Basketball Coaching Tenure

This article that focused on the average tenure of college basketball coaches ran a couple of weeks ago.

ACC coaches have an average tenure of 7.6 seasons at their respective schools, the most of any of the major conferences. Three have held the same job for 10 or more years –Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (27), Maryland’s Gary Williams (18) and Boston College’s Al Skinner (10 seasons).

Worth noting…the only current coaches who have been at their current school for ten years or more:

Al Skinner, Boston College: 10 seasons
Mike Krzyzewski, Duke: 27 seasons
Gary Williams, Maryland: 18 seasons
Jim Calhoun, Connecticut: 21 seasons
Jim Boeheim, Syracuse: 31 seasons
Tom Izzo, Michigan State: 12 seasons
Lute Olson, Arizona: 24 seasons
Ben Braun, Cal: 11 seasons
Ernie Kent, Oregon: 10 seasons
Billy Donovan, Florida: 11 seasons
John Brady, LSU: 10 seasons

A lot of interesting nuggets in it. I don’t have time to do a lot of blogging on what I see, so please share your thoughts in the comments section.

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General NCS Basketball

30 Responses to Basketball Coaching Tenure

  1. Trout 05/22/2007 at 10:42 AM #

    Ben Braun is on the shakiest ground of all the coaches listed. Many are untouchable (Donovan, K, Izzo, Boeheim). Did you see where Syracuse has already named Boeheim’s successor?

    In my opinion, Calhoun and Olson are most impressive because they built powerhouses where really nothing existed before.

  2. TNCSU 05/22/2007 at 11:02 AM #

    Who did they name as Boeheim’s successor? I had not heard that….

  3. StateFans 05/22/2007 at 11:12 AM #

    Interesting. I didn’t know about the Syracuse thing, either.

    Sounds like a Gene Keady to Matt Painter move.

  4. TNCSU 05/22/2007 at 11:48 AM #

    As SFN guessed, it looks like it’s their longtime assistant, Mike Hopkins.

  5. PapaJohn 05/22/2007 at 12:46 PM #

    Naming the successor is a very smart move when your coach gets to a certain age. Otherwise you are at risk of losing recruits who will be hearing, “Boeheim’s old, he won’t last through your career. Play for us.” Especially if the assistant is one of your key recruiters, which I have heard this guy is. The recruit knows both coaches, and doesn’t really worry about losing the coach he signed with.
    On the other hand, how often does an assistant coach step into the head coaching job at a major program sucessfully? It happens, but not often.

  6. redfred2 05/22/2007 at 12:54 PM #

    “ACC coaches have an average tenure of 7.6 seasons at their respective schools”

    That’s interesting. Isn’t the ACC tenure average about 30 percent shorter , or 2.4 years less than ten years, or a decade long tenure?

    We were sooo unfair. No wonder he decided to leave on his own.

  7. westwolf 05/22/2007 at 1:42 PM #

    So if Cactus Herb was still here, then he would have been one of only 12 coaches in the entire country to have been at a school for more than 10 years? Wow, that’s an interesting statistic. From that group, would he have ranked 11th or 12th in number of NCAAT wins? How about compared to the others at the same point in their careers, year 11? Would he still have been near the bottom?

  8. Astral Rain2 05/22/2007 at 1:51 PM #

    Very easily.

  9. redfred2 05/22/2007 at 2:09 PM #

    “Would he still have been near the bottom?”

    Ever heard of the Marianas trench?

  10. Cosmo96 05/22/2007 at 2:27 PM #

    Seven of those coaches listed have a National Championship during their tenure. Of the four that don’t, at least Miles at LSU has a Final Four, and Kent at Oregon has a PAC-10 Championship.

  11. joe 05/22/2007 at 3:31 PM #

    10 out of 300+ teams who have lasted 10 or more years. Not real good job security.

  12. Rick 05/22/2007 at 4:36 PM #

    Unless you work for Uncle Lee. Then you have a job as long as you can put up with the fans complaining.

  13. Gene 05/22/2007 at 5:55 PM #

    10 out of 300+ teams who have lasted 10 or more years. Not real good job security.

    The article only looked at major conferences. UNC-C and Davidson have had the same coaches for 10 years. The guy at Winthrop’s been there for about 10 years to, or close to it. But I agree, job security in big time athletics isn’t guaranteed.

    Only interesting thing I drew from the article is the weaker basketball conferences, have more coaching turnover.

    Guess there’s a correlation between strong programs, conferences, and coaches, who have been on the job several years and have been able to build up their programs.

  14. highstick 05/22/2007 at 7:08 PM #

    The guy at Winthrop(Marshall) is now gone and almost was last year until he backed out. Turned out to be a smart move on his part!

    I’d like to see the tenure in the ACC computed over the past 50 years, then compared to shorter terms since then.

    Gene, some of the turnover at the lower level conferences probably has a lot to do with career advancement, money, etc.

  15. redfred2 05/22/2007 at 8:57 PM #

    It’s just like everything else in sports these days, it’s all about the next level and big the $$$. But, some coaches do go to less challenging and of course much “safer” places to coach.

  16. TNCSU 05/23/2007 at 7:36 AM #

    Probably true, Highstick. Although coaching is inherently an insecure job, the coaches at the smaller programs tend to move out if they’re not winning, and move UP if they are winning, whereas the bigger conference coaches don’t have as many places to move UP to.

  17. joe 05/23/2007 at 8:28 AM #

    Sendek was the 16th coach to last 10 or more years at an ACC school. And no, he’s not the only guy to last that long without an ACC title. Others with no titles are Cliff Ellis, Carl Tacy, and Bill Gibson of UVa.

  18. LRM 05/23/2007 at 8:34 AM #

    “Seven of those coaches listed have a National Championship during their tenure. Of the four that don’t, at least Miles at LSU has a Final Four, and Kent at Oregon has a PAC-10 Championship.”

    I think you meant Brady, not Miles. Although Miles does have an SEC title.

  19. LRM 05/23/2007 at 8:37 AM #

    Actually, I’m wrong. Miles doesn’t have an SEC title; I forgot they actually lost that game to Georgia in ’05.

  20. redfred2 05/23/2007 at 8:55 AM #

    So Joe, of the few coaches that have been lucky and privileged enough to coach 10 for years in the ACC, and paid well all along to do so, you are saying that ” ” was solidly entrenched right in there with all-time bottom four.

    Great point, thanks.

  21. joe 05/23/2007 at 9:02 AM #

    I think it was really surpising Sendek was not fired after his bad year in year 5. I think 90% of coaches would have been axed at that time.

  22. Rick 05/23/2007 at 10:32 AM #

    Herb was definitely in elite company.

  23. LRM 05/23/2007 at 10:50 AM #

    The way that State fans continue to bring up Herb in every conversation is like going on a date with a new girl and talking about your ex the whole time. It’s over. Say goodbye and let him go, ya’ll. Only then can you move on.

  24. redfred2 05/23/2007 at 1:49 PM #

    LRM, what do you think, counseling maybe?

    For some, it’s like the infatuation over losing that first real true love and knowing it’ll never be the same again. Yet, for others like myself, it equates to something like being made a laughing stock during the process of an endless and bloody divorce preceeding. Right, wrong, or indifferent, we all just need somone to talk to now. We’re all kind of like the subject matter himself, in that all we need is just a little more time, you know, the wait until next year thing, then maybe everything will somehow miraciously fall right into place…just like the basketball team always did.

  25. Cosmo96 05/23/2007 at 3:31 PM #


    D’oh! My bad…When I think of LSU, I think football first.

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