Shortly after the invention of basketball in 1891, the college version of the game became an integral part of American sports. At its highest levels, college basketball has produced transformative and innovative male and female coaches. Here are eight that have had a significant impact on the game.
1. Tex Winter, Five Colleges (1951-1983)
ACHIEVEMENT / INNOVATION: Triangular attack | Hall of Fame Induction: 2011
Although Winter is best known for his accomplishments as an NBA assistant, he spent 30 years as a college head coach, with stints in Marquette (1951-53), Kansas State (1953- 68), Washington (1968-71), Northwestern (1973-1978) and Cal State Long Beach (1979-1983). While with Kansas State, Winter won eight Big Eight titles and made two Final Four appearances.
The Triangle offense, developed by Winter in the 1950s, emphasized team play and efficient movement rather than individual play. In the NBA, coach Phil Jackson implemented the offense with the Chicago Bulls (and later Los Angeles) as a way to keep defenses from focusing on Michael Jordan and keeping Jordan’s teammates involved. during the early stages of a match.
Although the rigid principles of the offense often frustrated Jordan (and later Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles), it helped the Bulls win six NBA titles in the 1990s and the Lakers win three in the 2000s.
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2. John Wood, UCLA (1948-1975)
ACHIEVEMENT / INNOVATION: Pyramid of Success | Basketball Hall of Fame Induction: Player (1960) | Coach: 1973
Wood, known as “The Magician of Westwood,” was the most accomplished male college basketball coach of all time. He led UCLA to a record 10 championships, seven in a row from 1967 to 1973.
Despite his immense success, Wooden was not a results-oriented coach, rarely using the word “win” around his players and instead emphasizing the process of continuous improvement. He created his own definition of success, which appeared on his Pyramid of success: “[It] is the peace of mind that is the direct result of complacency in knowing that you have done your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.
The Pyramid — 25 characteristics and traits that he said offered a roadmap to lasting success — had been a fine wooden educational tool for decades. Athletes and business leaders have used the Pyramid since its inception.
3. Dean Smith, North Carolina (1961-1997)
REALIZATION / INNOVATION: Aanalytical approach | Basketball Hall of Fame Induction: 1983
Smith, the 36-year North Carolina head coach, was one of the most advanced thinkers and statistical minds. He used advanced analytics as early as the 1960s, when his team leaders tracked points per possession.
“All signs point to him being the father of basketball analysis,” said Daryl Morey, a longtime NBA executive. New York Times in 2015. In modern gaming, advanced analytics are so ingrained that NBA teams have departments dedicated to them.
Smith, who led North Carolina to 11 Final Four and NCAA Championship appearances in 1982 and 1993, was also known for his holistic player-centered approach to program creation. He fought for desegregation, treated players and managers equally and graduated over 96% of his players.
4. Mike Krzyzewski, Duke (1980-present)
ACHIEVEMENT / INNOVATION: Adaptability of recruitment | Basketball Hall of Fame Induction: 2001
In more than four decades at Duke, Krzyzewski has won over 1,100 games, increased his schedule to 12 Final Fours and won five national titles. His ability to accept change stands out, especially in recruitment.
In 1983, he kicked off Duke’s revival by signing Mark Alarie, Jay Bilas and Johnny Dawkins, who twice became All-American. This trio played in a national championship game and opened the door to more recruiting success.
In 1991 Coach K won his first national title with a roster including stars Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley and Grant Hill. The team repeated as the champion the following season. In 2001 and 2010, Duke won titles with rosters filled with future NBA players who stayed in college for several years.
Then, in the 2010s, the NBA’s one-and-done rule (which barred prospects from entering the NBA Draft until they had left high school for a year) took a hit. significant impact on college play. In 2015, Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils won the national title with one-off stars Tyus Jones, Justise Winslow and Jahlil Okafor.
5. John Calipari, Kentucky (2009-present)
ACHIEVEMENT / INNOVATION: Adoption of the one-and-done rule | Basketball Hall of Fame Induction: 2015
In 2009, Calipari, who had competed in the Final Four with Massachusetts (1996) and Memphis (2008), revived a struggling Kentucky program with aggressive recruiting. He coached an outstanding freshman before sending them to the NBA the following season.
“My comment to many of these kids was, ‘If you want to do what’s right for you and your family, you put your name in the project. If you want to do what’s right for me and my family, why not stay a few more years? ‘ “He told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. “It’s not my rule. It was an NBA rule… Here’s what it boils down to: How do you do well with these kids? “
Since taking office at Kentucky, 43 of his players have been drafted by the NBA, 31 in freshmen. In 2010, John Wall (No.1) and DeMarcus Cousins (No.5) were among five Kentucky freshmen drafted in the first round by NBA teams.
6. John Thompson, Georgetown (1972-1999)
SUCCESS: Father figure and model | Basketball Hall of Fame Induction: 1999
Thompson, who in 1984 became the first black coach to win an NCAA men’s basketball title, was much more than a great coach. He was a leader, father figure, and champion of African American players at a time when many in the NCAA and elsewhere in society treated them unfairly.
In 1989, after the NCAA implemented Proposition 42, a measure barring academically ineligible freshmen from receiving scholarships, Thompson left the field in protest during a game. Proposal 42 has disproportionately affected minority students.
When many were ready to leave star guard Allen Iverson after his role in a bowling brawl ahead of his senior year in high school, Thompson backed his rookie. (Iverson’s sentence has been overturned.) Upon his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame, Iverson thanked Thompson for “saving his life.”
7. Geno Auriemma, Connecticut (1985-present)
ACHIEVEMENT: Sustained Supremacy | Basketball Hall of Fame Induction: 2006
Like Wooden, Auriemma ruled the sport, winning a record 11 women’s national titles, including four consecutive from 2012 to 2016. During this period of domination, the most successful female coach in Division I history had six seasons without a defeat and six seasons with a loss.
The Auriemma dynasty was the product of excellent leadership and superior recruitment. From 2014 to 2017, the Huskies won an NCAA record 111 straight games, 108 by 10 points or more. In the 2013 national title game, the Huskies beat Louisville 93-60, the biggest winning margin in championship history.
Since 1995, Connecticut has won the Associated Press Player of the Year 12 times: Rebecca Lobo (1995), Jennifer Rizzotti (1996), Kara Wolters (1997), Sue Bird (2002), Diana Taurasi (2003), Maya Moore (2009 and 2011), Tina Charles (2010), Stewart (2014, 2015 and 2016) and Paige Bueckers (2021).
8. Pat Summitt, Tennessee (1974-2012)
ACHIEVEMENT: Advancement of women’s football | Basketball Hall of Fame Induction: 2000
Summit, who won 1,098 games and eight national titles in Tennessee, brought legendary intensity and passion to the game. Early in her career, when the sport received much less support than the men’s program, she washed out the games. uniforms and drove the team van to away games.
In 1976, Summitt testified in court on behalf of Victoria Cape, a high school player who sued the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association for its archaic rules to limit contact in games. Back then, unlike men’s basketball, Tennessee allowed three players from each team to be on one side of the court.
“His legacy… is much more measured by the generations of young women and men who admired Pat’s competitive and intense character, and thus found in themselves the confidence to train hard, play harder. and live courageously on and off the pitch, “President Obama said after Summitt’s death in 2016.
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