Top 5 Active College Basketball Coaches Who Could Reach 900 Wins
College Basketball: Top 5 Active Coaches Who Could Reach 900 Wins
Jim Boeheim has just passed the 900 win plateau, and with the accomplishment, it makes one wonder how hard it is to win 900 games. The simple answer is very hard. If you're just speaking in mathematics, a person would have to coach 30 years and average 30 victories per season. Both those numbers are pretty unrealistic no matter how you try to justify them. You can sit here, trust me I've tried, and try to break down how many wins per season, plus years at the helm it would take, just to make it seem easier to obtain.
So in an effort to further figure out how hard it would be for an active coach to reach 900 victories, I started researching all the records for said coaches. After that I tried to put together a list of coaches who could one day reach the 900 victory milestone. I figured, before I really dug into the numbers, that there would be numerous older coaches who were ballpark close to 900, I was incredibly wrong. Of the three closest active coaches to 900, only one of them is under 60 years of age(59) and all of them still have a very long road to go.
After my failed attempt to be lazy and just use the closest guys to the 900 mark, I went in the opposite direction. I started to research young coaches who started off well, while still having to average 27 wins a year, have the next closes shot to achieving what only Boeheim, Bob Knight, and Mike Krzyzewski did before them.
I tried my best. The original format was going to be 10 or 15 guys who could reach 900 wins next, but that attempt proved futile. The best I could do was five coaches who could reach the 900 wins. However, even at five, the guys included don't fit perfectly and the concept feels stretched. Yet nobody reads list articles with only two guys on it. So with that, I present to you, Top 5 Active Coaches Who Could Reach 900 Wins...
Joe covers the Catholic Seven for Rant Sports. For the love of Sam Cassell follow him on the Twitter machine @JosephNardone
Bob Huggins has one of the most ironic nicknames in college hoops, Huggy Bear. Huggins isn't remotely a lovable character, known for his reckless behavior as much as his coaching ability. Even with Huggins missteps, he is the closest active coach to 900 wins, with 717 wins under his belt. So even with 30 years of coaching behind him, Huggins is still 183 victories away.
To make a realistic run at 900 Huggins, needs to coach around one more decade and avoid trouble. Being at the tender age of 59 it's still in the realm of possibility. However, you know what else is in the realm of possibility? Alien invasion. I'd actually think the latter is more likely.
Roy Williams wins a ton of games every year and is at the right place to rattle off as many as humanly possible. Williams is at 684 at the moment and that puts him 216 wins away. Williams averages well over 20 wins a season so he'd need less than a decade to do it. Although, as with most of the older coaches, time is running out on his coaching career. Williams is 62 and seems to be in the twilight of his coaching career.
Rick Pitino is 60, still recruits well, and can even convince ladies to have "indiscretions " with him at restaurants. Well Pitino still might be chugging along and beating the living Sam Cassell out of life, he only(relatively speaking) has 639 victories, putting him 261 away from 900. While Pitino is like fine wine, seemingly getting better with age, nobody knows what his future holds. Pitino can do anything he wants to at this point. Whether it be retiring, doing TV, heading(back) to the NBA, or getting busy in a Burger Kin....Okay, you get the point.
Some guys just have the pedigree and scream "I'm a winner." Shaka Smart is only 35 years old and already has 91 victories under his belt. Although his coaching sample is small, less than 4 years, he averages over 27 victories per season. Smart will have to stay consistent, maybe find a more suitable program, and rattle off victories at the same pace for close to three more decades to reach 900. Still, he's only 509 wins away!
36 years old, already played in a National Championship game, and looks like he's your favorite librarian from elementary school, Brad Stevens has already amassed 150 victories. Stevens seems like a guy who is programmed to make the Butler Bulldogs a traditional power rather than a guy who wants to jump ship to an already established program. This could actually work in his favor as Butler is expected to join the "Catholic Seven" to form a super-hoops conference.
Stevens is actually on a great pace to reach 900, however to reach it he will need to avoid the pitfalls of many young successful coaches before him. Jumping ship, the NBA, resting on his past success, could all come back and haunt Stevens down the road. But if I was a better man, which I'm not(?), I would put my money on him.
To find out if I'm right, we'll only have to wait 25 or more years.