November 4, 2011

Preseason power rankings: Coaches

EARLIER: Freshmen | Centers | Power forwards | Small forwards | Point guards | Shooting guards

The man who soon will top the list for career coaching wins naturally heads into the 2011-12 season atop our power rankings.

Duke's Mike Krzyzewski heads into his 37th season with a coaching record of 900-284. He needs two more wins to match former mentor Bob Knight as the winningest Division I college basketball coach in history. Krzyzewski played for Knight at Army.

That makes Krzyzewski the obvious choice as the No. 1 coach in the preseason edition of the Rivals.com College Basketball Power Rankings, which measure the nation's top performers at each position.

Krzyzewski gets the nod over Connecticut's Jim Calhoun, who just won his third national title after the Huskies' remarkable postseason run through the Big East and NCAA tournaments. The top five coaches on our list have all won national championships.

[Season preview: Countdown to tipoff]

This list concludes our unveiling of the preseason power rankings. Our only 2011 changes to the preseason rankings will come in mid-December. We will start delivering weekly updates to the rankings in January.

The top 20 coaches
1. Mike Krzyzewski, Duke
Krzyzewski owns a 900-284 record and needs just two more victories to tie Bob Knight's record of 902 career wins. He has won four national championships (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010) and has 11 Final Four appearances.
2. Jim Calhoun, Connecticut
His third national title last season was the most unlikely of all, as the Huskies won the Big East and NCAA tournaments after finishing ninth in the conference's regular-season standings. Even after losing Kemba Walker to the NBA, Calhoun has a legitimate shot at getting back to the Final Four.
His midseason decision to move PG Kendall Marshall into the starting lineup last season helped the Tar Heels wrest the ACC regular-season title from Duke. The Heels have enough talent to give Williams an excellent shot at his third national title in the past eight seasons.
Although he's coming off a rare disappointing season, Izzo rarely stays down for long. His remarkable track record includes one national title (2000) and six Final Four appearances.
Yes, he has endured plenty of postseason disappointment. Self also has won one national title (2008) and seven consecutive Big 12 regular-season championships. He's one of only four coaches in Division I history to lead three schools (Tulsa, Illinois and Kansas) to a regional final.
Although his recruiting prowess has overshadowed his coaching acumen, Calipari did an outstanding job last spring leading a young Kentucky team into the Final Four as a No. 4 seed. Calipari has reached the Final Four at three schools (UMass, Memphis and Kentucky), though the Kentucky appearance is the only one that hasn't been vacated.
An early exit in the past two NCAA tournaments has Pitino ranked lower than usual, but his overall track record remains outstanding. Pitino owns a 597-220 record that includes a 1996 national title. He has led three schools (Providence, Kentucky and Louisville) to the Final Four.
Boeheim owns the NCAA record for most 20-win seasons with 33. He has reached three Final Fours (1987, 1996 and 2003) and won the national championship in '03.
Donovan built Florida into a basketball power and has produced 13 consecutive 20-win seasons, including back-to-back national championships in 2006 and '07. The Gators also reached the championship game in 2000 and reached a regional final last season.
10. Brad Stevens, Butler
Stevens doesn't have the career track record of the other coaches in our top 10, but who has accomplished more the past two seasons? Stevens' ability to reach back-to-back NCAA championships games with Butler is one of the greatest achievements in recent college basketball history.
Huggins is heading into his 30th season with a 691-253 career record that includes Final Four appearances with Cincinnati (1992) and West Virginia (2010). He has won at least 20 games in 25 of his 29 seasons.
Matta's 292-88 overall record includes a 190-57 mark at Ohio State, giving him more wins in his first seven seasons at Columbus than any previous coach in school history. He has won at least 20 games in each of his 11 seasons as a coach. His 2007 Ohio State team reached the NCAA tournament final.
The highest-ranked coach on our list without a Final Four appearance, Dixon has a 188-54 record through his first seven seasons. His .698 Big East winning percentage is the best league mark in conference history. He has never missed the NCAA tournament as a coach.
The Bruins bounced back from a disappointing 2009-10 season and returned to the NCAA tournament last season, but Howland's on this list because of what he accomplished earlier in his tenure. Howland led UCLA to three consecutive Final Four appearances from 2006-08 and reached the championship game in 2006.
Miller made Arizona a national contender again faster than anyone could have anticipated. In his second year on the job, Miller took the Wildcats all the way to a regional final last season. He owns a 166-70 career record that also includes a 2008 regional final appearance with Xavier.
This four-time Pac-10 coach of the year owns a career record of 611-281 that includes a 393-167 mark at Stanford and a 64-37 mark at Cal. He led the 2010 Cal team to the school's first Pac-10 title in 50 years. He reached a Final Four with Stanford in 1998.
Ryan's career record of 625-194 includes a 242-91 mark in 10 seasons at Wisconsin. The Badgers have captured five Big Ten titles, posted a 152-11 home record and never missed the NCAA tournament during Ryan's tenure. Ryan's .714 winning percentage in Big Ten games is the best in conference history.
He signed an eight-year contract extension in March after being pursued by Missouri. Painter owns a 163-69 career record that includes a 138-64 mark at Purdue. The Boilers have reached the NCAA tournament five consecutive seasons and have won at least 25 games in each of the past four seasons.
19. Mark Few, Gonzaga
Few led Gonzaga to its 11th West Coast Conference title in a row and its 13th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance last season. He owns a 315-83 record that includes four Sweet 16 appearances in 12 seasons at Gonzaga.
20. Chris Mack, Xavier
Although he isn't nearly as experienced as the other coaches on this list, Mack has done a great job of maintaining Xavier's status as one of the premier programs from outside the six major conferences. He owns a 50-17 overall record that includes a 29-3 mark in Atlantic 10 regular-season competition.

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Steve Megargee is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at smegargee@rivals.com, and you can follow him on Twitter.



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