Ranking Best 1st Year Coaches | Syracusefan.com

Ranking Best 1st Year Coaches

Cuseball

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We have twelve 1st year head coaches across the big conferences. As of Jan 25th here's my ranking. Obviously, things can change with plenty of season left. My conclusions: I didn't think I would have Pitino so high but there seems to be a strong case for it. Georgetown sucks.

(1) Grant McCasland: Texas Tech
  • 15-3 and in first place in the Big 12. Projected NCAA’s (7 Seed)
  • McCasland proved he can coach at North Texas and knows how to instill defense. Tech was coming off a .500 season and is only one win behind last year’s totals.
(2) Rick Pitino: St. Johns
  • 13-7 and 5th place in a loaded Big East; Projected NCAA’s (8 Seed)
  • There is no question that Pitino is one of the all-time great coaches. He inherited a program that last made the NCAA tournament in 2019 (if you consider the First Four the NCAA’s) and last tournament win in 2015. Pitino quickly rebuilt the team through the portal and has them in position for the NCAA’s. He may only last five years but he has turned the program around quickly.
(3) Chris Beard: Ole Miss
  • 16-3; Projected NCAA’s (10 Seed)
  • Beard can coach but shouldn’t be allowed to based on his assault on his wife. If we just focus on basketball he’s done a very good job with Ole Miss and positioned them well for an NCAA bid. Ole Miss was coming off back-to-back losing seasons, including 12-21 last year. Unlikeable coach and person but this will be one the single best season turnarounds you can get.
(4) Kim English: Providence
  • 13-6, Projected NCAA (last 4 in)
  • Has held team together despite losing his best player to injury. Inherited program that had back-to-back 20 win, NCAA tournament seasons. Kept a good core in place and done well.
(5) Rodney Terry: Texas
  • 14-5; Projected NCAA (1st 4 out)
  • Terry inherited a very good Texas team that has reached 3 straight NCAA tournaments and won 29 games and reached the Regional Finals last year. There have been some bumps but recent wins against Baylor and at Oklahoma bode well for remainder of season.
(6) Adrian Autry: Syracuse
  • 13-6; Projected NIT
  • Inherited a program that had grown stale under the prior regime. Implemented major change to style and energy. Season has largely played to expectations. Beat who you should and lose to the teams you should. Having no bad losses is a plus. Having 6 blowout defeats is a minus. This off-season’s roster makeover and next year’s performance will be critical to Autry’s future.
(7) Mark Madsen: Cal
  • 7-12; No postseason
  • Madsen took over one of the worst programs in the NCAA’s (3-29 last year and 6 straight losing seasons). A couple nice wins over UCLA, Colorado and Santa Clara and being competitive in every game (only two losses by double figures 10 and 19) provide hope for the future. Cal probably could not have asked for a better turnaround given the depths they sank.
(8) Damon Stoudamire: Georgia Tech
  • 9-10; No postseason
  • Solid wins over Duke, Miss State and Clemson; competitive losses throughout show this team isn’t far off and competes for the coach. Tech program had only won 27 games over past two losing seasons and not an easy repair job.
(9) Mike Rhoades: Penn State
  • 9-10, No postseason
  • Inherited team that made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament and won 24 games. However, that team lost a lot of talent.
(10) Ed Cooley: Georgetown
  • 8-11; No postseason
  • When your best win of the year is over Notre Dame by 4 and your second best is over DePaul by 3 you are not having a good year. Cooley gets some leeway as the Hoya program had been run into the ground with back-to-back 25 loss seasons and one winning record since 2016. Cooley has shown he can recruit and can play the transfer portal.
(11) Micah Shrewsberry: Notre Dame
  • 7-12; no postseason
  • Beating Virginia by 20 seems like an anomaly. Notre Dame lost 21 games the year before and may do so again. Can he recruit at ND and if not this may be a short term hire?
(12) Josh Eilert: West Virginia
  • 7-12; No postseason
  • Dealt a tough hand with the Bobby Huggins implosion. Injury to old friend Jesse Edwards does not help but they were bad before he went down. Recent wins against Texas and Kansas show team has not quit.
 
We have twelve 1st year head coaches across the big conferences. As of Jan 25th here's my ranking. Obviously, things can change with plenty of season left. My conclusions: I didn't think I would have Pitino so high but there seems to be a strong case for it. Georgetown sucks.

(1) Grant McCasland: Texas Tech
  • 15-3 and in first place in the Big 12. Projected NCAA’s (7 Seed)
  • McCasland proved he can coach at North Texas and knows how to instill defense. Tech was coming off a .500 season and is only one win behind last year’s totals.
(2) Rick Pitino: St. Johns
  • 13-7 and 5th place in a loaded Big East; Projected NCAA’s (8 Seed)
  • There is no question that Pitino is one of the all-time great coaches. He inherited a program that last made the NCAA tournament in 2019 (if you consider the First Four the NCAA’s) and last tournament win in 2015. Pitino quickly rebuilt the team through the portal and has them in position for the NCAA’s. He may only last five years but he has turned the program around quickly.
(3) Chris Beard: Ole Miss
  • 16-3; Projected NCAA’s (10 Seed)
  • Beard can coach but shouldn’t be allowed to based on his assault on his wife. If we just focus on basketball he’s done a very good job with Ole Miss and positioned them well for an NCAA bid. Ole Miss was coming off back-to-back losing seasons, including 12-21 last year. Unlikeable coach and person but this will be one the single best season turnarounds you can get.
(4) Kim English: Providence
  • 13-6, Projected NCAA (last 4 in)
  • Has held team together despite losing his best player to injury. Inherited program that had back-to-back 20 win, NCAA tournament seasons. Kept a good core in place and done well.
(5) Rodney Terry: Texas
  • 14-5; Projected NCAA (1st 4 out)
  • Terry inherited a very good Texas team that has reached 3 straight NCAA tournaments and won 29 games and reached the Regional Finals last year. There have been some bumps but recent wins against Baylor and at Oklahoma bode well for remainder of season.
(6) Adrian Autry: Syracuse
  • 13-6; Projected NIT
  • Inherited a program that had grown stale under the prior regime. Implemented major change to style and energy. Season has largely played to expectations. Beat who you should and lose to the teams you should. Having no bad losses is a plus. Having 6 blowout defeats is a minus. This off-season’s roster makeover and next year’s performance will be critical to Autry’s future.
(7) Mark Madsen: Cal
  • 7-12; No postseason
  • Madsen took over one of the worst programs in the NCAA’s (3-29 last year and 6 straight losing seasons). A couple nice wins over UCLA, Colorado and Santa Clara and being competitive in every game (only two losses by double figures 10 and 19) provide hope for the future. Cal probably could not have asked for a better turnaround given the depths they sank.
(8) Damon Stoudamire: Georgia Tech
  • 9-10; No postseason
  • Solid wins over Duke, Miss State and Clemson; competitive losses throughout show this team isn’t far off and competes for the coach. Tech program had only won 27 games over past two losing seasons and not an easy repair job.
(9) Mike Rhoades: Penn State
  • 9-10, No postseason
  • Inherited team that made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament and won 24 games. However, that team lost a lot of talent.
(10) Ed Cooley: Georgetown
  • 8-11; No postseason
  • When your best win of the year is over Notre Dame by 4 and your second best is over DePaul by 3 you are not having a good year. Cooley gets some leeway as the Hoya program had been run into the ground with back-to-back 25 loss seasons and one winning record since 2016. Cooley has shown he can recruit and can play the transfer portal.
(11) Micah Shrewsberry: Notre Dame
  • 7-12; no postseason
  • Beating Virginia by 20 seems like an anomaly. Notre Dame lost 21 games the year before and may do so again. Can he recruit at ND and if not this may be a short term hire?
(12) Josh Eilert: West Virginia
  • 7-12; No postseason
  • Dealt a tough hand with the Bobby Huggins implosion. Injury to old friend Jesse Edwards does not help but they were bad before he went down. Recent wins against Texas and Kansas show team has not quit.
Good stuff.
 
We have twelve 1st year head coaches across the big conferences. As of Jan 25th here's my ranking. Obviously, things can change with plenty of season left. My conclusions: I didn't think I would have Pitino so high but there seems to be a strong case for it. Georgetown sucks.

(1) Grant McCasland: Texas Tech
  • 15-3 and in first place in the Big 12. Projected NCAA’s (7 Seed)
  • McCasland proved he can coach at North Texas and knows how to instill defense. Tech was coming off a .500 season and is only one win behind last year’s totals.
(2) Rick Pitino: St. Johns
  • 13-7 and 5th place in a loaded Big East; Projected NCAA’s (8 Seed)
  • There is no question that Pitino is one of the all-time great coaches. He inherited a program that last made the NCAA tournament in 2019 (if you consider the First Four the NCAA’s) and last tournament win in 2015. Pitino quickly rebuilt the team through the portal and has them in position for the NCAA’s. He may only last five years but he has turned the program around quickly.
(3) Chris Beard: Ole Miss
  • 16-3; Projected NCAA’s (10 Seed)
  • Beard can coach but shouldn’t be allowed to based on his assault on his wife. If we just focus on basketball he’s done a very good job with Ole Miss and positioned them well for an NCAA bid. Ole Miss was coming off back-to-back losing seasons, including 12-21 last year. Unlikeable coach and person but this will be one the single best season turnarounds you can get.
(4) Kim English: Providence
  • 13-6, Projected NCAA (last 4 in)
  • Has held team together despite losing his best player to injury. Inherited program that had back-to-back 20 win, NCAA tournament seasons. Kept a good core in place and done well.
(5) Rodney Terry: Texas
  • 14-5; Projected NCAA (1st 4 out)
  • Terry inherited a very good Texas team that has reached 3 straight NCAA tournaments and won 29 games and reached the Regional Finals last year. There have been some bumps but recent wins against Baylor and at Oklahoma bode well for remainder of season.
(6) Adrian Autry: Syracuse
  • 13-6; Projected NIT
  • Inherited a program that had grown stale under the prior regime. Implemented major change to style and energy. Season has largely played to expectations. Beat who you should and lose to the teams you should. Having no bad losses is a plus. Having 6 blowout defeats is a minus. This off-season’s roster makeover and next year’s performance will be critical to Autry’s future.
(7) Mark Madsen: Cal
  • 7-12; No postseason
  • Madsen took over one of the worst programs in the NCAA’s (3-29 last year and 6 straight losing seasons). A couple nice wins over UCLA, Colorado and Santa Clara and being competitive in every game (only two losses by double figures 10 and 19) provide hope for the future. Cal probably could not have asked for a better turnaround given the depths they sank.
(8) Damon Stoudamire: Georgia Tech
  • 9-10; No postseason
  • Solid wins over Duke, Miss State and Clemson; competitive losses throughout show this team isn’t far off and competes for the coach. Tech program had only won 27 games over past two losing seasons and not an easy repair job.
(9) Mike Rhoades: Penn State
  • 9-10, No postseason
  • Inherited team that made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament and won 24 games. However, that team lost a lot of talent.
(10) Ed Cooley: Georgetown
  • 8-11; No postseason
  • When your best win of the year is over Notre Dame by 4 and your second best is over DePaul by 3 you are not having a good year. Cooley gets some leeway as the Hoya program had been run into the ground with back-to-back 25 loss seasons and one winning record since 2016. Cooley has shown he can recruit and can play the transfer portal.
(11) Micah Shrewsberry: Notre Dame
  • 7-12; no postseason
  • Beating Virginia by 20 seems like an anomaly. Notre Dame lost 21 games the year before and may do so again. Can he recruit at ND and if not this may be a short term hire?
(12) Josh Eilert: West Virginia
  • 7-12; No postseason
  • Dealt a tough hand with the Bobby Huggins implosion. Injury to old friend Jesse Edwards does not help but they were bad before he went down. Recent wins against Texas and Kansas show team has not quit.
Big difference between the state of programs who really need to fire a bad coach and a program where the guy just got too old

I'm not sure what all those teams records were but (dead horse) we weren't that bad
 
We have twelve 1st year head coaches across the big conferences. As of Jan 25th here's my ranking. Obviously, things can change with plenty of season left. My conclusions: I didn't think I would have Pitino so high but there seems to be a strong case for it. Georgetown sucks.

(1) Grant McCasland: Texas Tech
  • 15-3 and in first place in the Big 12. Projected NCAA’s (7 Seed)
  • McCasland proved he can coach at North Texas and knows how to instill defense. Tech was coming off a .500 season and is only one win behind last year’s totals.
(2) Rick Pitino: St. Johns
  • 13-7 and 5th place in a loaded Big East; Projected NCAA’s (8 Seed)
  • There is no question that Pitino is one of the all-time great coaches. He inherited a program that last made the NCAA tournament in 2019 (if you consider the First Four the NCAA’s) and last tournament win in 2015. Pitino quickly rebuilt the team through the portal and has them in position for the NCAA’s. He may only last five years but he has turned the program around quickly.
(3) Chris Beard: Ole Miss
  • 16-3; Projected NCAA’s (10 Seed)
  • Beard can coach but shouldn’t be allowed to based on his assault on his wife. If we just focus on basketball he’s done a very good job with Ole Miss and positioned them well for an NCAA bid. Ole Miss was coming off back-to-back losing seasons, including 12-21 last year. Unlikeable coach and person but this will be one the single best season turnarounds you can get.
(4) Kim English: Providence
  • 13-6, Projected NCAA (last 4 in)
  • Has held team together despite losing his best player to injury. Inherited program that had back-to-back 20 win, NCAA tournament seasons. Kept a good core in place and done well.
(5) Rodney Terry: Texas
  • 14-5; Projected NCAA (1st 4 out)
  • Terry inherited a very good Texas team that has reached 3 straight NCAA tournaments and won 29 games and reached the Regional Finals last year. There have been some bumps but recent wins against Baylor and at Oklahoma bode well for remainder of season.
(6) Adrian Autry: Syracuse
  • 13-6; Projected NIT
  • Inherited a program that had grown stale under the prior regime. Implemented major change to style and energy. Season has largely played to expectations. Beat who you should and lose to the teams you should. Having no bad losses is a plus. Having 6 blowout defeats is a minus. This off-season’s roster makeover and next year’s performance will be critical to Autry’s future.
(7) Mark Madsen: Cal
  • 7-12; No postseason
  • Madsen took over one of the worst programs in the NCAA’s (3-29 last year and 6 straight losing seasons). A couple nice wins over UCLA, Colorado and Santa Clara and being competitive in every game (only two losses by double figures 10 and 19) provide hope for the future. Cal probably could not have asked for a better turnaround given the depths they sank.
(8) Damon Stoudamire: Georgia Tech
  • 9-10; No postseason
  • Solid wins over Duke, Miss State and Clemson; competitive losses throughout show this team isn’t far off and competes for the coach. Tech program had only won 27 games over past two losing seasons and not an easy repair job.
(9) Mike Rhoades: Penn State
  • 9-10, No postseason
  • Inherited team that made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament and won 24 games. However, that team lost a lot of talent.
(10) Ed Cooley: Georgetown
  • 8-11; No postseason
  • When your best win of the year is over Notre Dame by 4 and your second best is over DePaul by 3 you are not having a good year. Cooley gets some leeway as the Hoya program had been run into the ground with back-to-back 25 loss seasons and one winning record since 2016. Cooley has shown he can recruit and can play the transfer portal.
(11) Micah Shrewsberry: Notre Dame
  • 7-12; no postseason
  • Beating Virginia by 20 seems like an anomaly. Notre Dame lost 21 games the year before and may do so again. Can he recruit at ND and if not this may be a short term hire?
(12) Josh Eilert: West Virginia
  • 7-12; No postseason
  • Dealt a tough hand with the Bobby Huggins implosion. Injury to old friend Jesse Edwards does not help but they were bad before he went down. Recent wins against Texas and Kansas show team has not quit.
Madsen should be up a couple spots, he was handed essentially nothing and has made a cal a halfway competitive basketball program. The fact that they might see 10-12 wins is a miracle
 
Shrewsberry has done an excellent job. JB said so himself.
 
We have twelve 1st year head coaches across the big conferences. As of Jan 25th here's my ranking. Obviously, things can change with plenty of season left. My conclusions: I didn't think I would have Pitino so high but there seems to be a strong case for it. Georgetown sucks.

(1) Grant McCasland: Texas Tech
  • 15-3 and in first place in the Big 12. Projected NCAA’s (7 Seed)
  • McCasland proved he can coach at North Texas and knows how to instill defense. Tech was coming off a .500 season and is only one win behind last year’s totals.
(2) Rick Pitino: St. Johns
  • 13-7 and 5th place in a loaded Big East; Projected NCAA’s (8 Seed)
  • There is no question that Pitino is one of the all-time great coaches. He inherited a program that last made the NCAA tournament in 2019 (if you consider the First Four the NCAA’s) and last tournament win in 2015. Pitino quickly rebuilt the team through the portal and has them in position for the NCAA’s. He may only last five years but he has turned the program around quickly.
(3) Chris Beard: Ole Miss
  • 16-3; Projected NCAA’s (10 Seed)
  • Beard can coach but shouldn’t be allowed to based on his assault on his wife. If we just focus on basketball he’s done a very good job with Ole Miss and positioned them well for an NCAA bid. Ole Miss was coming off back-to-back losing seasons, including 12-21 last year. Unlikeable coach and person but this will be one the single best season turnarounds you can get.
(4) Kim English: Providence
  • 13-6, Projected NCAA (last 4 in)
  • Has held team together despite losing his best player to injury. Inherited program that had back-to-back 20 win, NCAA tournament seasons. Kept a good core in place and done well.
(5) Rodney Terry: Texas
  • 14-5; Projected NCAA (1st 4 out)
  • Terry inherited a very good Texas team that has reached 3 straight NCAA tournaments and won 29 games and reached the Regional Finals last year. There have been some bumps but recent wins against Baylor and at Oklahoma bode well for remainder of season.
(6) Adrian Autry: Syracuse
  • 13-6; Projected NIT
  • Inherited a program that had grown stale under the prior regime. Implemented major change to style and energy. Season has largely played to expectations. Beat who you should and lose to the teams you should. Having no bad losses is a plus. Having 6 blowout defeats is a minus. This off-season’s roster makeover and next year’s performance will be critical to Autry’s future.
(7) Mark Madsen: Cal
  • 7-12; No postseason
  • Madsen took over one of the worst programs in the NCAA’s (3-29 last year and 6 straight losing seasons). A couple nice wins over UCLA, Colorado and Santa Clara and being competitive in every game (only two losses by double figures 10 and 19) provide hope for the future. Cal probably could not have asked for a better turnaround given the depths they sank.
(8) Damon Stoudamire: Georgia Tech
  • 9-10; No postseason
  • Solid wins over Duke, Miss State and Clemson; competitive losses throughout show this team isn’t far off and competes for the coach. Tech program had only won 27 games over past two losing seasons and not an easy repair job.
(9) Mike Rhoades: Penn State
  • 9-10, No postseason
  • Inherited team that made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament and won 24 games. However, that team lost a lot of talent.
(10) Ed Cooley: Georgetown
  • 8-11; No postseason
  • When your best win of the year is over Notre Dame by 4 and your second best is over DePaul by 3 you are not having a good year. Cooley gets some leeway as the Hoya program had been run into the ground with back-to-back 25 loss seasons and one winning record since 2016. Cooley has shown he can recruit and can play the transfer portal.
(11) Micah Shrewsberry: Notre Dame
  • 7-12; no postseason
  • Beating Virginia by 20 seems like an anomaly. Notre Dame lost 21 games the year before and may do so again. Can he recruit at ND and if not this may be a short term hire?
(12) Josh Eilert: West Virginia
  • 7-12; No postseason
  • Dealt a tough hand with the Bobby Huggins implosion. Injury to old friend Jesse Edwards does not help but they were bad before he went down. Recent wins against Texas and Kansas show team has not quit.
Now let's do a ranking of coaches in their first year as head coach of a D-1 program. I wonder where Red would stand in that group which are really his peers.
 
Now let's do a ranking of coaches in their first year as head coach of a D-1 program. I wonder where Red would stand in that group which are really his peers.
This is Red's peer group apparently. Includes individual's who were previously interim head coaches, but are otherwise in first full season at a D-1 school.


AGENAMESCHOOLW/L
49​
Duane SimpkinsAmerican10-9
36​
Brian HodgsonArkansas State7-11
49​
Kevin KuwikArmy5-13
38​
John Griffin IIIBucknell6-12
38​
George HalcovageBuffalo2-16
48​
Andy NewmanCS Northridge13-6
48​
Aaron FearneCharlotte12-7
55​
Larry StewartCoppin State2-15
38​
Brooks SavageETSU10-10
39​
Jack CastleberryFDU9-11
40​
Tony SkinnGMU14-5
39​
Charlie HenryGA Southern4-15
45​
Alan HussHigh Point17-4
38​
Alex PribbleIdaho7-11
35​
Shane HeirmanIncarnate Word5-13
42​
Antoine PettwayKennesaw State13-7
40​
Mike McGarveyLafayette10-15
46​
John GallagherManhattan4-12
43​
Matt LogieMontana State9-10
28​
Trevon SaddlerNicholls State9-10
39​
Grant BilmeierNJIT4-13
42​
Ross HodgeNorth Texas11-6
47​
Rick CabreraNorthwestern State5-15
54​
Russell SpringmannOral Roberts8-11
39​
Chris MudgeSam Houston State10-9
57​
Kevin JohnsonSouthern9-9
51​
Adrian AutrySyracuse13-6
39​
Adam FisherTemple8-12
39​
Jim ShawTexas A&M Corpus Christi11-8
45​
K.T. TurnerUT Arlington9-10
47​
Todd PhillipsUtah Valley9-10
41​
Roger Powell, Jr.Valparaiso6-14
43​
Josh EilertWest Virginia7-12
50​
Chad BoudreauWestern Illinois12-7
43​
Sundance WicksWisconsin - Green Bay12-9
36​
Dwight PerryWofford11-9
 

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