The 2017-18 college basketball season has come to a close. With this year’s results fresh in mind, it’s time to rank the 15 best college basketball coaches in the nation right now. Emphasis was put on recent results, though a long track record of success was also considered.
15. Archie Miller, Indiana
We all know Archie Miller can coach, the 39-year-old’s six years at Dayton proved that. His first year at Indiana was a mixed bag, as the Hoosiers went 16-15 and missed the postseason entirely. But left with an awful roster situation, there wasn’t much Miller could do other than try to avoid disaster in Year 1.
Given his loaded incoming recruiting class, and a good young core returning, it shouldn’t take long for Miller to turn things around in Bloomington. At Dayton he posted a record of 139-63 (.688), while winning two Atlantic 10 regular seasons titles in his final two years there. He took the Flyers to the Elite Eight in 2014, and is regarded as one of the brightest young coaches in the game.
Something tells me he’ll do great things at Indiana once he has his system fully implemented with “his” players.
14. Chris Holtmann, Ohio State
Chris Holtmann was widely considered a good coach during his three seasons at Butler, but what he did at Ohio State last season vaulted him to another level. He was 70-31 (.693) at Butler and took the Bulldogs to the Sweet 16 in 2017. That led to a call from the Buckeyes.
Once on campus in Columbus, Holtmann went about turning the program around immediately. The Buckeyes were coming off a terrible 17-15 season that led to Thad Matta’s firing. With Holtmann in charge, things improved instantly. They opened the season 18-4 and were 22-5 (13-1 in the Big Ten) at one point. A late seasons swoon didn’t take too much away from a 25-9 season and a second-place finish in the Big Ten.
Holtmann is poised to do big things at Ohio State.
13. Chris Mack, Louisville
Louisville got a good one when it landed Chris Mack. In nine seasons as the head coach at Xavier, Mack posted a fantastic record of 215-97 (.689), with a conference mark of 105-49 (.682). He won two Atlantic 10 regular season titles and a Big East regular season championship in 2018.
Three Sweet 16 trips an Elite Eight run in 2017 and a No. 1 seed in 2018 solidified Mack as a top-tier head coach. As did eight 20-win seasons in his nine years at Xavier. He’ll face new challenges at Louisville, but he’s got a great basketball mind and shouldn’t have any trouble adjusting to the bigger spotlight.
12. Gregg Marshall, Wichita State
Gregg Marshall continues to resist overtures from bigger jobs as he appears settled at Wichita State. And why wouldn’t he be? Since arriving from Winthrop in 2007, Marshall has led the Shockers to an incredible mark of 286-97 (.747) and a 141-50 (.738) record in conference. A move to the American Athletic Conference should provide more competition and, in turn, a higher profile.
Marshall’s team fell far short of expectations in 2018, but his consistent success has him marked among the nation’s best coaches. The Shockers went to the Final Four in 2013, and won five MVC regular season titles before their move to the AAC. Marshall knows how to win and that should continue despite the move to a better conference.
11. Mike Brey, Notre Dame
Mike Brey has quietly built an oustanding program during his 18 years at Notre Dame. While a promising season was sidetracked by major injury issues in 2018, he’s still done great things since taking charge of the Fighting Irish.
One of the nation’s best in-game coaches, Brey has also developed into a solid recruiter. During his time at Notre Dame he has an impressive record of 403-201 (.667), and took the Irish to back-to-back Elite Eights in 2015 and 2016. With increased resources and a high profile in the ACC, expect him to continue building up an already formidable program in South Bend.