Tuesday, December 27, 2011
The sacred halls of college basketball has had its fair share of prominent as well as notorious coaches. But only a few are legendary, leaving their mark, long after their time has passed.
Some of these coaches are known for their leadership, some for their discipline and some for their panache, but they’re all iconic figures at their respective programs.
Five coaches who have cemented their places in college basketball tradition make our list, and plenty of worthy candidates were left off.
No. 5 --Bobby Knight--While most fans will remember Knight for his colorful personality and how he chocked a player during his stint at Indiana or how he threw a chair across the court during a game, some college basketball enthusiast will praise him for running clean programs and graduating most of his players. all while becoming the all-time winningest coach in college basketball with 902 victories, until Mike Krzyzewski surpassed him in 2011. He won three NCAA championships, 11 Big 10 titles and has been the national coach of the year four times. He is one of three basketball coaches to ever win an Olympic gold medal, an NCAA title and an NIT championship before retiring in 2008.
No. 4--Adolph Rupp--You don't get a stadium named after you unless you deserve it, An Rupp is fourth in total victories by a men's NCAA Division I college coach, winning 876 games in 42 years of coaching. I guess you'd say that qualifies you. Before the reign of Rick Pitino, Rupp was Kentucky basketball. In 42 seasons in Lexington he collected four NCAA championships and would have coached even longer, but the university had a policy that all employees must retire at the age of 70.
No. 3 --Mike Krzyzewski-- The only active coach out of this group, "Coach K" has served as the head men's basketball coach at Duke University for 32 seasons, racking up four NCAA Championships, 11 Final Fours, 12 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) regular season titles, and 13 ACC Tournament championships. On top of his accomplishments on the college level, Coach K also coached the 2010 FIBA World Championship team, as well as the U.S. team to a gold medal in the 2008 summer’s Olympics.
No. 2 --Dean Smith-- Smith, who has been called a “coaching legend” by the Basketball Hall of Fame, will be remembered most for his successful 36-year coaching tenure at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retiring in 1997, he had recorded 879 wins – the third most in the history of college basketball today. He’s won two national championships and appeared in 11 Final Fours. Perhaps the only man loved more in Chapel Hill than Michael Jordan, a player that was on Smith's first national championship team in 1982.
No. 1-- John Wooden-- In 27 seasons the "Wizard of Westwood", he won 664 games and 10 NCAA championships with UCLA No other coach has even come close to those accomplishments. But is wasn't just statistics that earned Wooden six national coach of the year awards. It was his renowned short, simple inspirational messages to his players, including his "Pyramid of Success," that not only were directed at how to be a success in basketball, but in life as well.
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