Busting Brackets

SEC Basketball: Ranking all 16 head coaches for 2024-25 season

Alabama head coach Nate Oats encourages his team against Connecticut during the Final Four semifinal
Alabama head coach Nate Oats encourages his team against Connecticut during the Final Four semifinal / Patrick Breen/The Republic / USA TODAY
4 of 9

12. Chris Jans (Mississippi State)

Jans has coached basketball at a long list of colleges for more than three decades, including at four different junior colleges as head coach. He’s assisted at several schools, including under Porter Moser and Gregg Marshall, and was previously head coach at Bowling Green and New Mexico State. He did fantastic work with the Aggies, leading New Mexico State to three NCAA Tournaments and a first round upset over UConn in 2022.

Shortly after that success, Jans took the head coach job at Mississippi State and has been pretty solid in his first two seasons with the Bulldogs. In each season Mississippi State won 21 games and finished 9th in the SEC, though both seasons ended with trips to the Big Dance. We’ll have to see what’s on the horizon for this program, but Jans is off to a solid start in a very tough conference, though he’ll have to have a significant run or better conference finish to find himself higher on these kinds of lists.

11. Todd Golden (Florida)

Certainly among the rising names in the coaching world, Golden played for Randy Bennett at Saint Mary’s and has been a collegiate coach for more than a decade. Still under 40 years old, Golden already has plenty of experience, aiding Bruce Pearl in the SEC at Auburn, and winning a ton of games across three years as head coach at San Francisco. He took the Dons to the Big Dance in 2022 and spent six total years with that program on the West Coast.

Since 2022, Golden has been back on the East Coast since taking the Florida job. It’s hard to judge too much after just two seasons, even in today’s day and age, but the Gators showed great promise this past season, returning to the NCAA Tournament while winning 24 games. Golden is one of the great young coaching minds in the sport, though a lack of postseason success is holding him back from the higher tiers of coaches in this conference.