Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Ranking all 358 D-I head coaches for 2021-22 season

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 20: Head coach Mike Krzyzewski (L) and associate head coach Jon Scheyer of the Duke Blue Devils direct their team against the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the second half at Madison Square Garden on December 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 20: Head coach Mike Krzyzewski (L) and associate head coach Jon Scheyer of the Duke Blue Devils direct their team against the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the second half at Madison Square Garden on December 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
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NCAA Basketball
NCAA Basketball Paul Mills Joshua Bickel-USA TODAY Sports /

180. Stan Heath (Eastern Michigan) (Last year: N/A)

  • Overall record: 209-207

Heath returns this season to collegiate head coaching, with the Eastern Michigan post his fourth at the D1 level. A former Michigan State assistant under Tom Izzo, Heath led Kent State to an Elite Eight run, made a few Tournaments with Arkansas, and spent seven years keeping South Florida afloat. He most recently spent four years coaching in the G-League but returns to the college game in taking over his alma mater, trying to push them into relevance in the MAC.

179. Scott Cross (Troy) (Last year: 176)

  • Overall record: 245-200

It’s year three for Cross at Troy, looking to turn these Trojans into Sun Belt contenders in the near future. Cross has spent much of his career, as a player, assistant, and head coach, at UT Arlington, leading them to an NCAA Tournament as head coach. After being unceremoniously fired, he spent a year on staff at TCU before taking the Troy job in 2019, looking to improve on a 20-39 start with the program.

178. Jay McAuley (Wofford) (Last year: 229)

  • Overall record: 34-25

After playing and coaching at Georgia, McAuley has made a career of working at some pretty solid mid-major programs. He’s been an assistant at Gardner-Webb (under Chris Holtmann), Furman, and Wofford, ascending to the top job with the Terriers back in 2019. Inheriting a program Mike Young left in great shape, McAuley won 19 games in year one and led the program to a 2nd place finish in the SoCon last season.

177. Matt McCall (Massachusetts) (Last year: 179)

  • Overall record: 94-83

McCall begins his fifth season with the Minutemen, hoping to finally have an A-10 contender on his hands. He spent most of his early coaching career on staffs in Florida, including four years with Billy Donovan and the Gators, before getting his first head coaching job at Chattanooga. He led the Mocs to an NCAA Tournament before accepting the UMass job. After three rocky seasons, he did lead the Minutemen to a 5th place finish in the A-10 last season, finishing 8-7 overall in the shortened season.

176. Tim Craft (Gardner-Webb) (Last year: 173)

  • Overall record: 138-121

Craft has done solid work the Runnin’ Bulldogs since taking over the program back in 2013. He’s a former high school coach and a former assistant under Jeff Lebo at Auburn and East Carolina. He led Gardner-Webb to a long-awaited NCAA Tournament back in 2019 and has been consistent, finishing between 3rd and 6th in the Big South in each of his eight seasons at the helm, with this past season’s 11-15 season no exception.

175. David Cox (Rhode Island) (Last year: 171)

  • Overall record: 49-39

Cox has been a coach at the high school, AAU, and collegiate levels and now begins his fourth season as a collegiate head coach. He picked up experience on staffs at Pittsburgh, Georgetown, and Rutgers, and spent four years under Dan Hurley with these Rams. He took over Rhode Island when Hurley left in 2018, and it’s been up and down ever since, with last season being a 10-15 mark and a 10th place finish in the A-10.

174. Andrew Toole (Robert Morris) (Last year: 161)

  • Overall record: 192-169

Last season was a bump in the road, but it’s been a pretty successful coaching career already for Toole, even just 41 years old. After short stints as an assistant at Lafayette and Robert Morris, he took over the Colonials program as head coach back in 2010. A decade of great success in the NEC followed, winning a pair of regular-season titles and conference titles, but the Colonials struggled to a last place finish in their first season in the Horizon League. Better days are ahead.

173. Brian Wardle (Bradley) (Last year: 157)

  • Overall record: 188-167

After his playing days at Marquette came to an end, Wardle has made himself a pretty decent start to his coaching career. Following time on Tom Crean’s staff at Marquette, he went to Green Bay, ascending to the top job in 2010. He took the Phoenix to a slew of postseason bids but has had his best success at Bradley, winning a pair of MVC Tournament titles in resurrecting a Braves program that was in terrible condition when he was hired in 2015. Last season was a step back, but Wardle will have them back near the top of the conference soon.

172. Tod Kowalzcyk (Toledo) (Last year: 191)

  • Overall record: 341-265

Kowalczyk has put together a number of successful teams in his nearly two decades as a collegiate head coach. The former Rutgers and Marquette assistant led Green Bay for eight seasons, finishing near the top of the Horizon League more tops than not. He’s been the leader at Toledo since 2010, and although he lacks an NCAA Tournament berth he’s led the Rockets to a slew of MAC titles and postseason bids, including a 21-9 season with a regular-season MAC crown last year.

171. Joe Gallo (Merrimack) (Last year: 153)

  • Overall record: 29-20

Gallo played at Merrimack just after the turn of the century and was also an assistant for his alma mater. After brief stints at a few other colleges, he became the Warriors’ head coach in 2016, leading them to three straight D2 NCAA Tournaments. In Merrimack’s first season at the D2 level, they won the NEC regular-season crown. Last year’s 9-9 record is a return to the mean, understandable for a program still adjusting to D1 basketball.

170. Robert Jones (Norfolk State) (Last year: 206)

  • Overall record: 142-119

Last season was a major breakthrough for Jones, who has done fantastic work at Norfolk State for more than a decade. A former high school coach and small college assistant, he joined the Spartans staff in 2007 and became head coach in 2013, originally on an interim basis. He’s led Norfolk State to top 4 finishes in each of his eight years in charge, finally leading the program back to the NCAA Tournament this season. He helms one of the MEAC’s clear yearly contenders.

169. Matt Figger (UTRGV) (Last year: 150)

  • Overall record: 76-51

While Figger couldn’t quite get the results he wanted the last few seasons, he’s off to a new adventure, taking over this season as head coach at UTRGV. A former assistant under Frank Martin, Figger spent four seasons as head coach at Austin Peay, leading the Governors to some success, but failing to win an OVC title or make much postseason progress. Still, he takes over the Vaqueros, hoping to push them further up the food chain in the WAC.

168. Carmen Maciariello (Siena) (Last year: 199)

  • Overall record: 32-15

All things considered, Maciariello has gotten his head coaching career off to a very good start. With coaching trips to schools like Fairfield and George Washington in between, Maciariello played his final year of college ball at Siena, and he ascended to the head coaching job in 2019, succeeded the departing Jamion Christian. Siena won the MAAC regular-season title in each of his first two seasons, though still hunts for that trip to the NCAA Tournament.

167. Paul Mills (Oral Roberts) (Last year: 272)

  • Overall record: 57-67

It’s hard to find someone who had a better March than Mills, aside from perhaps his former boss Scott Drew. Mills spent fourteen years as Drew’s assistant at Baylor before taking the Oral Roberts job back in 2017. His Golden Eagles have slowly improved in his first four years, but this year came out of nowhere, not only winning the Summit League Tournament but marching all the way to the Sweet Sixteen as a 15-seed.

166. Billy Gillispie (Tarleton State) (Last year: 164)

  • Overall record: 158-118

Gillispie returned to D1 last season in taking over a Tarleton State program transitioning to the D1 level. The former Bill Self assistant had varying success as head coach of UTEP, Texas A&M, Kentucky, and Texas Tech over the years, with those last two tenures both ended very poorly. A 10-10 debut season isn’t the worst for the Texans, but it’ll be interesting to see if Gillispie can get this team competitive in a suddenly intriguing WAC.

165. Matt Langel (Colgate) (Last year: 182)

  • Overall record: 153-153

The past decade at Colgate has gone really well for Langel. His only previous experience came as a player and assistant under Fran Dunphy, following him as an assistant to Temple before Colgate hired him in 2011. He slowly built the Raiders program back into the national spotlight, finishing atop the Patriot League standings for three straight years and making the last two NCAA Tournaments.

164. Jim Les (UC Davis) (Last year: 168)

  • Overall record: 298-301

For two decades, Les has done pretty solid work as a D1 head coach. He spent nine years at Bradley, his alma mater, with the clear highlight being a Sweet Sixteen run in 2006 as a 13-seed. Les took the UC Davis job back in 2011 and has turned the Aggies into a yearly contender in the Big West. He took the program to their first-ever NCAA Tournament a few years ago and finished 4th last season after another decent year from the Aggies.

163. Dana Ford (Missouri State) (Last year: 188)

  • Overall record: 106-105

Ford played at Illinois State and was also an assistant at Wichita State, so it should come as no surprise that he has another MVC team trending in a great direction. Ford’s head coaching career began with a solid four years at Tennessee State before taking the Missouri State job in 2018. He’s led the Bears to a pair of 3rd place finishes in his first three seasons and has put together a program that could contend for MVC titles in years to come.

162. Brett Reed (Lehigh) (Last year: 159)

  • Overall record: 233-189

Reed has been at Lehigh since 2002, serving as the head coach since 2007. Picking up previous experience at a few other schools, he’s had some fantastic years with Lehigh, including leading them over 2-seed Duke in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. He’s made two total NCAA Tournament appearances and led the Mountain Hawks to plenty of success, but is just 15-42 in the last two years and is trending in the wrong direction.

161. Rob Lanier (Georgia State) (Last year: 170)

  • Overall record: 93-89

After playing at St. Bonaventure more than three decades ago, Lanier has put together quite the coaching career. He’s been an assistant all over the country, with prominent stints at Texas, Virginia, Florida, and Tennessee. His first foray into head coaching was up and down stint at Siena that involved an NCAA Tournament trip. Named head coach at Georgia State in 2019, he’s 35-19 and led the Panthers atop the Sun Belt East in year two.