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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6. Tommy Lloyd (Arizona)

Lloyd played forward at three different West Coast schools and has spent all of his career on that side of the country. He gained notoriety as a coach on Mark Few’s staff at Gonzaga, becoming the international recruiting expert for the Bulldogs. Not only did he help Gonzaga land plenty of talent, but helped coach the program to two title game appearances and a slew of NCAA Tournament success.

Lloyd got his own head coaching career started at Arizona back in 2021, taking quite the job for his own debut. His first three years with the Wildcats have been filled with winning, with two Pac-12 regular season titles, two Pac-12 Tournament titles, and two trips to the Sweet Sixteen. The program has been trending in a great direction, even with a few Tournament upsets, and now faces quite the new challenge in the Big 12, but 88 wins in three years is one insane coaching debut.

5. T. J. Otzelberger (Iowa State)

A Milwaukee native, Otzelberger is another prominent coach who came out of nowhere, playing ball at Wisconsin-Whitewater before coaching at the high school level. He was hired as an assistant at Iowa State in 2006 and would aid the next three head coaches. His head coaching journey started with prominence at South Dakota State before a two-year jaunt on the West Coast at UNLV.

Iowa State called him back as head coach in 2021 and his first three seasons have been quite prosperous. He immediately led the Cyclones to the Sweet Sixteen and repeated the feat this past season, also winning the Big 12 Tournament title. Four Tourney wins in three years is a great accomplishment and this year’s Iowa State squad was one of the best in the country, especially on defense. Big things could be ahead for this program with the way Otzelberger has this program trending.