Busting Brackets

Big 12 Basketball: Ranking all 16 head coaches for 2024-25 season

Kansas coach Bill Self yells out at players in the first half of the Big 12 Conference Tournament
Kansas coach Bill Self yells out at players in the first half of the Big 12 Conference Tournament / Evert Nelson/The Capital-Journal / USA
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10. Craig Smith (Utah)

A collegiate coach for nearly three decades, Smith has bounced around at many schools as both an assistant and head coach. The North Dakota alum assisted Tim Miles at several schools, including Colorado State and Nebraska, and was also a D 2 head coach. Smith experienced success at South Dakota before a great three-year stretch with a pair of Tourney trips at Utah State.

Smith made the short move to Utah in 2021 and has seen decent production across his first three seasons. He’s gradually rebuilt the Utes back into a contender, leading his team to the NIT semifinals this past season in their final year in the Pac-12. The job gets much harder in a competitive Big 12, with Smith looking for that first Big Dance with the Utes. Can he get this program going like at his previous jobs?

9. Tad Boyle (Colorado)

Boyle played college ball at Kansas back in the early 80’s and got into coaching not long after his graduation. He was a high school coach for several years before joining the Oregon staff thirty years ago. After years under Jerry Green and Mark Turgeon, his head coaching career began with four solid years at Northern Colorado before taking the Colorado job way back in 2010.

When he took over, the Buffaloes were still in the Big 12, but Boyle led them to solid success over their 13 years in the Pac-12. He’s taken Colorado to six NCAA Tournaments and three wins, including a thriller just a few weeks ago in this year’s Big Dance. He’ll lead Colorado back to the Big 12 and onto tougher challenges, though he’s kept this Colorado program consistently in contention, but will that continue?