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The Greatest College Basketball Coaches of All Time

Updated May 21, 2020 42.2k votes 5.5k voters 58.2k views124 items

List RulesOnly 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!

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  • 1
    John Wooden
    1,440
    870

    John Wooden

    John Robert Wooden (October 14, 1910 – June 4, 2010) was an American basketball player and... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    Mike Krzyzewski
    1,724
    1,101

    Mike Krzyzewski

    Duke Blue Devils men's basketball

    Age73

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois, United States of America

    Michael William Krzyzewski (born February 13, 1947) is an American college basketball coach... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Dean Smith
    1,149
    853
    Dean Edwards Smith (February 28, 1931 – February 7, 2015) was an American men's college... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Bob Knight
    1,035
    893
    Robert Montgomery Knight (born October 25, 1940) is a former American basketball coach.... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    Roy Williams
    1,010
    928

    Roy Williams

    North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball

    Age70

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceMarion, North Carolina, United States of America

    Roy Allen Williams (born August 1, 1950) is an American college basketball coach for the North... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Phog Allen
    Forrest Clare "Phog" Allen (November 18, 1885 – September 16, 1974) was an American basketball... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Tom Izzo
    892
    878

    Tom Izzo

    Michigan State Spartans men's basketball

    Age65

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceIron Mountain, Michigan

    Tom Izzo (, Italian pronunciation: [ˈittso]); born January 30, 1955), is an American college... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Mark Few
    405
    344

    Mark Few

    Gonzaga Bulldogs men's basketball

    Age58

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceCreswell, Oregon

    Mark Norman Few (born December 27, 1962) is an American college basketball coach who has been... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Bob Huggins
    362
    339

    Bob Huggins

    West Virginia Mountaineers men's basketball

    Age67

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceMorgantown, West Virginia, United States of America

    Robert Edward Huggins (born September 21, 1953), nicknamed "Huggy Bear," is an American... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    Brad Stevens
    416
    394

    Brad Stevens

    Boston Celtics

    Age44

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceIndianapolis, Indiana

    Bradley Kent Stevens (born October 22, 1976) is an American professional basketball coach and... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Al McGuire
    Alfred Emanuel McGuire (September 7, 1928 – January 26, 2001) was an American college... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Denny Crum
    Denzel Edwin "Denny" Crum (born March 2, 1937) is a former American men's college basketball... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Henry Iba
    197
    198
    Henry "Hank" Payne Iba (; August 6, 1904 – January 15, 1993) was an American basketball coach... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Billy Donovan
    346
    275

    Billy Donovan

    Florida Gators men's basketball

    Age55

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceRockville Centre, New York, United States of America

    TeamsNew York Knicks

    William John Donovan Jr. (born May 30, 1965) is an American professional basketball coach and... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Adolph Rupp
    Adolph Frederick Rupp (September 2, 1901 – December 10, 1977) was an American college... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Lou Carnasecca
    151
    148

    Lou Carnasecca

  • 17
    Jim Valvano
    James Thomas Anthony Valvano (March 10, 1946 – April 28, 1993), nicknamed Jimmy V, was an... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Bill Self
    555
    571

    Bill Self

    Kansas Jayhawks Men's Basketball

    Age58

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceOkmulgee, Oklahoma, United States of America

    Billy Eugene Self Jr. (born December 27, 1962) is the NCAA Division-1 men's college basketball... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Jim Calhoun
    James A. Calhoun (born May 10, 1942) is the men's basketball coach for the University of Saint... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    John Calipari
    611
    602

    John Calipari

    Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball

    Age61

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceMoon, Pennsylvania

    TeamsClarion Golden Eagles men's basketball

    John Vincent Calipari (born February 10, 1959) is an American basketball coach. Since 2009, he... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Larry Brown
    412
    445

    Larry Brown

    SMU Mustangs men's basketball

    Age80

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    TeamsDenver Nuggets

    Lawrence Harvey Brown (born September 14, 1940) is a former American basketball coach and... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Bo Ryan
    208
    221

    Bo Ryan

    Wisconsin Badgers men's basketball

    Age73

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceChester, Pennsylvania

    William Francis "Bo" Ryan Jr. (born December 20, 1947) is an American former college... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Rick Majerus
    Richard Raymond Majerus (February 17, 1948 – December 1, 2012) was an American college... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Roland Vincent Massimino (November 13, 1934 – August 30, 2017) was an American basketball... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Jay Wright
    456
    209

    Jay Wright

    Villanova Wildcats men's basketball

    Age59

    NationalityUnited States of America

    BirthplaceChurchville, Pennsylvania

    Jerold Taylor "Jay" Wright Jr. (born December 24, 1961) is an American college basketball... more on Wikipedia