In basketball, a great coach is defined by bringing the best out of their players and helping them to be successful. There’s been a lot of head coaches who work their way up through the ranks to get to a level like college or the pros. Coaching in college is a big stop on the way to the NBA, but in some cases, college is the best fit for a particular coach. There’s been a lot of great men’s basketball coaches that went through the college rank and even stayed. A lot of coaches have coached in college and have built a great legacy for themselves through NCAA tournament wins.
What builds a great resume is typically championships and NCAA Tournament wins. There have been five coaches who have over 50 tournament wins and counting. A lot is to be said about a coach who’s spent significant time building up kids to be the best they can be. These coaches who have the most NCAA Tournament wins have built or are still building great legacies for themselves.
Head Coaches With The Most NCAA Tournament Wins
Mike Krzyzewski (97 Wins)
Since the 1980-81 season, Mike Krzyzewski has led Duke and done it well. With Duke, he’s coached 1,375 games and has a record of 1084-291. Krzyzewski missed the NCAA Tournament his first three years but after that, he never looked back. While making it to 35 NCAA Tournaments, he’s won 97 games and has five titles to show for it. He’s also won 12 regular season and 15 ACC Conference Tournament Championships while winning five ACC Coach of the Year awards with three Naismith Coach of the Year awards. Krzyzewski has been known as one of, if not the, best college basketball coach of all time. No matter the feeling towards him and Duke, you have to respect his abilities and what he’s done for the game.
Roy Williams (79 Wins)
Roy William‘s NCAA Tournament success has come with both Kansas and North Carolina. He coached Kansas from 1988-98 to 2002-03. Williams finished at Kansas with a record of 418-101 with 14 NCAA Tournament wins and nine regular-season championships with them. He moved to North Carolina in 2003-04 and has continued his success to this day. Williams made the NCAA Tournament his first year at North Carolina and has only missed it once since then. He’s won nine more regular-season titles and has won three National Championships. Williams has 79 total NCAA Tournament wins with both Kansas and North Carolina. He’s very likable and is also one of the best college basketball coaches in history.
Dean Smith (65 Wins)
Before the great Roy Williams became the coach for North Carolina, they had a great coach of their own in Dean Smith. For 36 years from 1961-1997, he’s carried North Carolina to 65 NCAA Tournament wins in 27 years of tournament success. Smith was a smart and aggressive coach on both sides of the ball. He won two National Championships in 1982 and 1993. He won eight ACC Coach of the Year awards while winning five straight at one point. Smith was and still is the example of what every coach should set out to be and his accomplishments and relationships showed that.
Jim Boeheim (55 Wins)
Jim Boeheim has been the head coach of Syracuse since 1976-77 season. At that time, they were part of the Independent Conference. Then in the 1979-80 season, Syracuse moved to the Big East Conference before eventually moving to the ACC in 2013-14. Boeheim has won ten regular season and five Conference Tournament Championships (all in the Big East). He made it to the NCAA Tournament three times in the Independent Conference, 27 times in the Big East, and four times in the ACC. Between those 34 appearances, he’s won 55 games. Boeheim has had a remarkable run as the head coach for Syracuse and he’s still going strong.
Tom Izzo (52 Wins)
For over 20 years, Tom Izzo has been the head coach of Michigan State. He’s had pretty good success over the years. Izzo has an overall record of 628-241 with 22 tournament appearances. In those appearances, he has 52 total wins while going to eight final fours and winning a National Championship. Izzo is great at recruiting and has brought in some of the top high school players in the country. His coaching ability is just as impressive and he’s taken great young talent and molded their skills into something great. He was enshrined into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in September of 2016. Izzo is one of the greats in this business and he surely has years to go and climb the list of great coaches in college basketball history.
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