former player. Since 1980, he has served as the head men's basketball coach at Duke University after taking over ...more

3
795 531
Dean Smith is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Dean Edwards Smith was an American head coach of men's college basketball. Originally from Emporia, Kansas, Smith was called a "coaching legend" by the Basketball Hall of Fame. He is ...more

4
648 513
Roy Williams is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball Roy Allen Williams is a college basketball coach, who is currently the head coach of the men's North Carolina Tar Heel Men's Basketball at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North ...more

5
624 539
Bob Knight is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Robert Montgomery "Bob" Knight is a retired American basketball coach. Nicknamed "The General", Knight won 902 NCAA Division I men's college basketball games, the most ...more

6
409 440
Adolph Rupp is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Adolph Frederick Rupp was one of the most successful coaches in the history of American college basketball. Rupp is ranked 4th in total victories by a men's NCAA Division I college coach, ...more

7
530 541
Tom Izzo is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Michigan State Spartans men's basketball Tom Izzo is an American college basketball coach. Since 1995, he has been the head coach for the Michigan State Spartans men's basketball team, presiding over a prolonged period of success. ...more

8
393 449
Jim Boeheim is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Syracuse Orange men's basketball James Arthur "Jim" Boeheim is the head coach of the men's basketball team at Syracuse University. Boeheim has guided the Orange to nine Big East regular season championships, five Big ...more

9
361 383
Jim Valvano is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
wiabux added James Thomas Anthony "Jim" Valvano, nicknamed Jimmy V, was an American college basketball player, coach, and broadcaster. While the head basketball coach at North Carolina State ...more

10
377 414
Jim Calhoun is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
James A. Calhoun is the former head coach of the University of Connecticut men's basketball team. His teams won three NCAA national championships, played in four Final Fours, won the 1988 NIT ...more

11
349 300
Bill Self is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
wiabux added Kansas Jayhawks Men's Basketball Billy Eugene "Bill" Self, Jr. is an American college men's basketball coach at the University of Kansas, where he has led Kansas to eleven straight Big 12 Conference regular season ...more

12
201 130
Brad Stevens is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
looksharp added Boston Celtics Bradley Kent "Brad" Stevens is an American professional basketball head coach for the Boston Celtics of the NBA. He was previously the head coach at Butler University in Indianapolis. ...more

13
193 133
Bob Huggins is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Tom Derr added West Virginia Mountaineers men's basketball Robert Edward "Bob" Huggins, nicknamed "Huggy Bear", is the head coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers men's basketball team. Huggins previously held the head coaching ...more

14
226 270
Lute Olson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Robert Luther "Lute" Olson is a retired American men's basketball coach. He was most recently head coach at the University of Arizona for 25 years. He was also head coach at the ...more

15
385 532
Rick Pitino is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Louisville Cardinals men's basketball Richard Andrew "Rick" Pitino is an American basketball coach. Since 2001, he has been the head coach at the University of Louisville, and coached the Cardinals to the 2013 NCAA Men's ...more

16
261 248
Larry Brown is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Tom Derr added SMU Mustangs men's basketball Lawrence Harvey "Larry" Brown is an American basketball coach, who is currently the head coach at Southern Methodist University. He is the only coach in basketball history to win both ...more

17
196 189
Phog Allen is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Forrest Clare "Phog" Allen was an American basketball and baseball player, coach of American football, basketball, and baseball, college athletics administrator, and osteopathic ...more

18
154 48
Jay Wright is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
TRENT13 added Villanova Wildcats men's basketball Jerold Taylor "Jay" Wright, Jr. is an American college basketball coach. He is currently the men's coach at Villanova University. He was born in Churchville, Pennsylvania and is ...more

19
205 155
Mark Few is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Gonzaga Bulldogs men's basketball Mark Norman Few is an American college basketball coach, currently the head coach at Gonzaga University. He has served on Gonzaga's coaching staff since 1989, and has been a constant on the ...more

20
226 250
Jerry Tarkanian is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Jerry Esther Tarkanian was an American basketball coach. He coached college basketball for 31 seasons over five decades at three schools. He spent the majority of his career coaching with the ...more

21
361 385
John Calipari is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball John Vincent Calipari is an American basketball coach. Since April 2009, he has been the head coach of men's basketball at the University of Kentucky. He was the head coach of the Dominican ...more

22
128 46
John Beilein is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
TRENT13 added Michigan Wolverines men's basketball John Patrick Beilein is an American college basketball coach and current men's basketball head coach at the University of Michigan. He is the 16th head coach of the Michigan Wolverines. The ...more

23
149 201
Rick Majerus is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
wiabux added Richard Raymond "Rick" Majerus was an American college basketball coach. He coached at Marquette University, Ball State University, the University of Utah, and Saint Louis University. ...more

24
174 145
Billy Donovan is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
gatorphil83 added Florida Gators men's basketball William John Donovan Jr. (born May 30, 1965) is an American professional basketball coach and former player. He is the current head coach for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball ...more

25
145 158
Al McGuire is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
samgadoodle added Alfred James "Al" McGuire was the head coach of the Marquette University men's basketball team from 1964 to 1977. He won a national championship at Marquette and was later inducted ...more

26
144 127
Denny Crum is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
bigulcards added Denzil E. "Denny" Crum is a former American men's college basketball coach at the University of Louisville in Kentucky from 1971 to 2001, compiling a 675–295 record. He guided the ...more

27
121 136
Henry Iba is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Henry Payne "Hank" Iba was an American hall-of-fame basketball coach, winner of two NCAA Men's Division I basketball championships and two Olympic gold medals.

28
118 153
John Chaney is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
wiabux added John Chaney is an American retired college basketball coach, best known for his success at Temple University.

29
137 122
Bo Ryan is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Wisconsin Badgers men's basketball William Francis "Bo" Ryan, Jr. is an American college basketball coach and former player. He is the current head coach of the University of Wisconsin–Madison Badgers men's basketball ...more

30
130 218
Lefty Driesell is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Charles Grice "Lefty" Driesell is a college basketball coach. He served as the head coach at the University of Maryland, Davidson College, James Madison University, and Georgia State ...more

31
120 153
John Thompson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
John Thompson is a former tight end in the National Football League. Thompson was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the ninth round of the 1979 NFL Draft and played four seasons with the

32
117 170
Eddie Sutton is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Eddie Sutton is an American former college head coach with 36 years of Division I basketball coaching experience at Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma State, and the University of San ...more

33
88 113
Don Haskins is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
wiabux added Donald Lee Haskins, nicknamed "The Bear", was an American collegiate player and basketball coach. He played for three years under coach Henry Iba at Oklahoma A&M. He was the head ...more

34
104 108
Nolan Richardson is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
JacobHuneycutt added Nolan Richardson, Jr. is an American basketball head coach, who was elected to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014. ...more

35
69 61
Rollie Massimino is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
slaft added Roland V. "Rollie" Massimino is an American basketball coach and former player. He is currently the head men's basketball coach at the Florida campus of Northwood University in West ...more

36
116 181
Tubby Smith is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
wiabux added Texas Tech Red Raiders basketball Orlando "Tubby" Smith is an American college basketball coach. He is currently the men's basketball head coach at Texas Tech University; his previous position, from 2007-2013, was as ...more

37
93 96
Gary Williams is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
KyleTurner added Gary Bruce Williams is an American university administrator and former college basketball coach. He served as the head coach at the University of Maryland, Ohio State University, Boston College, ...more

38
73 82
Lou Carnasecca is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
MarcSherman added Lou Carnasecca

39
65 82
Gene Keady is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Lloyd Eugene "Gene" Keady is an American basketball coach. Currently an assistant coach at St. John's University, he is most notable for being the head men's college basketball coach ...more

40
29 34
Buzz Williams is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Rusty Shackelford added Virginia Tech Hokies men's basketball Brent "Buzz" Williams is an American basketball coach. He is currently the head coach of the Virginia Tech Hokies. He served as head men's basketball coach at Marquette from 2008 to ...more

41
19 21
Digger Phelps is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Tom Derr added Richard F. "Digger" Phelps is a former American college basketball coach, most notably of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish men's basketball team from 1971 to 1991. For 20 years, from 1993 ...more

42
36 47
Jud Heathcote is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Tom Derr added George Melvin "Jud" Heathcote is a former American basketball player and coach. He was a college basketball head coach for 24 seasons: five at the University of Montana and 19 at ...more

43
28 43
Norm Sloan is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Tom Derr added Norman Sloan, nicknamed "Stormin' Norman," was an American college basketball player and coach. Sloan played college basketball for North Carolina State University, and thereafter, he ...more

44
27 42
Ralph Miller is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Tom Derr added Ralph H. Miller was an American basketball coach. A native of Chanute, Kansas, Miller coached at the University of Wichita, the University of Iowa and Oregon State University, compiling a ...more

45
35 22
Frank McGuire is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
TRENT13 added Frank Joseph McGuire was an American athletic coach who gained his greatest renown in collegiate basketball.

46
24 41
Terry Holland is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Tom Derr added Michael Terrence "Terry" Holland is an American college athletics administrator and former basketball player and coach. He is currently the Emeritus Director of Athletics and special ...more

47
37 28
Mike Brey is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
TRENT13 added Notre Dame Fighting Irish men's basketball Michael Paul "Mike" Brey is an American college basketball coach. He has been the men's head coach at the University of Notre Dame since July 14, 2000.

48
33 24
Steve Fisher is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
TRENT13 added San Diego State Aztecs men's basketball Stephen Louis "Steve" Fisher is an American basketball coach who is currently employed as the men's basketball coach at San Diego State University in San Diego, California. Fisher also ...more

49
9 15
Gene Bartow is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Tom Derr added B. Gene Bartow was an American men's college basketball coach. The Browning, Missouri, native coached 36 years at six universities after coaching two high schools in Missouri for six years. In ...more

50
38 71
Ray Meyer is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time
Raymond Joseph "Ray" Meyer was an American men's collegiate basketball coach from Chicago, Illinois. He was well known for coaching at DePaul University from 1942 to 1984, compiling a ...more