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!
- John Robert Wooden (October 14, 1910 – June 4, 2010) was an American basketball player and head coach at the University of California, Los Angeles. Nicknamed the "Wizard of Westwood," he won ten NCAA ...more
- Patricia Susan Summitt (née Head; June 14, 1952 – June 28, 2016) was an American women's college basketball head coach who accrued 1,098 career wins, the most in college basketball history upon her ...more
- Jerold Taylor "Jay" Wright Jr. (born December 24, 1961) is an American college basketball coach. He is currently the men's head coach at Villanova University, a position he has held since 2001. He ...more
- Dean Edwards Smith (February 28, 1931 – February 7, 2015) was an American men's college basketball head coach. Called a "coaching legend" by the Basketball Hall of Fame, he coached for 36 years at ...more
- Michael William Krzyzewski (born February 13, 1947) is an American college basketball coach and former player. Since 1980, he has served as the head men's basketball coach at Duke University, where ...more
- Robert Montgomery Knight (born October 25, 1940) is a former American basketball coach. Nicknamed "the General", Knight won 902 NCAA Division I men's college basketball games, a record at the time of ...more
- Luigi "Geno" Auriemma (born March 23, 1954) is an Italian-born American college basketball coach and the head coach of the University of Connecticut Huskies women's basketball team. He has led UConn ...more
- Roy Allen Williams (born August 1, 1950) is an American college basketball coach for the North Carolina Tar Heels. He started his college coaching career at North Carolina as an assistant coach for ...more
- Tom Izzo (, Italian pronunciation: [ˈittso]); born January 30, 1955), is an American college basketball coach who has been the head coach at Michigan State University since 1995. On April 4, 2016, ...more
- John Patrick Beilein ( BEE-lyne; born February 5, 1953) is an American basketball coach and current head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He has previously coached the Michigan Wolverines ...more
- Frank Joseph McGuire (November 8, 1913 – October 11, 1994) was an American basketball coach. At the collegiate level, he was head coach for three major programs: St. John's, North Carolina, and South ...more
- Denzel Edwin "Denny" Crum (born March 2, 1937) is a former American men's college basketball coach at the University of Louisville from 1971 to 2001, compiling a 675–295 record. He guided the ...more
- Forrest Clare "Phog" Allen (November 18, 1885 – September 16, 1974) was an American basketball and baseball player, coach of American football, basketball, and baseball, college athletics ...more
- Billy Eugene Self Jr. (born December 27, 1962) is the NCAA Division-1 men's college basketball coach at the University of Kansas. During his 16 seasons as head coach, he's led the Jayhawks to at ...more
- William John Donovan Jr. (born May 30, 1965) is an American professional basketball coach and former player who is the head coach of the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association (NBA), a ...more
- Adolph Frederick Rupp (September 2, 1901 – December 10, 1977) was an American college basketball coach. Rupp is ranked fifth (behind Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim, Bob Knight, and Dean Smith) in total ...more
- James A. Calhoun (born May 10, 1942) is the men's basketball coach for the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, Connecticut. Calhoun is the former head coach of the University of Connecticut ...more
- Lawrence Harvey Brown (born September 14, 1940) is a former American basketball coach and player who was most recently the head coach for Auxilium Torino of the Italian Lega Basket Serie A (LBA) and ...more
- Alfred Emanuel McGuire (September 7, 1928 – January 26, 2001) was an American college basketball coach and broadcaster, the head coach at Marquette University from 1964 to 1977. He won a national ...more
- Nolan Richardson Jr. (born December 27, 1941) is a former American basketball head coach best known for his tenure at the University of Arkansas, where he won the 1994 NCAA Men's Division I ...more
- James Thomas Anthony Valvano (March 10, 1946 – April 28, 1993), nicknamed Jimmy V, was an American college basketball player, coach, and broadcaster.Valvano had an excellent coaching career with ...more
- Mark Norman Few (born December 27, 1962) is an American college basketball coach who has been the head coach at Gonzaga University since 1999. He has served on Gonzaga's coaching staff since 1989, ...more
- John Vincent Calipari (born February 10, 1959) is an American basketball coach. Since 2009, he has been the head coach of the University of Kentucky men's team, with whom he won the NCAA Championship ...more
- Henry "Hank" Payne Iba (; August 6, 1904 – January 15, 1993) was an American basketball coach and college athletics administrator. He served as the head basketball coach at Northwest Missouri State ...more