College basketball is basketball played, typically in the United States, between teams from colleges or universities.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is America’s most well-known college basketball league.
Before the 2022–23 season, ranking the top 15 best coaches in college basketball might be simple by looking at the list of all-time victories. However, that’s not how it operates.
Instead, we adopted a different strategy and outlined the top 15 best coaches in college basketball for the 2022–23 season and beyond.
Success in the NCAA Tournament and during their career victories played a part.
Gaining a regular-season conference championship is significant because it is a better indicator of true coaching prowess than the arbitrary and fantastic NCAA Tournament.
In the transfer portal and among high school coaches, we also circled those who were actively recruiting. The goal is to build a strong roster by acquiring talent.
The teams that layer talented recruiting classes on top of one another stand the best chance of developing successful winning programs.
Continue reading this article to find out the best coaches in College basketball in 2022.
What Does a College Basketball Coach Do?
College basketball coaches instruct their players on how to play as a team.
Many college basketball players already possess a certain level of skill in the sport, and a coach’s job is to help the team members hone these abilities and cooperate as a unit to win basketball games.
Expectations and capabilities for a college basketball coach are:
- Carry out administrative duties such as ordering practice and training equipment, submitting health forms, filling out rosters, creating team budgets, and developing training schedules.
- Acquaint yourself with the rules and objectives of the various basketball organizations before participating in their games.
- Watch out for the team’s safety during trainings and competitions.
- Find new basketball players for the university team.
- Assist players in developing their skills one-on-one.
- Effectively choose players to fill in specific positions.
- Lead team-building exercises to encourage cooperation and camaraderie.
- Establishing team rules and upholding them during practices and games.
- Making game plans based on the information that is available about the opposing team for each game.
Overview of the Top 15 Best Coaches in College Basketball
Here is a quick list of the top 15 best coaches in college basketball:
- Bill Self
- John Calipari
- Scott Drew
- Mark Few
- Tom Izzo
- Tony Bennett
- Eric Musselman
- Kelvin Sampson
- Hubert Davis
- John Scheyer
- Bob Huggins
- Dana Altman
- Leonard Hamilton
- Bruce Pearl
- Chris Beard
List of the Top 15 Best Coaches in College Basketball
The wise, talented, and experienced men who coach the country’s top men’s college basketball teams are currently the best coaches in college basketball.
These men are among the best coaches in college basketball history and among the highest-paid ones right now.
They also lead the NCAA in career victories, have won many championships, and are among the all-time best coaches in college basketball.
Below are the current best coaches in college basketball:
1. BILL SELF, KANSAS
This is not just a case of recency bias, as Bill Self’s heroic comeback victory over North Carolina in the 2022 national championship game solidified his reputation as the nation’s best coach.
Self is a two-time National Champion, has four Final Four appearances under his belt, and has won 16 Big 12 championships.
The Jayhawks have become a major force in the transfer portal thanks to Kansas’ elite recruiting efforts.
From an X’s and O’s perspective, Self is the best there is, and he keeps producing pros.
2. JOHN CALIPARI, KENTUCKY
John Calipari has participated in six Final Fours and is one of only two coaches (hello, Rick Pitino) who have guided three different schools to the Final Four.
Even though two Final Four appearances were vacated, Calipari is still among the best coaches in the nation.
Leaning into the one-and-done era, Calipari helped Kentucky win the 2012 national championship and changed the sport.
There have been some questions about Calipari’s future at Kentucky after a disastrous nine-win season in 2020–21 and a humiliating upset loss to the 15th-seeded Saint Peter’s team in 2022, but he remains in that top tier because of his recruiting skills and the absurd amount of talent he’s propelled into the NBA.
3. SCOTT DREW, BAYLOR
Scott Drew has elevated Baylor from a Big 12 laughingstock to one of the top programs in the nation.
The Bears cut the nets down in 2021 after destroying everyone in their path thanks to a team assembled by Drew that ranks among the best in college basketball.
Drew has showed that he’s not afraid to change things up, and he has a special ability to adapt his system to what best suits his current roster.
Baylor has had a top-25 offense and defense each of the past three seasons.
Drew has also won at least 19 games in the previous 11 seasons and back-to-back Big 12 conference championships, which is a remarkable accomplishment in a league that Bill Self has controlled for almost 20 years.
4. MARK FEW, GONZAGA
The one accomplishment Mark Few lacks is the elusive National Championship.
However, Mark Few has received many honors. In each of his 23 seasons as head coach of Gonzaga basketball, he has advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
You can mock the West Coast Conference all you want, but Few has still guided the Zags to 21 conference championships. He has gained expertise. They’ve twice advanced to the national final. Every one of the previous seven NCAA Tournaments saw Gonzaga reach the Sweet 16.
When it comes to hiring talent from abroad, Mark Few have established a powerhouse while the rest are playing catch-up.
5. TOM IZZO, MICHIGAN STATE
Under Tom Izzo, Michigan State has been a model of consistency. The Spartans have qualified for the NCAA Tournament 24 times straight.
Izzo’s resume includes winning the 2000 national championship, and Michigan State has appeared in the Final Four six times.
Izzo recently surpassed the legendary John Wooden of UCLA in terms of career victories. Under Izzo, the Spartans have won the Big Ten conference ten times. Critics speculate that the rash of Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) deals and the transfer portal may spell the end for Izzo.
He is a fierce competitor who would love nothing more than to prove his dominance to the Big Ten and the rest of the country.
6. TONY BENNETT, VIRGINIA
Tony Bennett decided after taking one look at the ACC that he could help Virginia catch up to Roy Williams’ North Carolina Tar Heels and Mike Krzyzewski’s Duke Blue Devils.
Bennett was correct. Virginia became a force in the ACC thanks to a stifling defense and some top-notch recruiting. Since 2013–14, Bennett has won five ACC Conference championships. In 2019, Virginia claimed the title.
Bennett is one of the best defensive coaches in the nation, if not the best. In his 16 years as the head coach of a Power 6 team, Bennett has ten times finished with a top-10 defense. Bennett could quickly return Virginia to leading the ACC once Krzyzewski and Williams are both gone.
7. ERIC MUSSELMAN, ARKANSAS
The modern-day coach is Eric Musselman.
Musselman is rapidly climbing the list of coaches you’d want to have, although other coaches on the list may have won more games overall in their careers.
In his first three years as head coach, he took Arkansas to two Elite 8s. Musselman, a fantastic recruiter, signed Nick Smith Jr., Arkansas’ first-ever top recruit.
The Class of 2022 is gorgeous, and Musselman did an outstanding job in the transfer portal for the Hogs.
Musselman is at the center of Arkansas’s newfound seductiveness.
He swiftly transformed Nevada into a beast.
Musselman’s leadership of Arkansas won’t change anything.
8. KELVIN SAMPSON, HOUSTON
Although Kelvin Sampson hasn’t yet won a national championship, Houston is very close.
Sampson might need to be No. 2 on that list if Tony Bennett is the nation’s top defensive coach. His pressure-filled defense destroys opponents, and Houston has consistently ranked in the top 25 defenses over the past five years.
Sampson has 624 victories in his career and has guided the Cougars to consecutive Elite 8 appearances.
But even greater things might be coming. At the moment, Houston is actively recruiting.
A national championship recipe includes both elite talent and Sampson’s elite coaching skills.
9. HUBERT DAVIS, NORTH CAROLINA
Although there has been a significant swing, we are buying Hubert Davis now.
It’s not simple to take over from a legend like Roy Williams, but Davis held North Carolina’s ship steady.
When the Tar Heels fought, he never let his guard down.
Then, as a No. 8 seed, Davis masterminded one of the greatest late-season comebacks in history by leading North Carolina to the national championship game.
He has the ideal temperament for the dynamic collegiate game.
The next generation of college basketball stars are obviously buying into his mission because Davis has assisted North Carolina in recruiting at a top level.
If North Carolina reruns it in 2022–2023, Davis’ ranking on this list could skyrocket.
10. JON SCHEYER, DUKE
Despite not having a single victory to his credit, Scheyer is still ranked higher than some coaches who have amassed dozens or even hundreds of victories.
It is not biased against Duke.
Scheyer, who holds the most important position in recruiting college basketball players, which speaks volumes about his potential put together the No. 1-ranked Class of 2022.
Although Scheyer will undoubtedly encounter obstacles, Duke is a great place for him to succeed.
Scheyer is likely to triumph, and that is in his favor. If we are completely honest, we might think that Scheyer’s ranking at No. 10 is too low in a year.
11. BOB HUGGINS, WEST VIRGINIA
Cincinnati and West Virginia were both led to the Final Four by Bob Huggins. He is one of the best coaches in college basketball in history.
Since 2019, West Virginia has missed the NCAA Tournament twice, but losing the 2020 tournament because of COVID really hurt West Virginia.
Oscar Tshiebwe and Derek Culver’s frontcourt could have created issues with the right draw against the Mountaineers, who had the third-best defense in the country.
Huggins was truly at the height of his abilities when he guided the Mountaineers to the Sweet 16 three times in a four-year span from 2015 to 2018.
12. DANA ALTMAN, OREGON
For Dana Altman, there is a long list of achievements. His 710 career victories place him 24th all-time. Under Altman, Oregon has won four Pac-12 championships, and were invited to the Final Four in 2017.
Under Altman, Oregon has won 20+ games every year for the past 12 years. The University of Oregon has qualified for the NCAA Tournament seven times and won a game each time under Altman. Both the transfer portal and the prep recruiting ranks attest to Altman’s ability to recruit.
13. LEONARD HAMILTON, FLORIDA STATE
Leonard Hamilton’s outstanding career may have to be judged without the 2021–22 season.
With an overall record of 17-14, Florida State had a talented team that was decimated by injuries. All five of the Seminoles’ starters were hurt at one point.
But Hamilton has consistently recruited at a top level, and Florida State has a strong track record of producing NBA Draft picks. Another group that might have won if the NCAA Tournament hadn’t been postponed is the 2020 Seminoles.
On that squad were two lottery first-round picks from Florida State (Patrick Williams, Devin Vassell).
As far as college basketball players go, Hamilton is the best.
14. BRUCE PEARL, AUBURN
At Tennessee, Bruce Pearl won three conference championships. At Auburn, he has added two more SEC titles to his collection.
Wherever he has gone, Pearl has recruited at a top level, and his trip to the Final Four (in 2019) cannot be disregarded. There is no reason to think that Pearl will soon slow down.
The Tigers have made shrewd moves in the transfer portal and will recruit Jabari Smith, a superstar. The trail pitch from Auburn is as strong as ever, and Pearl has his players break down obstacles for him.
15. CHRIS BEARD, TEXAS
Chris Beard is an expert at what it takes to triumph. He has advanced in the ranks.
Beard has already compiled a stellar resume, leading Arkansas Little Rock to an unexpected victory over Purdue in the NCAA Tournament in 2016 and Texas Tech to the 2019 national championship game.
Beard is working to establish a formidable opponent in Texas. Timmy Allen, Marcus Carr, and jaw-dropping freshmen Dillon Mitchell and Arterio Morris make up the Longhorns’ returning key veterans.
In each of the previous five seasons, Beard has developed an NCAA Tournament team.
Eventually, Texas will have a Final Four contender under Beard’s coaching.
How to Become a College Basketball Coach
The steps you need to take if you want to become a basketball coach are:
1. Hone your own basketball skills
Most college basketball coaches were once players themselves. Join the basketball team in high school and learn everything you can about the sport.
Play basketball regularly to gain a deeper comprehension of the rules of the game and the abilities required to be a top performer.
2. Earn a bachelor’s degree
You should enroll in a bachelor’s program after receiving your high school diploma or your GED. Physical education, coach training, and related fields are popular major choices for aspiring college basketball coaches.
Those who want to become college basketball coaches should consider majors that emphasize leadership.
Most colleges that hire college basketball coaches just want to see that you finished a bachelor’s degree; there is no particular major that a basketball coach must have.
3. Get coaching experience
Most college basketball coaches aren’t hired right out of school. Instead, they usually spend some time coaching at lower levels, such as high school or middle school, before they are qualified to coach at the college level. One suggestion is to coach and teach part-time at a high school or junior high in your community. Sports coaches who are also instructors at a school are more likely to be hired.
You can now apply for a position as an assistant college basketball coach after gaining some experience coaching basketball at a lower level.
You might also think about applying to manage the college basketball team you want to coach one day.
Both jobs will teach you the ins and outs of practice preparation and give you first-hand experience coaching at the collegiate level.
Each position you hold on this staff will be important to your future career as a coach because most college basketball coaches spend a few years working their way up.
Learn from this article on: How can I become a Basketball Coach?
4. Obtain a basketball coach certification
Basketball coach certification is a requirement for many colleges looking to hire basketball coaches.
The USA Basketball (USAB) Associate’s license is one of the most well-known basketball coaching credentials.
An investigation into your background is required for this license, as are several courses.
You receive your season license once this is finished.
You can also work toward obtaining a USAB gold coach license, which is necessary for those who instruct in NCAA-certified competitions.
CPR and first aid certifications are additional requirements for college basketball coaches.
5. Choose whether you want to coach men’s or women’s basketball
Choosing whether you want to coach men’s or women’s basketball is a crucial decision to make when pursuing a career as a college basketball coach.
Although there isn’t much of a difference between the two, it’s a good idea to know how each kind of basketball is different and what they expect of each individual.
6. Participate in networking events
In the world of college basketball, there are many chances to network.
You can network with other prospective and current college basketball coaches by visiting the USA Basketball Coaches Network.
Additionally, you can use online networking tools or go to college basketball games where other coaches and staff members will be present.
A strong network can help you both when looking for a job as a college basketball coach and later if you decide to switch jobs within the same industry.
7. Continue gaining professional experience to advance to higher roles
Most college basketball coaches do not begin their careers as the head coach of a top-tier team.
College coaches spend years working in lower-level roles on the coaching staff, such as coordinator, manager, or assistant positions.
Before applying for a head coaching position in college basketball, look for these opportunities first, especially if you have no prior experience coaching college basketball.
For the 35th time in program history, North Carolina and UCLA are both taking part in the Sweet 16, tying them for the second-most second weekend appearances ever. Kentucky has the sweetest 16 appearances, with 44 overall.
The top 25 NCAA teams in football, men’s and women’s basketball, and other Division I college sports are ranked each week by the Associated Press Poll (AP Poll). 62 national sportswriters and broadcasters were surveyed to create the rankings.
Krzyzewski ended his coaching career with a 1,202-368 record overall as a head coach, including a 1,129-309 record at Duke, before announcing his retirement in June 2021, just before the start of his 42nd season at Duke and 47th overall.
Phil Jackson, a former head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls, holds the record for most NBA championships won with eleven.
We have provided a list of the top 15 best coaches in college basketball.
College basketball is played between teams from colleges or universities, typically in the United States.
We have ranked the best coaches in college basketball based on their success in the NCAA tournament and their career victories.
- 247sports.com – college basketball coaches ahead of 2022-23 season
- indeed.com – how to become a college basketball coach
- 20 Best College Basketball Teams In America
- Top 10 D2 (DII) Colleges in North Carolina | NCAA List 2022
- How can I become a Basketball Coach?
- The 50 Best College Football Coaches of All Time | 2022 Ranking