Greatest Coaches in NCAA History

December 30, 2019

Jim Phelan wore a bowtie for all 49 of his years at Mt. St. Mary’s.

Jim Phelan

When you talk of Mount Saint Mary’s basketball, you talk of Phelan first and foremost. The coach who always wore a trendy bowtie around his neck spent all 49 years of his head coaching career at Mt. St. Mary’s in Maryland.

Eddie Sutton

Overall, Sutton accrued over 800 career victories at the Division I level with coaching tenures at San Francisco, Arkansas, Creighton, Kentucky, and Oklahoma State.

Lute Olson

When Olson came to the desert, he took over a Wildcats program that was dead. Three years into his tenure, Arizona won its first Pac 10 title in ‘86. Overall, Olson led the Wildcats to five Final Four appearances, winning the national title in ‘97.

Jim Boeheim

Over his 36 seasons in upstate New York, Jim Boeheim has almost singlehandedly turned the Syracuse men’s basketball program into one of the sport’s most prestigious. The Hall of Fame coach has devoted most of his life to the Orange men’s basketball team.

In case you don’t remember, Syracuse’s national title came when star freshman Carmelo Anthony led the Orange to the promised land in 2003.

Dean Smith

Dean Smith was given the North Carolina head coach position in 1961 with the job of cleaning up a Tar Heels program that was on probation.

Smith not only cleaned it up, but he also made it one of the most successful programs in college basketball history. In his over 35 years of coaching the Carolina bench, Smith accrued 879 victories, 11 Final Four appearances and two national championships (1982 and 1993).

Mike Krzyzewski

When you hear Coach K, you know precisely who it’s referring to.

Through his three-plus decades as head coach at Duke, all Krzyzewski has accomplished is going to 11 Final Fours, winning four national championships, become college basketball’s all-time wins leader in Division 1 (927 and counting) and win two Olympic medals (2004 and 2008) as head coach of Team USA.

Even with over 30 years into his Duke tenure, Krzyzewski’s teams are still vying for national championships on a regular basis.