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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6. Sundance Wicks – Green Bay

Nearly four years ago, Green Bay made a strange decision in firing Linc Darner after five seasons, including a trip to the NCAA Tournament. They paid for that move with Will Ryan’s complete failure to run the program, with the Phoenix winning just 16 total games across the next three seasons. Despite this hopelessness, Green Bay was back on the market this past offseason and seems to have hit a home run this time.

Wicks came to the Phoenix by way of Wyoming, where he had assisted Jeff Linder for the last three seasons. He’s previously worked at several schools, including Colorado and San Francisco, and had a decent two-year run as head coach at Missouri Western. Those two years at the D2 level are his only head coaching experience, but unlike Ryan he seems to be adjusting well to leading his own D1 team.

The season started up and down, which was very understandable for a Phoenix team with plenty of new faces, but the Phoenix are playing their best ball at the right time. Green Bay currently sits an impressive 8-3 in the Horizon League, good enough for sole possession of the conference lead. After three abhorrent seasons in a row, it’s hard to expect more from the Phoenix at 13-9.