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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4. Jamie Dixon (TCU)

During his playing days, Dixon was a star player at TCU back in the mid-80’s but he’s turned into an even more fantastic coach. An assistant at several schools, including several stints with Ben Howland, Dixon’s head coaching career began in earnest at Pittsburgh back in 2003 in succeeding Howland. Over the next thirteen years he led the Panthers to 11 Tourney bids, an Elite Eight, and a CBI title before choosing to return to his alma mater.

Basketball hasn’t historically been successful at TCU but Dixon has changed that since 2016. He immediately won an NIT title and then led the Horned Frogs to their first Tourney in several decades. Dixon has built consistency with TCU, leading them to the last three NCAA Tournaments. The figures may not look impressive on the surface but Dixon has done this all at TCU, and that’s after a great run in the Big East.

3. Kelvin Sampson (Houston)

One of the current legends in college basketball, Sampson has been coaching ball for 45 years, dating back to serving as a graduate assistant at Michigan State. He was head coach at Montana Tech, Washington State, Oklahoma, and Indiana, leading the Sooners to a Final Four before a recruiting scandal doomed his time with the Hoosiers. After six years in the NBA, Sampson marked his return at Houston in 2014 and has been incredible.

Things started slow for the Cougars, but Sampson has built quite the juggernaut in Houston. His Cougars have reached at least the Sweet Sixteen in each of the last five NCAA Tournaments, including a Final Four run back in 2021. Most notably, the Cougars won the regular season title last season in their very first year in the Big 12, proving that their dominance of the AAC was no fluke. Sampson has done incredible work building yet another program and boasts more than 700 career wins.