These former coaches have been out of Division I coaching and staff roles for at least one full season.
While more of an administrator/operations expert than a coach, he simply has to be on this list because he is without a doubt the greatest DOBO in recent years in college basketball. Understands the game, people, and sense of urgency. He isn't a step ahead, he is a mile ahead.
Guided Louisville through their most desperate time and he won 22 games in the process; an amazing accomplishment given the circumstances. Padgett’s basketball bloodlines run deep as his father played at the University of Nevada and his uncle played at New Mexico. His grandfather Jim played for Oregon State and his sister played for San Diego.
His dress was always as intense as his coaching. The most fashionable assistant coach in the in country spent six seasons as an assistant coach under Michigan head coach John Beilein, advancing to the NCAA Tournament each year, won Big Ten Conference regular season championships in 2012 and 2014 and appeared in the Elite 8 in 2014 and the National Championship in 2013.
Hard to forget Harge’s time in DI. He served as an assistant to CSUF, Idaho, and UALR under Porter Moser. He also adds a ton of NBDL expertise. Making the difficult decisions by juggling budgets to prioritize critical parts of the program. A creative, he would be highly impactful for any team especially those allowing for total program overall planning during those ten-hour bus rides.
Johnson has worked all across the country leaving is mark on the coaching community through Little Rock, TCU, Georgia, Nevada, Eastern Illinois and Tulsa, among others. Highly regarded as a great teacher and recruiter, his experience at the highest levels would benefit any staff.
With over 20-years experience there is still much Moore to do in the game. From Wright State to the OVC, Moore set the standard. He coached 18 all-conference performers, three freshmen of the year honorees, eleven 1,000-point scorers and 26 players who have gone on to play professionally. His efforts on the recruiting trail resulted in numerous national top 40 lists with one including Kenneth Faried.
Currently at Ranger JC, Gillispie had previously held HC jobs at UTEP, Texas A&M, Kentucky, and Texas Tech. He is the only coach who ever completed the biggest turnaround in two consecutive seasons. The excellent recruiter once put four straight top-25 recruiting classes. At Texas A&M he achieved three consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time in the program's history.
After a serious health scare several years ago while an assistant at NC State, Moxley is fighting his way back to 100% and at 100% he is one of the best recruiters in the business. Coachstat certainly doesn't have access to medical records etc., but this list could not be formed sans Rob Moxley.
Robinson was an assistant for six years to Bill Carmody at Northwestern, where he was an effective recruiter. He then became HC at Brown running a variation of the Princeton offense learned from Pete Carril during his years at Princeton. He stressed work ethic, tough love, and tried to improve the players' vocabulary. The ’06-‘07 Ivy League COY finished second in the league with a team record 19 wins.
Steinburg voluntarily took a hiatus from his 20-plus years at the college level. A man of integrity, it was time to repay the sacrifices his family made for him to join the coaching ranks years ago. Simply, put, Steinburg "gets-it" and "gets-it-done". Versatile and well-liked and respected among peers, I'd imagine ADs and head coaches are clamoring for his services right now. If not, they need to be!
Grensing has coached in a total of 16 NCAA’s. As the recruiting coordinator at Creighton, he brought in talented players and students. With the Bluejays he enjoyed six NCAA’s and had an Academic All-District selection in seven of eight seasons that included Kyle Korver and Rodney Buford. The advanced scouting and post player development extraordinaire also worked UNLV, K-State, Middle Tennessee State, Idaho State.
Waters spent the last 11 seasons of his career with as the Vikings' head coach, leading CSU to six postseason berths. The Cleveland State all-time leader in wins (194), Horizon League wins (99) and games coached (366), also ranked second in winning percentage (.530). His players graduated and his teams were routinely recognized by the NCAA for top-10 percent APR rankings nationally.
Known for his potent offense, his 2008 team showed his ability to get the most from his players ranking third nationally by shooting 50% fg% while also finishing seventh in assists per game (17.8), 10th in scoring (81.4 ppg) and 20th in 3-point field goal percentage (.393). The team also set school records for points scored (2,767), field goals made (994), 3-point field goals made (271) and assists (605).
Cherry captured four-consecutive regular season Big South titles leading one of just four programs nationally to accomplish the feat during that stretch. He set a school record four-straight post seasons. Born with a sixth sense for winning; he’s cut down the nets at High Point, North Carolina, George Mason, danced with Western Kentucky and helped reload South Carolina, while doing all of it the right way.
The one time Naismith COY finalist guided North Dakota State to overall record of 48–33. Moving on to Eastern Washington, he would guide the Eagles to their best four year stretch in program history at 69–50 (.580) overall that included the school's first post season tourney (NIT) and won their first ever Big Sky Conference Champ. and the school's first ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
The job he did quietly, and effectively, to establish and elevate Vandy, was nothing short of brilliant. Even more so, his players graduate; which can be a challenge in such a high academic institution set to the backdrop of a distracting country music and entertainment hub. But just as entertaining, his players got to do it all playing in a fun setting under one of the best offensive coaches.
Lavin is always in play keeping his finger on the pulse of the game and his face on the top of everyone’s mind through broadcasting. During his eleven full seasons as a head coach, Lavin led teams to ten postseason appearances, highlighted by eight NCAA Tournament berths, an Elite Eight ('97), five NCAA Regional Semifinals ('97, '98, '00, '01, '02) and nine campaigns of twenty or more wins.
Dr. John Giannini
One of the most respected and genuine ambassadors of the game, his sparkling clean way of doing business is always appreciated in today’s game with all the distractions off the court. Setting the standard academically, there should be a number if AD’s interested in this two time winningest coach for two programs (Maine, LaSalle (in A10 play)
A tireless worker that demanded excellence out of his players, he led EMU to their first ever NCAA Tourney while producing their first ever MAC POY. He also served at Cal, and Rice; compiling a career coaching record of 615–517. He is the winningest coach at Eastern Michigan and was named MAC COY three times. As the HC at Cal, he won the Pac-10 COY and had a 202–138 record (.606).
The Lieutenant commanded college basketball as an assistant and HC most notably as a recruiter, skill developer, and top leader. Unique perspective no one can duplicate, the son of Lefty Driesell expounded his basketball IQ while also learning as an assistant under Gary Williams at Maryland.
John Thompson III
A few losses in the recruiting game and some NCAA rule changes that greatly affected his Hoya defense have sidelined this coaches’ son in recent years. But that’s just how the ball bounces in this game. Armed with a high IQ, almost 350 wins, three Ivy League championships, multiple NCAA Tournaments, and a Final Four he is most deservingly at the forefront of basketball minds.
Kermit will be the first to say that the success they enjoyed this year was built on the foundation Kennedy set at Ole Miss. Overall his 12 seasons there held 245 wins that included 11 in postseason play. Highlighted by two NIT Final Fours, two SEC West titles and an SEC Tournament Championship, the two-time SEC COY is the winningest coach in program history at Ole Miss.
Great coach. No denying that. Regardless of past transgressions, his impact on guard play, passing, intuitive movement, interesting offensive system, defending well without fouling, will always be remembered. Attacking the three point shot Pitino ushered in the game, as we know it. He would be # 1 if not for recent blemishes that could scare people.
He separated himself through character and x’s and o’s like the 1-4 high fake UCLA. Winning 75% of his games, has he ever had a losing season? Deep tournament runs and revitalizing a program are the kind of accomplishments that will always ender him to basketball enthusiasts….including AD’s and search firms across the nation.
Winner of the Jim Phelan National COY Finalist (2005), Conference USA regular season Champion (2004), Mid-Atlantic Region COY (2004), twice Conference USA Tournament Champion (1999, 2001), Pfeiffer Athletics Hall of Fame, and UNC Charlotte Alumni Hall of Fame (2002). One of the best the game ever saw, he is still on the short list for numerous jobs and his return would be great for the game.