Top 10 Best Men's College Basketball Coaches of 2024

The 2023-24 college basketball season has officially concluded, with the UConn Huskies claiming the National Championship in back-to-back years.

There are plenty of big-name coaches in college basketball that have made the game so special over the years. This is a list of the coaches who have made the biggest names for themselves and have enjoyed the most success at their respective schools.

This list is focused solely on active coaches meaning Coach K and Roy Williams for example, are both ineligible for this list.
The Top Ten
1 Dan Hurley - UConn

What Dan Hurley has done at UConn in the last two years is nothing short of incredible. He has created a monster at UConn. Last year, the Huskies steamrolled their way to the National Championship, and this year was more of the same.

The Huskies were very consistently ranked near the top of the polls for most of the entire season. UConn lost their top 3 overall players from the 2022-23 team, and yet they were still an absolute machine. Tristen Newton and Alex Karaban were much improved from last season.

Not to mention Cam Spencer, Stephon Castle, both newcomers who were excellent fits in Hurley's system, and not to mention Donovan Clingan, who had an outstanding season as well. Simply put, Dan Hurley has built a monster and is currently the king of college basketball.

2 Bill Self - Kansas

Kansas had a bit of a down year in 2024 due to injuries and lack of bench depth. This was far from a vintage Kansas team. But let's not forget that Kansas won the Championship in 2022 and Bill Self had a health scare last season, which kept him from coaching in the Big 12 Tournament and the NCAA Tournament. Bill Self will absolutely be back and reload this roster.

His tenure has been nothing short of impressive, winning 2 National Championships and 17 Big 12 Regular Season Titles in 21 seasons. He wins at home with three streaks of 30+ wins at home. Kansas has yet to miss the NCAA Tournament under Self. Coach Self knows how to win, and I expect a bounce-back season from the Jayhawks.

3 Nate Oats - Alabama

Don't look now, but Nate Oats has quietly turned Alabama into a national power in college basketball. He was previously the head coach at Buffalo and led them to three tournament bids in four seasons, including two tournament wins, which is pretty impressive for a mid-major program. Since taking the job at Alabama, he has been impressive.

He has made four consecutive tournaments at Alabama and has been to the Sweet 16 twice. He just led the Crimson Tide to their first Final Four appearance in program history and has shown no signs of stopping any time soon. He's won the SEC regular season twice and the SEC conference tournament twice in his tenure thus far.

Under Oats' watch, the Crimson Tide have been a consistent top 10 team in the national polls. He's been a phenomenal fit at Alabama, and I expect him to continue winning and building that program.

4 Kelvin Sampson - Houston

Kelvin Sampson is a veteran coach who's been coaching college basketball for a long time. He led Oklahoma to the Final Four in 2001-02. Since taking over for the Houston Cougars, he's won 20+ games 9 times in his 10 years. He's built a consistent winner at Houston with 3 consecutive seasons of 30+ wins and 4 in the last 6 years.

He has achieved 5 conference regular season titles in the last 6 seasons and two conference tournament championships in that same time period, including a Final Four appearance in 2021. The Houston Cougars made themselves known as a deadly and dynamic force in their first season in the Big 12, winning the conference regular season title outright. The Cougars were national title contenders until they unfortunately lost their best player, Jamal Shead, who was named a First Team All American, in their Sweet 16 loss to Duke.

Had he not gotten injured, there's a real possibility the Cougars would've made it to the championship game. As long as Kelvin Sampson is at the helm, the Houston Cougars will be a dominant force in the Big 12 for years to come.

5 Mark Few - Gonzaga

Mark Few has been at Gonzaga since 1999. Over the course of his tenure, he has transformed the Bulldogs from an obscure mid-major team to a national powerhouse. While this Gonzaga team wasn't quite as good as in years past, Mark Few still knows how to win. Gonzaga has had six 30+ win seasons in the past eight years.

He's led the Bulldogs to at least the Sweet 16 in their last nine tournament appearances and has led Gonzaga to the final four twice, with two National Championship game appearances. The Bulldogs have been dominant in their conference, with 22 regular season titles and 19 conference tournament championships. The biggest criticism is that the WCC lacks any real competitive threat to the Bulldogs outside of St Mary's, but the resume and accolades speak for themselves.

6 Scott Drew - Baylor

What Scott Drew has done at Baylor is nothing short of incredible. He turned a program that was at rock bottom into a respectable premier powerhouse in college basketball over the last decade with 2 Elite 8 runs and even won a National Championship in 2021. The last 5 years, Baylor has been a consistent top 10 team nationally, and there's no doubt they'll continue to be a dominant force for years to come as long as Scott Drew continues to lead the program.

7 Rick Barnes - Tennessee

Rick Barnes is one of the best coaches to not win a Championship in his career. He was a longtime coach at Texas and even made a Final Four back in 2002-03. Since taking the job at Tennessee, he's been impressive.

He's coming off an Elite 8 run with the Vols, just their second in program history. He's won two SEC Regular Season titles and one SEC tournament Championship. The biggest criticism is his tournament record isn't very impressive, but that Elite 8 run should at least quiet the critics for now. There's definitely an argument to be made that they should have beaten Purdue in the tournament this past season.

The rise of Northern Colorado transfer Dalton Knecht was one of the most impressive storylines of the season. He racked up several awards, including SEC newcomer of the year, SEC player of the year, and a consensus first team All American.

8 Rick Pitino - St. John’s

Rick Pitino has had controversy in his past, but he's finally emerged on the other side of it after bouncing around overseas and coaching at Iona. He has landed back in the Big East at St. John's. The Red Storm finished 20-13 and narrowly missed the NCAA Tournament. I expect him to bounce back and get the Red Storm back to the NCAA Tournament next season.

Pitino is a great coach who knows how to win. He's the only active coach to make the Final 4 with three separate teams (Kentucky, Louisville, and Providence) and a National Championship at two schools (Kentucky and Louisville).

9 Tom Izzo - Michigan State

Few coaches are more consistent and respected than Tom Izzo, who's been loyal to the Spartans and has been at the helm since 1995-96. During that time, Izzo has made the NCAA Tournament 26 consecutive times with 8 Final Fours and 2 National Championship Appearances, with 1 National Title. The Spartans have always been a gritty team to play against under Tom Izzo.

Michigan State has won 10 Big Ten regular season Titles and 6 Big 10 Tournament Championships. He's long overdue for that second National Championship.

10 Matt Painter - Purdue

He's got to be up there. The past few years (besides the massive FDU upset), Purdue has enjoyed a great deal of success. Even if you claim Edey accounted for most of that, Painter has done a fantastic job of leading this team. I am sure their success will continue without Edey next season.

Matt Painter will be heavily criticized for his early round exits in the tournament to FDU and St. Peters. Despite this, he's led Purdue to respectability during his tenure, and they are a consistent team. Now, let's see what happens now that Edey is gone.

The Contenders
11 Hubert Davis - North Carolina

Hubert Davis is now in his third season since replacing Roy Williams. Davis led the Tar Heels to a national championship appearance in 2022 and won the ACC Regular Season title this past season. He's a coach who has a lot to live up to, but I think so far he's handled it well.

12 John Calipari - Arkansas

John Calipari has made one of the biggest surprise moves in college basketball by leaving Kentucky to become the next head coach at Arkansas. It was clear he was walking on thin ice at Kentucky after three straight years of not making it past the round of 32, including losses to St Peter's and Oakland. The fanbase and donors were fed up with him.

Arkansas was a surprise move for sure, but it gives him a breath of fresh air. At his peak, he was dominant with three Final Fours and a National Championship. He had perfected the "one and done" approach to college basketball. He's always been a great recruiter, and I expect him to bring Arkansas back to relevance, at or even better than Eric Musselman did. I'm interested to see what happens this coming season.

13 TJ Otzelberger - Iowa State

The Cyclones had an impressive season under Otzelberger, managing to win 29 games and securing the Big 12 tournament title. He's a younger coach who has put Iowa State basketball back on the map. I wouldn't be surprised if he receives an offer from a powerhouse like Kentucky.

14 Jerome Tang - Kansas State

Jerome Tang has revived Kansas State Basketball. To be fair, he had a talented roster in his first year and made a surprising Elite Eight run. Last season was a bit of a disappointment, but he'll still be a decent coach. Time will tell, though.

15 Jon Scheyer - Duke

A former player under Coach K, Scheyer has big shoes to fill replacing the legendary coach. So far, he seems pretty solid. He can recruit talent. It'll be interesting to see if he can get to the Final Four and win the big one. It's been nearly a decade since the Blue Devils last won it all.

16 Tommy Lloyd - Arizona

Tommy Lloyd has done a great job at Arizona. The Wildcats have won the PAC 12 Regular Season title and/or conference tournament in each of his first three seasons. Lloyd was a longtime assistant coach at Gonzaga and has done well as a head coach. Outside of losing to Princeton, he's done well in the big dance with two Sweet 16s in three years. Now let's see what happens in the Big 12, because it's a whole different gauntlet.

17 Bruce Pearl - Auburn

Bruce Pearl has done an excellent job turning Auburn into a national power in basketball. The Tigers were pretty irrelevant before Pearl took the helm, and he's built the program into a proud, passionate, and successful team. Pearl achieved 20 or more wins in six of the last seven years and made a Final Four in 2019. During his time at Auburn, he has won two SEC conference championships and two SEC regular season titles.

18 Greg McDermott - Creighton

On paper, Greg McDermott might lack the accolades and resume that some other coaches have, but don't let that fool you. McDermott has built Creighton into a powerhouse, winning 20 or more games in 13 of 14 seasons at the helm, with two conference regular season titles and a conference championship to his name. The Bluejays haven't had the tournament success yet but have made the Sweet 16 or further in three of the last four seasons. They were on the cusp of a Final Four in 2023. He knows how to bring in talent, and it's only a matter of time before they break through and make the Final Four.

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