Busting Brackets

ACC Basketball: Ranking all 18 head coaches for 2024-25 season

Mar 4, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA;  Duke Blue Devils head coach Jon Scheyer and North
Mar 4, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils head coach Jon Scheyer and North / Jaylynn Nash-USA TODAY Sports
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8. Kyle Smith (Stanford)

Considering one of the most brilliant head coaches in the nation, Smith spent nearly two decades as a collegiate assistant before getting his head coaching career started at Columbia. Where Smith stands out is that he’s rebuilt several programs into solid success. Not only did he win games at Columbia, but he turned around San Francisco and is fresh off a trip to the NCAA Tournament with Washington State.

Smith won a CIT with the Lions, took the Dons to three-straight 20-win campaigns, and just took the Cougars to their first Big Dance in 16 years. Washington State finished 2nd in the final Pac-12 standings and won their opening round Tourney game. With that program abandoned by conference realignment, Smith jumped to Stanford, inheriting a Cardinals program that joins the ACC. The Cardinal hope he can engineer a fourth major turnaround in his career, though it’s even tougher than his first three jobs.

7. Brad Brownell (Clemson)

Now a head coach for more than two decades, Brownell has quietly been sneaky good at Clemson, though that was certainly on display during an Elite Eight run this year. Looking back, Brownell took both UNC Wilmington and Wright State to the Big Dance across four-year campaigns with both schools before taking the Tigers’ job back in 2010.

While the last fourteen years have resulted in just four trips to the NCAA Tournament, Clemson has taken advantage when they’ve gotten there, with a Sweet Sixteen in 2018 followed by this year’s wild run, with the Tigers falling just short of their first Final Four. Brownell has quietly built some really competitive teams at Clemson, finishing Top 5 in the ACC in three of the last four seasons. His stock has never been higher after that great breakthrough in year 14.