The Coaches Who Lead Top 10 teams in College Basketball

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I will be going off the careers of the head coaches who have teams ranked in the top ten this week. I’ll let you know if they played, how many first round picks they had, any Final Fours or national championships and any regular season conference titles.

1. Jim Boeheim, Syracuse

Syracuse is ranked number one for the second week in a row. They are led by Jim Boeheim. He has been the head coach there since 1976. The crazy thing is, he has been there longer. He played there from 1962-1966 and was an assistant after. Boeheim has won nine regular season Big East Championships, been to four Final Fours, and won the 2003 national championship. 19 players of his became first round draft picks and it looks like that number will not be stopping until he retires.

2. Sean Miller, Arizona

Arizona head coach Sean Miller was a pretty good college basketball player. At Pittsburgh between 1987-1992 Miller averaged ten points and 5.8 assists per game. As a head coach he took Xavier to the Elite Eight and has since taken Arizona to the same round. Three of his players have become first round picks, one at Savier and two at Arizona. They were ranked number one for much of the season. He has won three conference championships at Arizona.

3. Billy Donovan, Florida

Its possible that without Rick Pitino, Billy Donovan wouldn’t be where he is today. At Providence, Donovan played for Pitino. Later, Donovan was drafted 68th overall and played for the New York Knicks under Pitino. Then once again, when Donovan got into coaching, he started at Kentucky as an assistant where the head coach again was Pitino. Donovan then became a head coach at Marshall before he got the head job at Florida.

At Florida, Donovan has done extraordinary. He has led them to three Final Fours and back to back national championships in 2006 and 2007. His team is always competitive and they have won five SEC championships. Nine of Donovan’s players became first round picks.

4. Gregg Marshall, Wichita State

Gregg Marshall is the head coach at Wichita State and he took them to the Final Four last season.

5. Steve Fisher, San Diego State

San Diego State’s Steve Fisher has taken the Aztec program to places it had never been. At Michigan, the Wolverines went to three Final Fours including the 1989 national championship which they won. He played at Illinois State between 1965-1967 and has coached ten players who became first round NBA draft picks. The Aztecs have won two Mountain West regular season championships and are looking to win a third one this season.

6. Jay Wright, Villanova

Jay Wright has Villanova right where he wants them at number six. Wright who played at Bucknell from 1979-1983 took Villanova to the 2009 Final Four. He has won a Big East title and has coached three first round draft picks.

7. Bill Self, Kansas

Bill Self’s Kansas Jayhawks are ranked seventh and they are one of the most consistent teams year in and year out in the country. Under Self they have won nine regular season Big 12 championships. Self played at Oklahoma State from 1981-1985 and was an assistant for many years including at Kansas in the 1985-1986 season. As Tulsa’s head coach, they went to the Elite Eight. He then won a Big 10 championship as the head coach at Illinois before accepting the Kansas job. Overall, Self has fallen in the Elite Eight most of the time. His career record in that round is 2-5. In 2008, Kansas went to the Final Four and won the national championship while in 2012 they went back to the Final Four and lost in the national championship game to Kentucky. Kansas is one of the most feared teams in the college basketball. 15 of Self’s players have become first round draft picks.

8. Mike Krzyzewski, Duke

Mike Krzyzewski, known as Coach K, is one of the greatest coaches in sports history. Since he took over Duke in 1980, the Blue Devils have won four national championships and been to 11 Final Fours. He has won the ACC 12 times and 25 of his players were first round picks. Coach K played at Army from 1966 to 1969 under legendary head coach Bob Knight. He has also had success on the world level. In the Olympics, he has won four gold medals. Two were as an assistant and two were as the head coach. No matter where they are ranked, or who they are playing, you can never count a Coach K team out.

9. Tom Izzo, Michigan State

Tom Izzo and his Michigan State Spartans are ranked ninth in the country. Izzo played at Northern Michigan from 1973-1977. Since taking over at Michigan State, Izzo has won seven Big 10 championships, been to six Final Fours, and won the 2000 national championship. Six of Izzo’s players became first round draft picks.

10. Mick Cronin, Cincinnati

Mick Cronin is the head coach of the number ten Cincinnati Bearcats. He won the Ohio Valley conference in 2006 as head coach at Murray State. He has been to the Sweet 16 once, and already has 226 wins at 42 years old. If the Bearcats hang in with Mick Cronin for a few more seasons, he could lead them to greatness.


You can follow Thomas Frey on Twitter: @ThomasFreyRP

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