Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Ranking all 362 D-I head coaches for 2023-24 season

Nov 20, 2022; Spokane, Washington, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari, left, shakes hands with Gonzaga Bulldogs head coach Mark Few before a game at Spokane Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 20, 2022; Spokane, Washington, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari, left, shakes hands with Gonzaga Bulldogs head coach Mark Few before a game at Spokane Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports /
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NCAA Basketball
NCAA Basketball Grand Canyon Antelopes head coach Bryce Drew Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

70. Steve Prohm (Murray State) (Last year: 66)

  • Overall record: 218-139

Prohm’s college career began as a volunteer assistant under Billy Kennedy at Centenary, though Prohm would later follow Kennedy to two other schools. He was an assistant at Murray State for five years before ascending to the top job himself, leading the Racers to an NCAA Tournament win in his first season. Prohm spent six years at Iowa State and did make a Sweet Sixteen but had a horrific final season with the Cyclones. In a twist of fate, Murray State brought him back for a second stint last season, with the Racers finishing 7th in their first season in the MVC.

69. Cliff Ellis (Coastal Carolina) (Last year: 68)

  • Overall record: 830-561

A long time ago, Ellis was a high school and junior college head coach before South Alabama hired him in 1975. He’s spent 44 years as D1 head coach, with decade-long stints at South Alabama, Clemson, and Auburn with success at times at each school. Coastal Carolina hired him in 2007 and became his fourth school he’d lead to the Big Dance. He won a few Big South titles before helping the Chanticleers transition to the Sun Belt several years back, though last year’s 11-20 mark was his worst season at Coastal Carolina.

68. Bryce Drew (Grand Canyon) (Last year: 72)

  • Overall record: 228-135

Drew starred under his father Homer at Valparaiso and hit an unforgettable shot in the Big Dance back in 1998. After playing six years in the NBA, he began his coaching career at his alma mater, including five seasons as head coach. Not only did Drew lead Valparaiso to the NCAA Tournament, but he did the same at Vanderbilt before being fired after just three seasons. In 2020, Grand Canyon brought him into the program and he’s had phenomenal success. Drew has led the Antelopes to their first two trips to the NCAA Tournament, including this past year after another WAC Tournament title.

67. Bob Richey (Furman) (Last year: 97)

  • Overall record: 139-54

This past year was a significant breakthrough for Richey, who remains a rising name in the coaching world and is still just 40 years old. He had stints as an assistant at Charleston Southern and Furman before ascending to the Paladins’ top job in 2017. He’s led Furman to a Top 3 finish in a strong SoCon in each of his first six seasons, but last year took the cake. Not only did he lead the Paladins to regular season and tournament titles in the SoCon, but Furman upset Virginia in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

66. Will Wade (McNeese State) (Last year: N/A)

  • Overall record: 196-96

Despite a bizarre fall from grace, Wade is back in the college game this season at McNeese State. His career began as a graduate assistant at Clemson and included his contributions as an assistant at VCU during their run to the Final Four. Wade had great two-year stints as head coach at both Chattanooga and VCU before engineering at turnaround at LSU. However, he was fired by the Tigers after several violations. McNeese State provides him a soft landing and there’s hope he can win Southland titles with these Cowboys.

65. Craig Smith (Utah) (Last year: 65)

  • Overall record: 181-114

Early in his career, Smith was an assistant under Tim Miles, working under him at several schools including Colorado State and Nebraska. Formerly an NAIA head coach, his first D1 head coaching experience came at South Dakota just under a decade ago. He led a turnaround for the Coyotes and then took Utah State to immense success across three seasons before he was hired by Utah in 2021. The Utes are slowly turning this around, with Smith’s program finishing 7th in the Pac-12 last season, which is actually a big step forward.

64. Ben Jacobson (Northern Iowa) (Last year: 62)

  • Overall record: 335-219

A former point guard and assistant at North Dakota, Jacobson has spent more than two decades involved with basketball at Northern Iowa. He was an assistant under Greg McDermott for five years before succeeding him in 2006. During that time, the Panthers have won four NCAA Tournament games, including unforgettable shots by Ali Farokhmanesh in 2010 and Paul Jesperson in 2016. The Panthers recently won the MVC title, but finished just 8th place in the league last season, winning just 14 games on the year.

63. Kevin Keatts (NC State) (Last year: 80)

  • Overall record: 185-107

We’re not quite sure yet how much of a winner Keatts will be at NC State, but he did have great success at Hargrave Military Academy. He helped Louisville win the national title in 2013 as an assistant and won 72 games in three years at UNC Wilmington before taking the NC State job in 2017. The Wolfpack weren’t trending in a great direction recently, finishing dead last in the ACC in 2022, but Keatts helped turn things around. Last year he got the Wolfpack to the NCAA Tournament for a second time and finished 6th in the ACC.

62. Archie Miller (Rhode Island) (Last year: 53)

  • Overall record: 215-143

Miller has played and coached at some impressive basketball schools during his career. He was an assistant at NC State, Arizona State, Ohio State, and Arizona before beginning his head coaching career at Dayton. Miller was overwhelmingly success with the Flyers, including four straight trips to the Big Dance, but really struggled and was fired after just four years at Indiana. Eyeing a bounce back, he took the Rhode Island job this past offseason but he’ll need a few years with the Rams, finishing just 14th place in the A-10 in year one.

61. Leon Rice (Boise State) (Last year: 73)

  • Overall record: 268-155

Rice bounced around as an assistant at a few schools in the West Coast before he caught on at Gonzaga, joining new head coach Mark Few’s staff in 1999. After eleven years as an assistant with the Bulldogs he took his first D1 head coaching job at Boise State. Simply put, Rice has been a revelation with the Broncos, leading the program to four NCAA Tournaments and keeping them competitive in the MWC on a yearly basis. Just a year removed from a conference title, Rice took the Broncos to 24 wins and a second straight trip to the Big Dance last season.