Rod Barnes - Bakersfield
Barnes has led the Roadrunners to several program milestones starting with his first season making their first NCAA DI postseason appearance. Barnes also won his 200th game as a DI head coach. The “independent” 2012 COY continues his roll with 20 wins again this season entering post season play.
Jerrod Calhoun - Fairmont State
Making coaching as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. 1, he re-energized the program with a 17-5 record. 2, finished fourth in the MEC at 20-10. 3, the squad made a huge turnaround mid-season to finish on a 12-1 streak leading to numerous all conference player honors. 4, saw a 25 win season, and second NCAA appearance with a first round win. 5, has led to the record of 110-35 (.759) (over all five years) and his teams have been ranked as high as No. 2 in the NABC National Rankings.
Ben McCollom - NW Missouri State
Since 2009 McCollom has elevated the DII program to elite status as the second youngest coach in all DII. So it’s not surprising that it took a couple years to grow into it but in 2011 his team dramatically turned around for a 22-7 record, winning the regular season MIAA crown. In 2012 he was named COY and The Bearcats captured the program's third-straight MIAA regular season title in 2015-16. With only one loss this year his future looks very bright.
Jon Coffman - Fort Wayne
Continuing the recent success in Fort Wayne his own way, Coffman has had many highlights; just ask Indiana fans. True to his word from day one, he continued to build relationships and grow their fan base competing and winning with the best of the very best. We can all now feel the rumble of the Mastodon pack stampeding into March and Coffman onto bigger and better things.
Scott Cross - UT Arlington
Arguably the greatest story of the season, the eleven year veteran has never given up and continually works tirelessly to turn things around by sheer effort, will, and determination. On track to tie if not pass the school’s all-time program wins record (which Cross set just last season) he proves to be more than a one hit wonder ready for the next challenge.
Saul Phillips - Ohio U
Spearheading the largest turn around in school history, under Philips’ Bobcats improve daily and dramatically. Second best in conference scoring defense, they rank first in scoring margin and near the top in many more categories thus delivering a very balanced offense and defense. Phillips himself however, has been referred to as anything but balanced. The jovial personality is one of the key ingredients for his success which will transfer well to any power program.
Craig Smith - South Dakota
The former NAIA COY and branch off the Tim Miles tree, has raised South Dakota to the national horizon. Winning seasons and conference championships follow this guy everywhere he goes. Already one hundred victories in, we see many more coming his way before his successful career is over.
John Becker - Vermont
Five 20-win seasons each with postseason berths, an America East Tournament title (2012), an America East Regular Season crown (2014) and a NCAA Tournament game (2012). His five national postseason tournament wins are a Vermont and America East coaching record. Widely recognized by his peers through various coaching awards over the last few seasons, Becker has quietly proven that he is ready to take is talents to a higher level.
Matt McCall - Chattanooga
He started out at UTC by setting a school record for wins with 29, captured the Southern Conference Regular Season and Tournament Championships and competed in the NCAA Tournament - all in year one as an unknown. Now a regular on our rankings and no longer able to sneak up on anyone, McCall simply wins the head to head contest; Nineteen times so far and counting.
Earl Grant - Charleston
In only two years he turned the program into one of the most improved NCAA DI teams and developed four all-conference players including CAA Rookie of the Year and All-CAA Third Team selections. Nationally ranked eighth in scoring defense, he learned under Clemson defensive specialist Brad Brownell. Also a top shelf recruiter, he landed All-ACC selections ACC Defensive Player of the Year, and NBA draftees at Clemson. He is ready to do it again at a power conference school.
Dan Muller - Illinois State
A young rising star in the game, Muller is developing his Alma Mater to new heights by attacking with nationally top ten ranked schedules. His players have risen to the challenge and their efforts will lift him even higher. Muller is the first coach in ISU history to beat four Top-25 teams in his first four seasons, whcih is tied for the most ever recorded by a Redbird head coach. Now a proven commodity, it won’t be long for someone to come calling.
LeVelle Moton - NCCU
Known as one of the most influential leaders in college basketball, he is impacting and developing youth culture through basketball from his own experiences. In today’s era of coaching tree’s, Moton had only his own bootstraps and two hands to lift himself up. Long overdue for that great assist, he and his Eagles continually soar through their own good graces; all the way to anther 20 plus win season and another conference championship.
Mike Rhoades - Rice
Current Cornell assistant and former Rice staffer Adam Gierlach told us a few years ago, “Rice will rise to the top quicker than most people think.” And he was absolutely right. In Houston the newly built Rhoades (only two years old) lead directly to 15 wins in C-USA, the most by a two year coach since 1994. He has coached two All-Conference USA members, including 2016 C-USA Freshman of the Year. Under Rhoades Rice is Rising!!
King Rice - Monmouth
Rice has achieved goals in creating awareness, enhancing reputation, building pride and creating culture where there was none. His historic hop from obscurity to national news focusing the spotlight on his team, the school, and himself has left a lasting impression greater than their super bowl add. Ranking in the top three for ninety-five percent of all conference stats and their second consecutive conference championship, no one can deny him any longer.
Mark Schmidt - St. Bonaventure
Simply amazing. The job he has done in a difficult position where many have tried and none have finished. Schmidt stands alone as the big dog on campus ironically famous for rescuing a program completely snowed under. He grabbed the program by his teeth and ripped them out into the light of multiple 20 win seasons, top A-10 finishes, and multiple post season tournaments. He is well deserving of the next challenge.
Pat Kelsey - Winthrop
Tradition is the one word that best describes this Xavier legacy. Leading the nation in defensive team efficiency, dynamic offensive units, three-point shooting, he is the best thing to happen to Winthrop since Gregg Marshall and we all saw what happened when he got a shot at the next level. Kelsey has built something that will sustain long after his departure and he will do the same thing at his next stop; continually building tradition after tradition.
Joe Dooley - FGCU
With his name taking on a life of its own milling about coaching rumors for the better part of three years now, Dooley should to be earning a licensing fee. Still he continues about his work in Dunk City. That work being well deserving of all the talk and includes a third-straight 20-win season in 2015-16 as the Eagles won their second Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Championship in four years. FGCU also won its third NCAA Tournament game in four years.
Steve DeMeo - NW FL
DeMeo is always preaching fast, fast, fast. True to his teachings, it didn't take long to race up the ladder. Barely a week ago he stood on the top step cutting down the nets after winning their regular season championship and a number one ranking. Today he remains on the top step ready to leap forward to a DI head coaching post.
Russell Turner - UC Irvine
The former NBA coach Turner(ed) Wake Forest and Stanford before taking up the head coaching spot at UCI where he Turner(ed) something special. Involved with a number of high profile jobs in the past, Turner has proven his loyalties and the stick-to-in-to-it-ive-ness blending the high basketball IQ into the perseverance and tenacity. The community conscience versatile and defensive coach always puts his teams in the best position to win.
Kevin Keatts - UNCW
From Southwestern Michigan College to Hargrave Military to Marshall back to Hargrave (two national championships in his second stint) on to Louisville, down to UNCW where he was named both CAA COY and regular season/ tournament champion in his two years….and we are about to see a three peat. However, we are confident there will not be a fourth; not in the CAA anyway.
Kermit Davis - Middle Tennessee State
History has a way of repeating. During the second Battle of Leuctra we saw play out in modern day St Louis a year ago, the Spartans immense influence was shattered. The General leading the charge has since been one of the hottest names in college basketball. But the reality is a process just as long as history itself that Davis started in 2002. Today the fight continues winning the regular season C-USA championship and ranking among the nation’s top twenty-five in Assist to Turnover Ratio, Fewest Turnovers, FG percentage, Scoring defense Scoring margin, Win Lost percentage and more.
Steve Forbes - ETSU
Simply take the time to speak with basketball people and you will quickly learn what the administration at ETSU discovered a few years back; “Forbes is one of the preeminent coaches in the country.” Armed with a reputation almost as stellar as his performance on the court and current twenty win season, it’s easy to see that his time in Johnson City may be nearing an end.
Eric Musselman - Nevada
Another NBA guy now in college, he has the Wolfpack howling at the moon. The Mountain West COY has guided his pack to a team winning percentage jump from 31 to 60, which ranked as the 11th best improvement nationally. According to one local reporter, ”No coach in Nevada basketball history has done a better job of getting everything out of the talent on the roster. It might be the best coaching job in Wolf Pack hoops history.”
Will Wade - VCU
By doing what is right and not easy, Wade has continued to develop his brand of basketball. Equipped with a strong desire that sets him apart, he is a diamond taking form from the rough right before our very eyes. Wade continues to climb up and up as indicated by all the plus signs in front of every VCU statistic in Ken Pom’s advanced analytics, as well as every other ranking in existence. We can’t wait to see him set his mark at the highest level.
Archie Miller - Dayton
The youngest and last remaining heir of the legendary Miller dynasty yet to take his throne, Archie has kept the tradition alive and thriving in Dayton Ohio by way of 115 wins and counting. It’s a record that includes four trips to the post season, three consecutive trips to the NCAA and an Elite Eight run in 2014. The three straight NCAA berths marks a first in the rich 50 year history of Dayton basketball.
Held in high esteem by their colleagues and the basketball community while demonstarting a high level of sucess on and off the court, these are the top head coaches to ride the carousel.