Dave's Hall of Fame           

Active and Former Greats

Rank Coach, Schools (*=not active) Yrs. W-L Pct. Final
4 2 1
1 Everett Dean*, (Carleton, Indiana, Stanford) 28 3-0 1.000 1 1 1
2 Ed Jucker*, (Cincinnati, Rollins) 10 11-1 .917 3 2 2
3 Kenneth Loeffler*, (Yale, La Salle, Texas A&M) 22 9-1 .900 2 2 1
4 Phil Woolpert*, (USF, San Diego) 16 13-2 .867 3 2 2
5 John Wooden*, (Indiana St., UCLA) 25 47-10 .825 12 10 10
6 Branch McCracken*, (Ball St., Indiana) 32 9-2 .818 2 2 2
7 Bud Foster*, Wisconsin 25 4-1 .800 1 1 1
8 Fred Taylor*, Ohio St. 18 14-4 .778 4 3 1
T9 Phog Allen*, (Baker, Haskell, Central Mo. St., Kansas) 50 10-3 .769 3 3 1
T9 Pete Newell*, (USF, Michigan St., California) 14 10-3 .769 2 2 1
11 Larry Brown, (UCLA, Kansas, SMU) 9 19-6 .760 3 2 1
12 Mike Krzyzewski, (Army, Duke) 39 82-26 .759 11 8 4
13 John Calipari, (UMass, Memphis, Kentucky) 22 43-14 .754 5 3 1
14 Rick Pitino, (Boston U., Providence, Kentucky, Louisville) 28 50-17 .746 7 3 2
15 Billy Donovan, Florida 20 35-12 .745 4 3 2
16 Roy Williams, (Kansas, North Carolina) 26 63-22 .741 7 4 2
17 Vic Bubas*, Duke 10 11-4 .733 3 1 0
18 Lee Rose*, (Transylvania, UNC-Charlotte, Purdue, South Florida) 19 8-3 .727 2 0 0
19 Tom Izzo, Michigan State 19 42-16 .724 6 2 1
20 Jim Calhoun*, (Northeastern, Connecticut) 40 51-20 .718 4 3 3
21 Dean Smith*, North Carolina 36 65-27 .707 11 5 2
22 Bill Self, (Oral Roberts, Tulsa, Illinois, Kansas) 21 36-15 .706 2 2 1
23 George Ireland*, Loyola-Chicago 21 7-3 .700 1 1 1
T24 Doggie Julian*, (Albright, Muhlenberg, Holy Cross, Dartmouth) 31 9-4 .692 2 1 1
T24 Harry Combes*, Illinois 20 9-4 .692 3 0 0
T26 Joe B. Hall*, (Regis, Central Mo. St., Kentucky) 19 20-9 .690 3 2 1
T26 Al McGuire*, (Belmont Abbey, Marquette) 20 20-9 .690 2 2 1
28 Hank Iba*, (NW Missouri St., Colorado, Oklahoma A&M/St.) 19 15-7 .682 4 3 2
29 Jerry Tarkanian*, (Long Beach St., UNLV, Fresno St.) 31 38-18 .679 4 1 1
T30 Rollie Massimino*, (Villanova, UNLV, Cleveland St.) 30 20-10 .667 1 1 1
T30 Nat Holman*, CCNY 37 4-2 .667 2 1 1
32 Steve Fisher, (Michigan, San Diego St.) 24 25-13 .658 3 3 1
33 Thad Matta, (Butler, Xavier, Ohio St.) 14 23-12 .657 2 1 0
34 Ben Howland*, (Northern Arizona, Pittsburgh, UCLA) 18 19-10 .655 3 1 0
T35 Tubby Smith, (Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota) 23 30-16 .652 1 1 1
T35 Jim Valvano*, (Iona, North Carolina St.) 19 15-8 .652 1 1 1
37 Denny Crum*, Louisville 30 42-23 .646 6 2 2
38 Gary Williams*, (American, Boston College, Ohio St., Maryland) 33 29-16 .644 2 1 1
T39 Bob Knight*, (Army, Indiana, Texas Tech) 42 45-25 .643 5 3 3
T39 Forddy Anderson*, (Drake, Bradley, Michigan St., Hiram Scott) 24 9-5 .643 3 2 0
41 John Thompson*, Georgetown 27 34-19 .642 3 3 1
42 Jim Boeheim, Syracuse 38 53-30 .639 4 3 1
43 Frank McGuire*, (St. John's, North Carolina, South Carolina) 30 14-8 .636 2 2 1
44 Nolan Richardson*, (Tulsa, Arkansas) 22 26-15 .634 3 2 1
45 Adolph Rupp*, Kentucky 41 30-18 .625 6 5 4
46 Lute Olson*, (Long Beach St., Iowa, Arizona) 35 46-28 .622 5 2 1
47 Tom Davis*, (Lafayette, Boston College, Stanford, Iowa, Drake) 32 18-11 .621 0 0 0
48 Norm Sloan*, (Presbyterian, The Citadel, North Carolina St., Florida) 37 8-5 .615 1 1 1
49 Rick Majerus*, (Marquette, Ball St., Utah, St. Louis) 24 19-12 .613 1 1 0
50 Bo Ryan, (UW-Milwaukee, Wisconsin) 15 20-13 .606 1 0 0
T51 Eddie Sutton*, (Creighton, Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma St., USF) 37 39-26 .600 3 0 0
T51 Billy Tubbs*, (Lamar, Oklahoma, TCU) 30 18-12 .600 1 1 0
T51 Terry Holland*, (Davidson, Virginia) 19 15-10 .600 2 0 0
T51 Jud Heathcote*, (Montana, Michigan St.) 24 15-10 .600 1 1 1
T51 Harold Olsen*, (Bradley, Ripon, Ohio St., Northwestern) 30 6-4 .600 4 1 0
T51 Vadal Peterson*, Utah 26 3-2 .600 1 1 1
T51 Howard Hobson*, (Oregon, Yale) 23 3-2 .600 1 1 1
58 Guy Lewis*, Houston 30 26-18 .591 5 2 0
59 Bobby Cremins*, (Georgia Tech, UNC-Charlotte) 25 15-11 .577 1 0 0
60 John Chaney*, Temple 34 23-17 .575 0 0 0
61 Bob Huggins, (Akron, Cincinnati, Kansas St., West Virginia) 32 27-20 .574 2 0 0
62 Ozzie Cowles*, (Dartmouth, Michigan, Minnesota) 8 5-4 .556 1 1 0
63 Jim Harrick*, (Pepperdine, UCLA, Rhode Island, Georgia) 23 18-15 .545 1 1 1
64 Gene Bartow*, (Memphis St., UCLA, Ala.-Birmingham) 34 14-12 .538 2 1 0
65 Lefty Driesell*, (Davidson, Maryland, James Madison, Georgia St.) 41 16-14 .533 0 0 0
66 Mike Montgomery, (Montana, Stanford, California) 32 18-16 .529 1 0 0
67 Don Haskins*, UTEP 38 14-13 .519 1 1 1
68 Dale Brown*, LSU 25 15-14 .517 2 0 0
69 Mark Few, Gonzaga 15 16-15 .516 0 0 0
70 Gene Keady*, (Western Kentucky, Purdue) 28 19-18 .514 0 0 0
T71 Rick Barnes, (George Mason, Providence, Clemson, Texas) 26 21-21 .500 1 0 0
T71 Digger Phelps*, (Fordham, Notre Dame) 18 17-17 .500 1 0 0
T71 Jack Gardner*, (Kansas St., Utah) 17 12-12 .500 4 1 0
T71 Everett Case*, North Carolina St. 18 6-6 .500 1 0 0
75 Lou Henson*, (Illinois, New Mexico St.) 41 19-20 .487 2 0 0
76 Lon Kruger, (Texas-Pan American, Kansas St., Florida, Illinois, UNLV, Oklahoma) 28 14-15 .483 1 0 0
77 Kelvin Sampson*, (Washington St., Oklahoma, Indiana) 23 12-13 .480 1 0 0
78 Ray Meyer*, DePaul 40 14-16 .467 2 0 0
79 Lou Carnesecca*, St. John's 24 17-20 .459 1 0 0
80 Norm Stewart*, Missouri 38 12-16 .429 0 0 0
81 Everett Shelton*, (Phillips, Wyoming, Cal State Sacramento) 31 4-12 .250 1 1 1


Highlights:

Everett Dean appeared in only one tournament (1942) and won it all that year, leading Stanford past Dartmouth to the title.  That appearance would be Stanford's only trip to the tournament until they were finally invited back in 1989 (coached by Mike Montgomery), making Stanford the only undefeated school from 1964 (when George Ireland's Loyola-Chicago team lost its first game) through 1988, and making Dean the only undefeated coach in tournament history.  Dean certainly would have appeared in more games if the early tournaments had been run as they are today.
Ed Jucker led Cincinnati to two straight championships ('61 and '62) and very nearly became the first coach to win three straight titles in '63 when he lost in overtime to a Loyola of Chicago team coached by George Ireland.  Jucker accomplished all of this in five years (after the great Oscar Robertson had already graduated), spent a couple of years in the NBA and then returned to the college ranks at Rollins, a non-division I school in Florida.  Along with Phil Woolpert of San Francisco, Jucker holds the record for most wins before suffering his first tournament loss, with his 11-1 record all happening in his first three years at Cincinnati.  He also holds the record for best "worst" showing among coaches participating in at least three tournaments, having never finished lower than second place in three tries.
Kenneth Loeffler took La Salle to the title game in 1954 and 1955, winning the championship in 1954.  Loeffler's nine wins in his first nine tournament games broke the record of eight straight before losing one set first by Hank Iba of Oklahoma A&M and then tied by Branch McCracken of Indiana, a record Loeffler only held for two years.   Phil Woolpert of San Francisco tied the record the very next year and broke it in 1957 with eleven straight.  Loeffler shares the record (with Ed Jucker of Cincinnati) for best "worst" showing among coaches participating in more than one tournament.
Phil Woolpert led San Francisco to two straight championships ('55 and '56) with teams led by basketball legends Bill Russell and K. C. Jones.  The 1956 team was the first NCAA champion to go undefeated.  In 1957, Woolpert set a tournament record that was tied by Ed Jucker of Cincinnati in 1963 by winning the first 11 games he coached in the tournament.  Woolpert lost his first game in the '57 Final Four before winning the national third place game.  That combined with a first round win in 1958 gave him a 13-1 record, the best record to date achieved by a coach after losing a game.  After a short stint in the ABA coaching the San Francisco Saints, Woolpert returned to coaching college basketball at San Diego, but never made it back to the tournament.
Universally acknowledged as the best college coach of all time, John Wooden certainly set some tournament records that will never be surpassed.  His ten national championships, seven of them in a row, and nine consecutive Final Four appearances caused a lot of coaches to breath a sigh of relief when he finally retired in 1975. Interestingly, Wooden lost his first four tournament games, and only once was able to win a consolation game at any level in the tournament (national third place in 1974), thereby losing two games in four different tournaments.
   Wooden also excelled as a player and from 1930-1932 (before there was an NCAA tournament), he was a three time All-American guard for Purdue, a team that many considered the best in the nation during that time.
Branch McCracken coached Indiana from 1939 to 1958, winning the title in '40 and '53.  In 1940, winning the tournament meant winning three games, so he would have certainly made the "20 game list" had the tournament been run as it is now.  McCracken is the only coach to get to the Final Four more than once and go undefeated there.  He also tied Hank Iba's record by winning his first eight tournament games through 1954, a record broken the very next year by Kenneth Loeffler.
Bud Foster returned to the tournament with Wisconsin only once after winning it all in 1941.  Had more than one team per league been invited in the old days as they are now, Foster would have certainly participated in more tournament games.
Rick Pitino has taken three different teams to the tournament in his sixteen years as a college coach, taking Providence to the Final Four and Kentucky to three Final Fours including one national championship.  In the six years from 1992 through 1997, his Kentucky teams only once failed to make the Elite Eight, and looked poised to continue the trend.   In 1998, Pitino accepted a lucrative deal to take over the Boston Celtics, trading in a chance to rival John Wooden's numbers for a chance to be the next Red Auerbach.  In 2002, after the Auerbach idea fizzled, Pitino returned to the college ranks taking over the Louisville program from Denny Crum who retired after 30 years.
Mike Krzyzewski (say it: "shuh-shef-ski") started his coaching career at Army, where he had played under coach Bob Knight, before taking charge of the Duke program in 1981.  In the nine year stretch from 1986 to 1994, he took Duke to the final four an incredible seven times, winning back to back titles (the first to do this since John Wooden) in 1991 and 1992.  In fact, in 1992, Krzyzewski's tournament winning percentage was higher than Wooden's (though amazingly he was second to Steve Fisher on the active coach list that year).  His eleven Final Four appearances (tied with Dean Smith) and eight championship game appearances is second only to Wooden (12 and 10).  He is tied with Adolph Rupp with four tournament championships, again second to Wooden.  While Wooden's championship record appears safe, Krzyzewski could conceivably pass Wooden in Final Four's and championship game appearances.
Fred Taylor led Ohio State to the national title in 1960 and was runner up to Ed Jucker the next two years with stars Jerry Lucas and John Havilcek, not to mention future coach Bobby Knight. Another trip to the Final Four in 1968 rounded out a great coaching career.
Forrest "Phog" Allen started coaching in 1906, putting in 48 years of college coaching in establishing himself as one of the greatest college coaches of all time.  Known mostly as the coach of Kansas where he coached for 39 years, Allen led Kansas to a national championship in 1952 as well as national second place finishes in 1940 and 1953.  While he was the first coach to appear in 5 tournament games (1942), it wasn't until 1953 that he coached in his tenth game and he never reached the twenty game plateau.  One of the substitutes on the '52 and '53 teams was a young player named Dean Smith who went on to a Hall of Fame career as North Carolina's coach.  Allen also recruited Wilt Chamberlain for Kansas, but didn't get to coach him since he had to retire before the big man played his first game as a sophomore (freshman were ineligible for varsity play back then).
   I credit Allen with 50 years even though he was only active for 48 because in 1908 and 1909 he actually coached at two different schools for what look like complete seasons.  I'm not sure how he managed that, but those years seem like they ought to be worth two apiece.
In six years at California Pete Newell compiled a 10-3 NCAA tournament record which included a national championship in 1959 and a national second place finish in his last coaching season in 1960.  Prior to Cal, Newell spent four modest years at Michigan State and, before that, four years at San Francisco where he won the NIT in 1949 (when the NIT was considered a better gig than the NCAA tournament).  Newell also won a gold medal as coach of the US Olympic team in 1960, making him the first coach to win the NIT, the NCAA tournament, and an Olympic gold medal.
Steve Fisher started out his head coaching career in 1989 when Michigan head coach Bill Frieder announced to the world that he had accepted the head coaching position at Arizona State just before the tournament started.  Michigan athletic director Bo Schembechler told Frieder not to bother to show up for the tournament and promoted assistant Fisher to interim head coach.  Michigan responded by winning the school's first ever national championship.  In the next four years, Fisher took Michigan back to the title game twice (as permanent head coach, of course) and until 1995 had a better tournament winning percentage than both John Wooden and Mike Krzyzewski.  Unfortunately, Michigan had come to expect tournament success and forced Fisher out in 1997 after two first round losses and a missed tournament.  Three years later, he re-surfaced at San Diego St. and by 2002 was back in the tournament with a new team.
In 1995, longtime Michigan St. assistant coach Tom Izzo took over as head coach, taking the reins from the all-time winningest Spartan coach, Jud Heathcote.  In the next 10 years, Izzo created one of the top programs in the country and in the process, established himself as one of the elite in the college coaching ranks.  Starting in 1999, Izzo led the Spartans to the Final Four three straight years (the ninth coach to do so), winning the tournament in 2000.  The Final Four trip in 2005 made it four trips in seven years, a feat that only John Wooden (seven consecutive championships, ten in twelve years starting in 1964), Mike Krzyzewski (six times in seven years starting in 1988), and Dean Smith (five times in six years starting in 1967) can top.
In 1980, Larry Brown had spent six years coaching in the ABA and NBA before becoming the third coach to take over at UCLA after John Wooden retired in 1975.  As did his predecessors Gene Bartow and Gary Cunningham, Brown only lasted two years trying satisfy the Bruin alumni who now expected no less than a national championship.  His first UCLA team finished second in the tournament, but the NCAA found violations in the program and took it away.  A first round defeat in 1981 ended his Westwood stint.  In 1984, Brown became coach at Kansas for a five year run which included a Final Four finish and ended with a national championship, after which he returned to the NBA coaching ranks.
Before there was a coach Krzyzewski, there was a coach named Vic Bubas at the helm of Duke compiling a .761 regular season record.  Bubas coached throughout the 60's, taking the Blue Devils to the tournament four times during his ten year reign and compiling an impressive .733 tournament record (11-4).  Duke reached the Final Four three of those four trips, the other year being Bubas's first in 1960 when Duke was only regional runner-up with a 2-1 record.  In 1964, the Bubas led Duke team lost to John Wooden's UCLA in the finals, giving Wooden his first ever championship.  In the six years Bubas wasn't invited to the tournament, Duke had over 20 wins four times, his only mediocre season being his last in 1969 when Duke was only 15-13.  In the 60's, only one team per league was invited to the tournament, so Bubas would have gone at least twice as often had he coached in the 64 team tournament era, in which case he would certainly have made the 20 game list.
Lee Rose compiled 20+ seasons at each of the four schools he coached (Transylvania, UNC-Charlotte, Purdue, and S. Florida) including twelve 20+ seasons in his first thirteen years of coaching (though the first 8 years and 7 20+ seasons were non-Div I).  He took two of his teams to the Final Four with UNC-Charlotte finishing fourth in 1977 and Purdue finishing third in 1980 (the second to last team to win national third place).  Only 4 other coaches can boast of participating in more than one tournament and never failing to reach the Final Four ( Harold Olsen of Ohio State, Nat Holman of CCNY, Kenneth Loeffler of La Salle and Ed Jucker of Cincinnati) but they mostly coached more than two decades earlier when fewer teams were invited and fewer wins were needed to reach the Final Four.  With as many teams as are invited now, Rose may possibly be the last coach ever to accomplish this feat.  Rose also took non-Div I Transylvania to the College Division tournament 4 times.
Tubby Smith had spent four years at Tulsa and two years at Georgia building those programs to the 20+ wins a year level and compiling a respectable 6-4 tournament record when he hit the jackpot and was chosen to take over the Kentucky program Rick Pitino had built into a powerhouse. He responded by leading Kentucky to its seventh national championship.  Of course, at Kentucky you are expected to win championships so after the next nine years without a Final Four appearance failed to please the Wildcat faithful (in spite of four Elite Eight appearances and not losing in the first round in that time), Smith decided he'd had enough and accepted the head coaching position at Minnesota.
When the powers that be at Kansas were looking to replace Larry Brown who immediately left the Jayhawks after winning the NCAA tournament in 1988, they chose 10 year Dean Smith assistant Roy Williams for the job.  They couldn't have made a better choice.  In the 15 years Williams was in Kansas, the Jayhawks only once failed to make the tournament, and that was in his first year when Kansas was serving a one year ban on post-season play left over from the Brown years.  He averaged over 28 wins per season in compiling the best record among active coaches, reaching 30+ wins 5 times.  Four Final Four trips (with two in a row in 2002 and 2003) and two championship games (1991 and 2003) make it clear that Williams is one of the best coaches in the game.
   When Bill Guthridge (who was named North Carolina's head coach when Smith retired in 1997) stepped down in 2000, Williams was asked to take over the Tarheel program.  Clearly torn between the great situation he had at Kansas and the possibility of coaching his alma mater, Williams decided to stay put, much to the relief of Jayhawk fans, who were rewarded with two Final Four trips and nearly an NCAA championship.  However he couldn't refuse twice and when Carolina beckoned again three years later, he accepted to become the Tarheel's fourth head coach in a five year span.
   Williams fulfilled North Carolina's faith in him and removed any lingering doubts anyone had in his coaching abilities with tournament wins in 2005 and again in 2009.
The "Dean" of college basketball, Dean Smith retired just before the 1998 season after 36 years at the helm of North Carolina.  As of his retirement, Smith held the Division I records for most wins of any coach (879), most tournament appearances (27), most consecutive tournament appearances (23) and most tournament wins (65).  Smith also participated in the Final Four as a player on the 1952 national champion Kansas team coached by the legendary Phog Allen as well as in 1953 when Kansas finished second to Branch McCracken's Indiana.
   The decision by Smith to retire just before the 1997-1998 season started a chain of events that affected several prominent programs and would take more than five years to completely play out.  Smith's replacement, long time assistant Bill Guthridge, only spent three seasons at the helm (with two Final Four trips) before following Smith into retirement.  With their desire to continue the tradition of excellence and to keep it "in the family", North Carolina's first choice to replace Guthridge was Roy Williams, who not only was Smith's assistant but was also a North Carolina native and even played on the Tarheel Freshman team under Guthridge.  When offered the job in 2000, Williams was clearly torn, but chose to remain at Kansas.  When Williams declined, several Carolina alums were considered (Eddie Fogler, Larry Brown, and George Karl) before the job was offered to Matt Doherty who had played with Michael Jordan, was a Williams assistant at Kansas, and was just coming off his first year as head coach at Notre Dame.  However, two disappointing seasons later, Doherty was fired and Williams was again asked to become the Tarheel coach.  This time, Williams accepted and Carolina had the coach they wanted all along.
Three years before the more famous 1966 championship by Texas Western (UTEP as of the next year) with five black starters over all white Kentucky, George Ireland made history by leading a Loyola of Chicago team with four black starters to a national championship.  Along the way to the title, Loyola played the all white Mississippi State team that had to sneak out of Mississippi ahead of an injunction issued to keep the team from leaving the state.  In three of the previous four years, State had won the SEC to get the automatic bid, but did not accept to avoid playing teams with black players in accordance with Mississippi law (Kentucky represented the SEC in each of those years).  However, in 1963, Mississippi State was determined to play and left the state before they could be served, setting up the historic game won by Loyola.  In the title game, Loyola met favored and two time defending champ Cincinnati coached by Ed Jucker.  With almost 14 minutes remaining and a 15 point Cincinnati lead, it looked like Jucker was to become the first coach to win three straight championships.  However, when Jucker called for Cincinnati to stall, the Ramblers managed to creep back, send the game into overtime, and win on a last second tip in, capping one of the most amazing comebacks in tournament history.
In 1947, in his second year at Holy Cross and coaching a freshman named Bob Cousy, Alvin "Doggie" Julian became the first coach of an East Coast team to win the NCAA tournament.   In 1948, he returned Holy Cross to the Final Four, but only managed a third place finish.  Julian then tried his luck in the pros coaching the Boston Celtics, but returned to the college ranks in 1951 at the helm of Dartmouth, where he coached for 17 years, reaching the regional finals in 1958.
Harry Combes coached Illinois from 1948 through 1967 compiling a .678 overall record that included only one losing season (1961).  In his first 5 years coaching, he went to the tournament 3 times, each time ending up in third place.  In his other trip in 1963, Illinois finished as regional runnerup, putting Combes one game shy of tying Harold Olsen's record of reaching the Final Four in all four tournaments in which he coached.
Joe B. Hall faced the difficult task of following a legend when he took over the coaching job at Kentucky after Adolph Rupp retired in 1972.  Hall, who had played one year under Rupp, became a Rupp assistant in 1965 after one year as head coach at Central Mo. St. (and a previous five year stint at Regis).  In his thirteen years at Lexington, Hall went to the NCAA tournament ten times, including one championship (1978), one second place finish (1975) and another Final Four appearance (1984).  Hall also coached Kentucky to the NIT championship in 1976.
Al McGuire had a losing season in his first year as Marquette's head coach (1964/65) but then turned it around the next year with a winning season followed by eleven straight 20+ win seasons capped with an NCAA tournament championship in 1977 in his final game as a coach.  McGuire went to the NCAA tournament every year after those first two years (finishing second in 1974) with the lone exception of 1970 when Marquette won the NIT.  Marquette had been given an NCAA invitation that year, but McGuire turned it down because he was unhappy with where Marquette was scheduled to play.  McGuire was the second of three coaches to win the NCAA tournament in their last game as a coach.   John Wooden accomplished the same feat just two years earlier in his last game coaching UCLA.   Larry Brown became the third when he coached Kansas to the title in 1988.
The legendary Hank Iba coached Oklahoma A&M (later called Oklahoma State) for 36 years and left his mark as one of the all time coaching greats.  Iba was the first coach to win back to back tournaments ('45 and '46), and in eight trips to the tournament, never failed to reach the regional finals, including a second place ('49, in his third trip) and a fourth place ('51, in his fourth trip).  His four Final Four trips in his first four tournaments is a record shared by Harold Olsen and Fred Taylor of Ohio State and Dean Smith of North Carolina.
Nat Holman coached a CCNY team (City College of New York) that can claim a number of interesting distinctions.  In 1950, CCNY became the only team in history to win both the NCAA and the NIT in the same season (in what must have been a gruelling 2-3 week period), twice beating a favored Bradley team (coached by Forddy Anderson) at Madison Square Garden, first in the NIT finals and then in the NCAA finals.  This 1950 team was also the first team to win the NCAA tournament with black players on the team, starting two and sometimes three black players in an era in which few teams recruited blacks.  On the down side, one year later, seven team members were arrested for taking bribes in the widespread point shaving scandal that rocked the college basketball world - players from many different programs (including Bradley and Kentucky) were implicated.  CCNY dropped its basketball program for a few years in the wake of the scandal.
    Holman also excelled as a player and it is as a player that he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.  From 1917 through 1930 he played professional ball with a number of teams, most notably the original Boston Celtics with whom he excelled as a ball handler and shooter (back then the set shot, of course).  It was while playing pro ball, that he was, starting in 1919, also the CCNY coach.
Bob Knight started his college basketball career as a reserve sophomore on the 1960 tournament championship Ohio State team coached by Fred Taylor and featuring future NBA stars Jerry Lucas and John Havlicek.  Knight's coaching career began with a six year stint at Army where he coached a young Mike Krzyzewski.  In 1972, he became Indiana's coach and proceeded to build a powerhouse that challenged John Wooden's UCLA teams for the top spot in college basketball, returning Indiana to a level not seen since the days of Branch McCracken.  The 1975 Hoosiers were the favorites going into the tournament despite having their top scorer, Scott May, out with a broken arm, but they came up one game short of the Final Four.  The next year, they came back with a perfect 32-0 season and Knight's first tournament championship.  Knight's Indiana teams also won titles in 1981 and 1987 and finished third in 1973 and 1992 (not to mention winning an NIT title in 1979).  While no one can dispute his accomplishments as a coach, his "colorful" behavior on and off the court through the years has gotten him in trouble to the point that he was fired by Indiana after he violated the "zero tolerance" policy instituted by the school in an attempt to keep him on as coach and placate his detractors.  Knight sat out for a year before being hired by Texas Tech to build its program into a contender.
Denny Crum owns the distinction of being the only assistant to the great John Wooden to go on to a sucessful coaching career of his own.  Crum left his UCLA assistant job and took over a well respected Louisville team in 1972 and proceeded to turn out 13 straight 20+ win seasons which included five Final Four appearances (the first being a fourth place finish in his first year) and a tournament championship in 1980.  After one 19 win season, he then won it all again in 1986.  Though he had tournament success with a number of good teams after that (making the Elite 8 in 1997), he never again made it to the Final Four.  One of the increasingly rare coaches to spend his entire career at one school, Crum retired after the 2000-2001 season.
Forddy Anderson led two teams to national prominence in a career spanning four decades.  In the late forties and early fifties, he built Bradley into a powerhouse that finished second in the tournament twice in two tournament trips (1950 and 1954) and was a regular in the AP top 20.  In 1955, he took over the coaching job at Michigan State (after Pete Newell left to make history at California), and led the Spartans to a national fourth place finish in 1957.  In Anderson's only other tournament trip (1959), Michigan State came within one game of his fourth Final Four in as many tries.  The 1957 tournament had the first Final Four with coaches that had coached other teams in previous Final Fours, Anderson and the tournament winner Frank McGuire of North Carolina (whose previous Final Four team was St. John's)
In 1952, when Frank McGuire was hired at North Carolina, North Carolina State under coach Everett Case was the elite basketball team in the Carolinas.  When McGuire left in 1961, turning over the reins to a young Dean Smith, the Tar Heels had established a winning tradition that continues to this day.  Along the way, McGuire managed a perfect 32-0 season in 1957, capped by a triple overtime victory in the tournament finals over a heavily favored Kansas team led by Wilt Chamberlain.  McGuire, who was from New York City, started his college coaching career at St. John's which he took to the championship game in 1952. When he moved on to North Carolina, he used his New York connections to lure many of the city's best players to North Carolina, including the entire starting five on the 1957 championship team. In 1961, McGuire left the Tar Heels for one year in the NBA, coaching the Philadelphia Warriors to the Eastern Division playoff finals, a team whose star was non other than Wilt Chamberlain. In 1965, McGuire returned to the college ranks as coach of South Carolina where he built a successful program that included a string of four straight tournament appearances, beginning with the school's first ever in 1971.
Adolph Rupp learned his basketball playing for Phog Allen, where he was a member of the 1923 National Champion Kansas team.   In his coaching career spanning 5 decades (from 1931 to 1972), Rupp molded Kentucky into one of the premier programs in college basketball.   The Wildcats never had a losing season under Rupp (worst season: 13-13 in 1967), who ended his career with an incredible .822 overall winning percentage (compared to another legend John Wooden who finished at .804).   In his 33 years of coaching after the first NIT was played, Rupp's Kentucky teams and went to the NCAA or NIT tournaments 24 times.  In 1949, Rupp became the second coach to win back to back NCAA tournaments, and repeated in 1951 and 1958 to become the first coach to win 3 and then 4 tournaments.  In 1966, Rupp again took Kentucky to the championship game, losing to a Don Haskins coached Texas Western (later called UTEP or University of Texas at El Paso) in an historic game pitting all white and heavily favored Kentucky against the mostly black Texas Western team.
Tom Davis took both Boston College and Iowa to the tournament during his 27 year career.  While he never made it to the Final Four, in ten trips, Davis never came away without a win, a claim that can only be made by one other retired coach with 20 or more tournament games - the legendary Hank Iba.
   In 2003, Davis came out of retirement when he was hired by Drake to rebuild their basketball program.  Davis last coached at Iowa in 1999;
Norm Sloan holds the distinction of ending John Wooden's incredible string of seven consecutive tournament championships when his North Carolina State team beat UCLA in double overtime in the semifinals on the way to winning the tournament in 1974.  Sloan took NC State two other times, winning one game in 1970 and losing in the first round in his last year with the Wolfpack in 1980.  Sloan also coached Florida before and after his NC State stint, taking the Gators to the tournament in his last three years there (ending in 1989).  Unfortunately, the NCAA took away his records for two of those years ('87 and '88) due to rules violations.  His record shown here includes those games that were "vacated" by the NCAA.
Harold Olsen began coaching in 1919 and coached the Ohio State program from 1923 to 1946.  In the last 8 years he was at Ohio State (from when there was an NCAA tournament), Olsen coached in 4 tournaments, finishing second once, third once and tied for third twice, becoming the first coach to coach in 10 tournament games.   The four Final Four appearances in four tries is the record for those coaches who made the Final Four every time they were invited.  The 1946 third place finish was the first time a consolation game for third place was played.  In 1947, Olsen went to the NBA for three years and then returned to the college ranks in 1951, coaching Northwestern for two years.
In 1944, Vadal Peterson's Utah squad was invited to both the NIT and the NCAA tournaments.  They chose the more lucrative NIT, went the New York and promptly got thumped by Adolph Rupp's Kentucky team in the first round.  Fate then intervened in the form of a car wreck that forced Arkansas to withdraw from the NCAA tournament.  Utah was again invited, and accepted the opportunity to vindicate themselves.  Utah traveled to Kansas City and beat Missouri and Utah State to earn a return trip to Madison Square Garden to meet Dartmouth for the NCAA title.  Dartmouth was heavily favored due to picking up several basketball stars who were stationed at Dartmouth preparing to join the war effort in the Navy.  Utah, however, won a two point overtime thriller.  Their vindication was completed two nights later when they beat NIT champs St. John's in a Red Cross benefit game.  Interestingly, Utah was not the first team to play in the NIT and NCAA tournaments in the same year.  In 1940, just the second year of the NCAA tournament, Duquesne and Colorado played in both, with Colorado beating Duquesne in the finals to win the NIT.
The winner of the very first tournament in 1939, Howard Hobson appeared in only five tournament games with Oregon and Yale, but certainly would have appeared in more if the tournament had been run as it is today.
In 1986, after eight successful years coaching Montana (with two NIT appearances), Mike Montgomery took over the Stanford coaching job from Tom Davis.  In 1982, Davis had begun resurrecting a Cardinal program which had only been to one NCAA tournament - in 1942 when they won it under coach Everett Dean, the only undefeated coach in tournament history.  While Stanford improved in Davis's four years, they did not make any post-season appearances and he moved on to a very successful stint at Iowa.  Under Montgomery, Stanford became a force to be reckoned with in the Pac-10, playing in the NCAA tournament again in 1989 and 1992.  Starting in 1995, Stanford was invited every year, making the Final Four in 1998, and was the nation's top ranked team at the end of the 2004 season until losing their final league game to Washington.  After the 2004 season, Montgomery decided to try his luck in the professional ranks, taking the head coaching job for the Golden State Warriors.
The second coach to appear in five tournament games, Ozzie Cowles took Dartmouth to the final game in 1942 and, had he not taken 1944 off (when Earl Brown coached Dartmouth to another second place finish), could have been the first coach to appear in ten tournament games.  By 1944, Dartmouth had become the first team to play in three tournaments and its two final game appearances helped it become the first team to appear in ten tournament games.  Cowles returned to Dartmouth in 1945, but didn't return to the tournament until 1948, this time with Michigan.
Don Haskins learned his basketball from one of the greats, Hall of Famer Henry Iba coach of Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State) where Haskins played from 1949 to 1952.  In 1961 he became the coach of Texas Western where he established himself as one of college basketball's best coaches by consistently producing competitive teams without having the recruiting draw of other schools, though he is best known for his recruitment of black players and one championship game played in 1966.  In 1950, Nat Holman's CCNY team won the championship with two black starters and in 1955 and 1956, Phil Woolpert's San Francisco team dominated college basketball led by black superstars Bill Russell and K. C. Jones.  But it was in 1966, three years after George Ireland's Loyola of Chicago won the championship with four black starters, that Haskins and his Texas Western team with five black starters put the final nail in college basketball's segregation coffin by beating the all white and heavily favored Kentucky Wildcats, coached by Adolph Rupp.  Within a couple of years, all of the white segregated schools (including Rupp's Kentucky) began recruiting black players, changing the face of college basketball forever.  Haskins continued coaching UTEP (University of Texas at El Paso - as Texas Western was known starting in 1967) until 1999, compiling an overall record of 719-353 with 17 20+ win seasons and 11 more trips to the NCAA tournament, but never managed to return to the Final Four.
When Everett Case took over the coaching duties at North Carolina State in 1946, he immediately took a program that had only had one winning season in the previous seven years and turned it into the Carolina area's basketball powerhouse with ten straight 24+ win seasons.  In Case's first two seasons, State went to the NIT, but only came away with one win.  In 1950, they finished third in their first NCAA tournament, Case's best showing in five tries.
Longtime DePaul coach Ray Meyer was captain of the Notre Dame basketball team his Junior and Senior years (1937 and 1938) and the Fighting Irish were named Helm's National Champions twice (1936 and 1938) while he played for Notre Dame legendary coach George Keogan.  When Keogan suffered a heart attack during the 1940-1941 season, Meyer was asked to coach the rest of the season and was kept on as Keogan's assistant the next year (the record seems to indicate that Meyer was officially Keogan's assistant while Keogan recovered, even though, according to Meyer's autobiography, Keogan was not well and was only able to attend some home games that season).  After one season of being a healthy Keogan's assistant, Meyer was hired to coach at DePaul where he remained until retiring after the 1983-4 season.  Meyer's accomplishments coaching DePaul include two NCAA tournament third place finishes, the first in his first coaching year (1943, also George Mikan's first year at DePaul) and the second in 1979.  The 1943 DePaul team was the first team outside of the Big 10 to represent their "district" in a time teams were chosen by area rather than leagues.  In 1944, DePaul chose the NIT over the NCAA (which was more prestigious and lucrative than the NCAA tournament), leaving the door open for Ohio State, coached by Harold Olsen, which wound up finishing third in the NCAA tournament.  Meanwhile, DePaul finished second to St. John's in the NIT.  In 1945 Meyer and Mikan returned to the NIT as favorites, this time soundly defeating the field, winning the tournament and setting 10 team and 10 individual (all Mikan) NIT records.
Naismith Hall of Fame member Everett Shelton coached many fine Wyoming teams in his 19 years there (eight 20+ win seasons in one ten year span), but was remarkably unsuccessful in post-season play.  The one exception was 1943 when Wyoming won the NCAA tournament and was ranked #1 in the nation after a charity exhibition win over the NIT champion St. John's.  Other than 1943, Shelton's Wyoming teams managed to win only one game in 7 other tournament appearances and hold the dubious distinction of losing 5 out of 5 consolation games.  Shelton holds the record for worst tournament record among coaches who have won championships and is one of only two coaches who had losing records after winning a championship.  Interestingly, the other coach in this category is none other than the legend himself, UCLA coach John Wooden, whose record after winning his first championship in 1964 was 7-9 (Shelton's record after winning his tournament was 3-2).  The other distinction held by Shelton is that he was the first coach who had coached in the tournament prior to winning it (that is, he was not undefeated after winning his first tournament).  Until 1964, only six championship coaches failed to win in their first attempt (Shelton, Adolph Rupp with Kentucky, Nat Holman with CCNY, Phog Allen with Kansas, Frank McGuire with St. John's and Pete Newell with California).  No coach was able to win in their first tournament since George Ireland did it in 1963 with Loyola-Chicago until Steve Fisher accomplished the feat as interim head coach for Michigan in 1989.

4/9/2013