Busting Brackets

Big East Basketball: Ranking all 11 head coaches for 2024-25 season

Connecticut Huskies head coach Dan Hurley cuts the basketball net winning the Men's NCAA national
Connecticut Huskies head coach Dan Hurley cuts the basketball net winning the Men's NCAA national / Michael Chow/The Republic / USA TODAY
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4. Greg McDermott (Creighton)

With three decades of head coaching experience, McDermott is certainly an established name in this sport. A frontcourt player in the mid-80’s, his head coaching career saw success at Wayne State, North Dakota State, and Northern Iowa before getting a Big 12 post at Iowa State back in 2006. Unfortunately, McDermott underachieved and was fired after just four seasons with the Cyclones, but he certainly landed on his feet.

McDermott was hired by 2010 and has been a revelation for the Bluejays. He led the program into the Big East, has a flurry of Tournament appearances, and has done nothing but win, even while his teams adjusted to life in a power conference. Most recently, he’s had Creighton finish Top 4 in the Big East in each of the last eight seasons, with an Elite Eight last season and two more Sweet Sixteen’s, including last month.

3. Shaka Smart (Marquette)

This Wisconsin native flew under the radar as a point guard at Kenyon, but Smart has certainly come onto the college basketball scene as a head coach. A former Florida assistant, Smart began his head coaching journey at VCU, leading the Rams to that incredible run to the Final Four as an 11-seed in his second season. After six outstanding years at VCU, he was hired by Texas and had six interesting seasons with the Longhorns, though without that same postseason success.

After Texas made a coaching chance, Smart bounced back nicely in his home state, taking the Marquette job in 2021. Last year he took the Golden Eagles to regular season and tournament titles in the Big East while this year’s team made the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in over a decade. This Marquette program is in remarkably better shape since Smart was brought into the program and his career is trending sharply upwards yet again.