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 Amir Abdur-Rahim Kennesaw State Owls (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
NCAA Basketball Amir Abdur-Rahim Kennesaw State Owls (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

340. Johnny Tauer (St. Thomas) (Last year: N/A)

  • Overall record: 0-0

It’s hard to know what to think of Tauer, who begins his eleventh season as head coach at St. Thomas, but the program’s first at the D1 level. Tauer’s entire career, both playing and coaching, has come with the Tommies. Among that success was the D3 national title in 2016 and a lot of general success at that level. That decade is over and it’ll be interesting to see how Tauer and this program transition, now members of the Summit League.

339. Jordan Mincy (Jacksonville) (Last year: N/A)

  • Overall record: 0-0

After bouncing around in his early coaching career, Mincy found stability on Mike White’s staff, first at Louisiana Tech and then for six years at Florida. The former assistant coach takes over this year at Jacksonville, his first head coaching job. He’s been on staff at six different schools, though the Memphis native is just 34 years old. Jacksonville has struggled recently; will those change under Mincy?

338. Rason Burno (Northern Illinois) (Last year: N/A)

  • Overall record: 0-0

Burno is back in the Land of Lincoln, taking over this season at Northern Illinois. He played his college ball at DePaul, having previously starred at the high school level under coach Bob Hurley. It’s only fitting that the former Florida assistant also spent the last six years on Bobby Hurley’s staff at Arizona State. Burno takes over one of the MAC’s struggling programs, but could certainly surprise in the coming years.

337. Darris Nichols (Radford) (Last year: N/A)

  • Overall record: 0-0

Like several of the coaches so far, it’s the first head coaching job for Nichols this season, taking over a pretty good program at Radford. He’s spent the last decade on D1 staffs, including seven years under Mike White at Louisiana Tech and Florida. Time will tell how he transitions into the head coaching role, but that Big South is very winnable for these Highlanders, and Nichols did grow up in Radford.

336. David Kiefer (Southeastern Louisiana) (Last year: 332)

  • Overall record: 16-41

Kiefer got the top job with the Lions back in 2019, having spent four years on staff before Jay Ladner departed the program. Himself a former assistant under Bob Huggins and Frank Martin, Kiefer’s worked at the high school, junior college, and D1 levels, but this has been the beginning of his head coaching career. He’s won just eight games each of his first two years; there’s plenty of work ahead.

335. Dylan Howard (Alabama A&M) (Last year: 345)

  • Overall record: 19-58

This past season was progress for Howard, finishing with his best winning percentage since taking over at Alabama A&M in 2018. The former head coach at Hardin-Simmons and North Park played his college ball for Gene Bartow at UAB and has been an assistant at a number of schools. It’s still early, but he’s doing solid work in his first D1 head coaching post, but can he get the Bulldogs over the top in the coming years?

334. Amir Abdur-Rahim (Kennesaw State) (Last year: 331)

  • Overall record: 6-47

Though progress has been slow in his first two years at Kennesaw State, there’s a lot to like about Abdur-Rahim’s background. He played collegiately under Billy Kennedy at Southeastern Louisiana and later served on Kennedy’s staffs at Murray State and Texas A&M. He also spent time at Georgia, helping recruit top-pick Anthony Edwards. Last season’s five wins were actually a big improvement for the Owls, but is it just the beginning?

333. Quinton Ferrell (Presbyterian) (Last year: 346)

  • Overall record: 17-37

An alumnus of Presbyterian, Ferrell came back as head coach in 2019 and is still only just getting started. A former assistant at a few schools, he had a long stint under Earl Grant at Charleston before returning home. His first two seasons haven’t been great, especially with a tenth place finish in the Big South last year, but year three could lead the Blue Hose to new heights.

332. Dwayne Killings (Albany) (Last year: N/A)

  • Overall record: 0-0

It’s new beginnings for Killings and Albany, as he takes over a Great Danes program that has had fantastic moments but needed new leadership. Killings has been an assistant at the collegiate and NBA level, spending time at Temple, UConn, and Marquette in recent years. His first head coaching job comes with a program that could certainly be a contender in the America East one day soon.

331. Will Ryan (Green Bay) (Last year: 354)

  • Overall record: 8-17

Ryan begins his second year with the Phoenix after a solid enough start to his tenure last year. He played and coached under father Bo, mostly at Wisconsin, and also spent time on staff at North Dakota State and Ohio under Saul Phillips. He spent a single season at Wheeling, a D2 school, before taking over at Green Bay last year, so he’s only just getting started with his coaching journey.

330. Clayton Bates (Western Michigan) (Last year: 334)

  • Overall record: 5-16

A former player for Lon Kruger at Florida, last season was Bates’ first as head coach, taking over the program at Western Michigan. Bates had previously spent most of two decades on staff with the Broncos, also picking up experience at Jacksonville and Wright State as an assistant. Bates won just five games last season, but it’s still too early to tell what’s going to happen at Western Michigan with him pushing the buttons.

329. Kyle Neptune (Fordham) (Last year: N/A)

  • Overall record: 0-0

Neptune finally gets his shot to run his own program, taking over a Fordham program that has really struggled in recent years, becoming something of a doormat in the A-10. Neptune spent time at Niagara and was an assistant for nearly a decade at Villanova. He was on staff for the Wildcats’ national title wins in 2016 and 2018. He’ll bring that championship pedigree to Fordham, but fixing these Rams will be quite the project.

328. Carson Cunningham (Incarnate Word) (Last year: 340)

  • Overall record: 23-61

Incarnate Word is relatively new to D1 athletics, but Cunningham is trying to make this a potent program, now entering his fourth season with the Cardinals. A native of Northwest Indiana, Cunningham played at Purdue before becoming a high school coach near where he grew up. He then spent five years building Carroll (MT) into a fantastic NAIA program and has seen this Incarnate Word program improve in each of his first three seasons.

327. Anthony Boone (Central Arkansas) (Last year: 317)

  • Overall record: 14-31

Boone took over as interim head coach in 2019 and last year was very up in the air for the college basketball world, meaning this is basically Boone’s first real season to run his program. A former basketball star at Ole Miss, his career saw him spend many years under coaches Tevester Anderson and Russ Pennell, succeeding the latter at Central Arkansas. He leads the Bears into a new conference this year, can they make waves in the Atlantic Sun?

326. Kenny Blakeney (Howard) (Last year: 330)

  • Overall record: 5-33

It was a long trip that took Blakeney from playing at Duke to taking his first head coaching job two years ago with the Bison. His assistant coaching career took him all over the east coast, with stints at Seton Hall, Harvard, and Columbia among others along the journey. It’s hard to judge last season, as Howard played just five games, but Blakeney seems to be making major headway on the recruiting front and we’ll see if that can pay off in a full season in the MEAC.

325. Brett Nelson (Holy Cross) (Last year: 343)

  • Overall record: 8-40

Nelson’s third year at Holy Cross begins as he looks to continue pushing these Crusaders in the right direction. Nelson previously spent more than a dozen years as a collegiate assistant, including five years at Marquette before nabbing the Holy Cross job. Year one was rough, but Holy Cross did improve to a 5-11 mark last season. Nelson has this program trending in a positive direction.

324. Richard Barron (Maine) (Last year: 335)

  • Overall record: 16-56

It’s been a strange road that’s led Barron to coaching this Maine squad, but he’s doing what he can with the opportunity. Barron spent more than two decades coaching women, including six years with the Maine women’s squad as head coach. Since taking over the men’s team in 2018, there’s been steady improvement, though this team isn’t yet close to competing for America East titles.

323. Brian Barone (SIU Edwardsville) (Last year: 347)

  • Overall record: 17-40

Barone begins his third season as head coach at SIU Edwardsville, looking to build on the improvement from last year. He played his college ball under Tom Crean and later was on his staff at both Marquette and Indiana. Barone also spent time under coaches like Porter Moser and Brian Wardle before being promoted to the top job with the Cougars in 2019. Is he the coach to finally make some headway at the D1 level?

322. Bucky McMillan (Samford) (Last year: 356)

  • Overall record: 6-13

Since starring at Birmingham Southern fifteen years ago, taking the Samford job last season marked McMillan’s return to college basketball, having spent the beginning of his head coaching career at the high school level. He built Mountain Brook HS into one of the nation’s best programs and is only just getting started with the Bulldogs, even if he won just six games in his debut campaign.

321. John Smith (Cal Poly) (Last year: 329)

  • Overall record: 11-43

Smith has been coaching college basketball in California for two decades and has been with the Mustangs since 2019. He had successful stints coaching two junior colleges, leading Riverside CC to a whole host of success. The former assistant at Cal State Fullerton is trying to produce his own magic in the Big West, though there’s still a lot of work to be done for a program that went just 1-15 in conference play last year.