Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: 10 best first-year head coaches through January of 2023-24 season

Brigham Young v Texas Tech
Brigham Young v Texas Tech / John E. Moore III/GettyImages
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8. Aaron Fearne – Charlotte

Back in June, Charlotte head coach Ron Sanchez departed the school to return to Virginia, rejoining mentor Tony Bennett’s as the Cavaliers’ top assistant. The 49ers won the CBI last season and joined the AAC this season, meaning the promotion of Fearne wasn’t the only thing new in Charlotte this season, though it looks like they made a great decision to stay in-house.

A native of Australia, Fearne had spent his entire career coaching in his home country before Sanchez lured him to his staff back in 2018. After spending those last five seasons with the 49ers, it was natural for Fearne to become interim head coach, a title he continues to hold this season. Considering how this team is playing in recent weeks, perhaps it’ll be the full-time move.

They haven’t been perfect, but the highlight is definitely their January 6th win against a ranked Florida Atlantic squad that was certainly the favorite in the AAC. While the nonconference slate didn’t exactly inspire confidence, Charlotte has now won six games in a row and sit atop the league standings. Can they keep up this fine play and will Fearne secure the full-time gig?