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 Lindsey Hunter (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
NCAA Basketball Lindsey Hunter (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

358. Gerald Gillion (Chicago State) (Last year: N/A)

  • Overall record: 0-0

Everyone has to start somewhere, and it’s the very bottom for Gillion, beginning his first year at Chicago State. He spent the last few seasons on the staffs at Tennessee Tech and Samford, but his only head coaching experience was nearly a decade ago at the high school level. There’s no disrespect meant here, but the lack of experience plus the struggles of these Cougars might mean a rough go for Gillion.

357. Stan Waterman (Delaware State) (Last year: N/A)

  • Overall record: 0-0

Waterman starred at Delaware nearly four decades ago but begins his collegiate coaching career this season at Delaware State. He spent thirty years building the basketball program at The Sanford School, winning eight state titles and the most career games in state history. It seemed inevitable that Waterman wound up taking over a D1 program, but there’s a lot of work ahead to make these Hornets a contender.

356. Levell Sanders (Binghamton) (Last year: N/A)

  • Overall record: 0-0

Two decades ago, Sanders was a point guard at Seton Hall, and now he’s beginning his collegiate head coaching career. A long professional career overseas also saw the beginning of his coaching career, spending a few years in the Czech League before joining the Bearcats’ staff in 2019. He’s the interim head coach this season, replacing former boss Tommy Dempsey, and he’ll certainly have the chance to earn his way to the full-time post.

355. John Aiken (McNeese State) (Last year: N/A)

  • Overall record: 0-0

Perhaps a bit unexpectedly, Aiken finds himself taking over at McNeese State, spending the last three years on staff under Heath Schroyer. He does have head coaching experience, but that was at the NAIA level with Belhaven a few years ago. Still, Aiken spent the last seven years on D1 staffs and has a solid shot to get these Cowboys back near the top of the Southland Conference in the next few seasons.

354. Lindsey Hunter (Mississippi Valley State) (Last year: 352)

  • Overall record: 5-49

Things have not been easy for Hunter and Mississippi Valley State, now entering his third year leading the Delta Devils. He’s only won a couple games each season, and they’ve all been in SWAC conference play. The former longtime NBA player and coach are clearly struggling at the moment, but there’s still potential if Hunter can get his own players into the system and start turning things around.

353. Matt Crenshaw (IUPUI) (Last year: N/A)

  • Overall record: 0-0

It was a seemingly perfect fit as Crenshaw was hired this past offseason by IUPUI, bringing him back to the school he spent nearly two decades. Aside from spending the last three years on staff at Ball State, and a brief international career, Crenshaw’s career has been IUPUI, playing guard for the Jaguars before spending a dozen years on staff. It’s his first head coaching job; can he finally make the Jaguars competitive in the Horizon League?

352. Solomon Bozeman (Arkansas-Pine Bluff) (Last year: N/A)

  • Overall record: 0-0

After playing point guard for South Florida and then Little Rock, Bozeman began his coaching career in 2014, following a brief international playing career. This year marks the beginning of his head coaching career, though last year was certainly a good one for Bozeman, serving as an assistant on the Oral Roberts team that made the Sweet Sixteen. He has limited experience; can these Golden Lions become a SWAC contender again?

351. Patrick Sellers (Central Connecticut) (Last year: N/A)

  • Overall record: 0-0

Sellers certainly has a ton of coaching experience, though the post at Central Connecticut will be the start of his head coaching career. He played for these Blue Devils back in the late 80’s and early 90’s before bouncing around as an assistant at a number of D1 programs, as well as spending a year in China. He most recently served at Fairfield, though the former UConn, Creighton, and DePaul assistant has certainly picked up a few tricks of the trade over the years.

350. David Riley (Eastern Washington) (Last year: N/A)

  • Overall record: 0-0

After graduating from Whitworth in 2011, Riley has spent his entire coaching career at Eastern Washington. He originally followed his college coach Jim Hayford to the Eagles, serving as his graduate assistant, but stayed when Shantay Legans took over the program a few years later. Now, 2021 marks the beginning of Riley’s turn to run an Eagles program that has been one of the best in the Big Sky.

349. Jason Crafton (Maryland-Eastern Shore) (Last year: 349)

  • Overall record: 5-27

While he was hired in 2019, it’s actually year two for Crafton, as Maryland-Eastern Shore did not play basketball last season due to the pandemic. Crafton is a former staff member at Villanova and Navy who honestly struggled as head coach at Nyack, a D2 school. Crafton is still tasked with turning around a Hawks program that hasn’t been great, though winning doesn’t exactly come easy in the MEAC.

348. Justin Gray (Western Carolina) (Last year: N/A)

  • Overall record: 0-0

A former roommate of Chris Paul at Wake Forest, Gray begins his head coaching career this season at Western Carolina. Gray spent over a decade playing internationally before joining Pat Kelsey’s staff at Winthrop a couple seasons ago. There’s not a lot of coaching experience in his past, plus the SoCon isn’t the easiest conference to just start winning. Gray has a challenge ahead, but the pedigree to work his way up this list in the coming years.

347. Zac Claus (Idaho) (Last year: 342)

  • Overall record: 9-45

Year three for Claus begins with the Vandals desperately needed to take a step forward, winning just a single game last season. Claus is a former assistant at Portland State, Sacramento State, and Nevada, making several NCAA Tourney appearances on staff with the Wolf Pack. However, he did take over the Idaho program after his predecessor was fired due to NCAA violations. Claus deserves some time to turn things around, but progress is needed.

346. Jase Coburn (Portland State) (Last year: N/A)

  • Overall record: 0-0

It’s a bit unexpected, but Coburn takes over the Portland State program, having served on the staffs of the last two coaches. Predecessor Barret Peery took an assistant’s job at Texas Tech, leaving Coburn in charge. He’s a former high school head coach and junior college assistant, but all of his bigtime experience has come with these Vikings.

345. Jeff Wulbrun (Denver) (Last year: N/A)

  • Overall record: 0-0

It’s been a long time coming, but it’s the first year for Wulbrun running his own college program. He’s picked up a bunch of relevant experience over the years, starting 35 years ago when he joined the staff at Cal. He worked under Kevin Stallings at Illinois State, was a high school coach, and spent the last nine years under Jerod Haase at UAB and Stanford. The California native is more than ready to take over a program and we’ll have to see if he can be the one to turn the Pioneers program around.

344. Tony Madlock (South Carolina State) (Last year: N/A)

  • Overall record: 1-4

After bouncing around on some pretty solid coaching staffs, Madlock finally takes over his own college program this season. He served under Billy Gillispie at UTEP and Auburn, was briefly interim head coach at Ole Miss, and spent the last three years with Penny Hardaway at Memphis. Suffice to say, after 24 years as a D1 assistant Madlock as shown that he can take control of his own program, though his success in the MEAC remains to be seen.

343. Greg Young (UT Arlington) (Last year: N/A)

  • Overall record: 0-0

This may be his fourth head coaching job, but Young begins his first D1 head coaching stint this season, taking the top job at UT Arlington. He spent the last twelve years as an assistant with the Mavericks, but the former junior college head coach is getting his shot to run the show. This Mavericks program has certainly had its shares of ups and downs with Young on staff, who knows what the future will bring with him in control.

342. Steve Lutz (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) (Last year: N/A)

  • Overall record: 0-0

Lutz takes over his first head coaching job this season, having spent nearly three decades on coaching staffs, mostly at the D1 level. With much of his early experience coming in Texas, he also spent seven years at Creighton and the last four at Purdue, picking up valuable experience under Greg McDermott and Matt Painter. His quest to become a great head coach on his own begins now with the Islanders.

341. Mo Williams (Alabama State) (Last year: 351)

  • Overall record: 4-14

Williams got his coaching career off to a decent enough start last season with the Hornets. The former longtime NBA point guard only began his coaching career a few seasons ago at Cal State Northridge, with last season being his first as a head coach. It remains to be seen exactly what he can do at Alabama State, but there’s still plenty of time to make this a winner in the SWAC.