NCAA Tournament Showing Importance of Coaching

North Carolina's Roy Williams (left) and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski are among several coaches in the Sweet Sixteen who have claimed a national title in the past.

North Carolina's Roy Williams (left) and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski are among several coaches in the Sweet Sixteen who have claimed a national title in the past.

I think one of the more underplayed storylines this week is the fact seven teams in the Sweet Sixteen are coached by guys who have won a NCAA Championship in the past. While we’ve seen salaries increase significantly over the past decade, it’s now become self-evident that you can’t put a premium on good coaching. Good coaches are just as important as good players. And frankly, when it comes to recruitment and making the most of their talent, the remaining seven coaches are models for how to run a program.

The seven coaches account for 10 national titles:

  • Mike Krzyzewski, Duke — 1991, 1992, 2001
  • Jim Calhoun, UCONN — 1999, 2004
  • Rick Pitino, Louisville — 1996 (with Kentucky)
  • Tom Izzo, Michigan State — 2000
  • Jim Boeheim, Syracuse — 2003
  • Roy Williams, North Carolina — 2005
  • Bill Self, Kansas — 2008

It’s also notable that only two of the nine coaches in this NCAA Tournament who have won a national title in the past didn’t make the Sweet Sixteen. (Gary Williams, Maryland, 2002; Tubby Smith, Minnesota, 1998 with Kentucky.)

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One thought on “NCAA Tournament Showing Importance of Coaching

  1. I know IZZO and MSU would like to add # 2 to that list… MSU is beginning to look like “always the bridesmaid, but never the bride”…

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