FanPost

College Hoops Head Coaching Search Success Stories

Is Billy Donovan ready to follow the example of his former mentor and move on to his second major job in college basketball? - Joel Auerbach

Bumped. Lots of good research here to chew on. GO BRUINS. - BN Eds.

Here are the pedigrees for head coaches of the most recent Coaches Poll Top 10 teams, who were hired in the last 10 years. I left out coaches who have been with their current school more than 10 years, in case the coaching hire environment has changed significantly from the "good old days". Let's see if there is a pattern.

  • Bill Self (Kansas)- age when hired- 41. Most recent prior position- head coach Illinois. Number of years at Illinois- 3. Big 10 championships- 2. Number of NCAA tourneys- 3. Highest finish- Elite 8. Final season at Illinois- reached NCAA 2nd round. Kansas connection- assistant coach 2 seasons 17 years before hire as head coach.
  • Tom Crean (Indiana)- age when hired- 42. Most recent prior position- head coach Marquette. Number of years at Marquette- 9. Conference championships- 1. Number of NCAA tourneys- 5. Highest finish- Final 4. Final season at Marquette- 25 wins, reached NCAA 2nd round. Indiana connection- none
  • Jim Larranaga (Miami)- age when hired- 61. Most recent prior position- head coach George Mason. Number of years at George Mason- 14. Conference championships- 4. Number of NCAA tourneys- 5. Highest finish- Final 4. Final season at George Mason- 27 wins, conference champions, reached NCAA 2nd round. Miami connection- none
  • Thad Matta (Ohio State)- age when hired- 37. Most recent prior position- head coach Xavier. Number of years at Xavier- 3. Conference championships- 0. Number of NCAA tourneys- 3. Highest finish- Elite 8. Final season at Xavier- 26 wins, won conference tourney, reached Elite 8. Ohio State connection- none
  • John Thompson III (Georgetown)- age when hired- 38. Most recent prior position- head coach Princeton. Number of years at Princeton- 4. Conference championships- 3. Number of NCAA tourney wins- 0. Georgetown connection- coach's son
  • Steve Alford (New Mexico)- age when hired- 43. Most recent prior position- head coach Iowa. Number of years at Iowa- 8. Conference championships- 0. Conference tourney winners- 2. Number of NCAA tourneys- 3. Highest finish- NCAA 2nd round. New Mexico connection- none

Pattern? For one, and this should be blindingly obvious to anybody except Doughnut- They all hired coaches with head coaching experience (Steve Lavin). They also for the most part did not hire from within their existing circle (Karl Dorrell, Rick Neuheisel, Walt Hazzard, Larry Farmer).

Of the 6 coaches, 4 had coached teams at their most recent school who had reached at least the elite 8.

Of the 6 coaches, 3 had been at their most recent school for 4 years or less, and only 1 had been at their most recent school for more than 10 years.

All but one of the coaches were in their early 40's or late 30's when hired.

So all we need, if we follow the pattern, is to find a young coach who has taken his current team to the elite 8, and has not been at his current school for more than 4 years. This is obviously a small data set, but the common features are interesting.

I don't know who fits that current profile. But I do know that I am pessimistic about Doughnut's ability to conduct a rational hiring process, which might include some consideration of factors like the above.

In the meantime, we can dream.

UPDATE (islandbruin from comments):
Additional datapoints:

  • Roy Williams (Kansas)- age when hired- 38. Most recent prior position- assistant coach, North Carolina (under Dean Smith). Number of years at North Carolina- 10. Number of NCAA tournaments- 10. NCAA results- 1 championship, 1 runner-up, 4 other elite 8. No head coaching experience. Kansas connection- none

  • Roy Williams (North Carolina)- age when hired- 53. Most recent prior position- head coach Kansas. Number of years at Kansas- 15. Number of regular season conference titles- 9. Number of NCAA tournaments- 15. NCAA results- 2 times national runner-up, 2 other times in Final 4. North Carolina connection- Dean Smith assistant.

  • Rick Pitino (Kentucky)- age when hired- 37. Most recent prior position- head coach Knicks. Number of years with Knicks- 2. Made playoffs both years and won conference title. Prior to Knicks- head coach Providence. Number of years with Providence- 2. NCAA results- final 4, before leaving for Knicks. Kentucky connection- none.

  • Rick Pitino (Louisville)- age when hired- 49. Most recent prior position- head coach Celtics. Number of years with Celtics- 4. Never made playoffs. Prior to Celtics- head coach Kentucky. Number of years with Kentucky- 8. Number of NCAA tourneys- 6 (every year after 1st 2 years). NCAA results- 1 championship, 1 runner-up, 1 other Final 4, 2 other Elite 8. Louisville connection- none, other than coaching rival.

  • Billy Donovan (Florida)- age when hired- 31. Most recent prior position- head coach Marshall. Number of years with Marshall- 2. Did not make NCAA tourney. 1st year with team improved from 9-18 to 18-9. 2nd year, team was 17-11. Florida connection- none.

  • Tom Izzo (Michigan St)- age when hired as head coach- 40. Most recent prior position- assistant coach Michigan St under Jud Heathcoate. No prior head coaching experience. Number of years as MSU assistant- 12. Number of NCAA tourneys- 7. Highest finish- 2 times to Sweet 16.

  • MIke Montgomery (Stanford)- age when hired as head coach- 39. Most recent prior position- head coach Montana. Number of years at Montana- 9. Never went to NCAA tourney. Last 4 seasons team won at least 20 games each season. Stanford connection- none.

  • Mike Montgomery (Cal)- age when hired as head coach- 61. Most recent prior position- head coach Warriors. Number of years with Warriors- 2. Never made playoffs. Prior to Warriors- head coach Stanford. Number of years at Stanford- 18. Number of conference titles- 4. Number of NCAA tourneys- 12, including last 10 seasons consecutive. NCAA results- 1 Final Four, 1 Elite 8, 1 Sweet 16. Cal connection- none, other than coaching rival.

  • John Beilein (Michigan)- age when hired as head coach- 54. Most recent prior position- head coach West Virginia. Number of years with West Virginia- 5. Number of NCAA tourneys- 2. HIghest finish- Elite 8. Michigan connection- none.

My takeaway from these additional data points- some of these seem like one-off results. Roy Williams and Tom Izzo did not have any prior head coaching experience. But they also had been with their then current team for more than 10 years, and in the case of Roy Williams, had worked with an extremely successful program. I don't see similar comparable situations at present, unless there is a Duke assistant who has been biding his time with Coach K, and even then the comparable would be for him to stay at Duke until Coach K retired.

There are also 3 former pro coaches in this mix- Pitino with Knicks, Pitino with Celtics, and Montgomery with Warriors. The inability to succeed in the pros should not be seen as a fatal flaw (see Pitino), but the inability to succeed in the pros is not necessarily irrelevant (see Floyd).

The other data points seem to fit well with the original examples- hire when coach is relatively young, and has had some success in a relatively brief stint in his current position (Pitino with Providence, Donovan with Marshall turnaround).

Hopefully, this will all become relevant very soon, if Twitter source is reliable.

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Bruins Nation

You must be a member of Bruins Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bruins Nation. You should read them.

Join Bruins Nation

You must be a member of Bruins Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bruins Nation. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker