Blog Entry

Dear Gary (on National Coach of the Year)

Posted on: February 25, 2010 10:02 am

Here's Thursday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: Who is your Coach of the Year right now?

-- Mitchell

A few months ago I wrote that Northwestern's Bill Carmody was the leader, which should serve as a reminder that trying to predict these things this early (and, yes, it's still kind of early for COY) is mostly wasted time. I'll explain my thinking as it relates to the Coach of the Year award in an upcoming column, I promise. But for now, I'll limit my thoughts and just show the list of 30 candidates I submitted this morning for the Naismith Coach of the Year award.

Here you go ...

(Names are in alphabetical order)
  1. Steve Alford (New Mexico)
  2. Mike Anderson (Missouri)
  3. Tony Barbee (UTEP)
  4. Jim Boeheim (Syracuse)
  5. John Calipari (Kentucky)
  6. Mike Davis (UAB)
  7. Jamie Dixon (Pittsburgh)
  8. Scott Drew (Baylor)
  9. Steve Donahue (Cornell)
  10. Fran Dunphy (Temple)
  11. Cliff Ellis (Coastal Carolina)
  12. Ben Jacobson (Northern Iowa)
  13. Billy Kennedy (Murray State)
  14. Mike Krzyzewski (Duke)
  15. Chris Mack (Xavier)
  16. Bob Marlin (Sam Houston State)
  17. Frank Martin (Kansas State)
  18. Thad Matta (Ohio State)
  19. Chris Mooney (Richmond)
  20. Kevin O'Neill (Southern California)
  21. Matt Painter (Purdue)
  22. Steve Pikiell (Stony Brook)
  23. Dave Rose (BYU)
  24. Bo Ryan (Wisconsin)
  25. Bill Self (Kansas)
  26. Kevin Stallings (Vanderbilt)
  27. Brad Stevens (Butler)
  28. Mark Turgeon (Texas A&M)
  29. Buzz Williams (Marquette)
  30. Gary Williams (Maryland)
Category: NCAAB

Since: Dec 28, 2007
Posted on: March 3, 2010 11:11 am

Dear Gary (on National Coach of the Year)

No Bruce Pearl?? Winning 20 games in the SEC east is no easy thing, especially with the out of conference schedule Pearl and UT played. Now let's add in all the off the court issues in which the best overall player for UT was dismissed. UT is a top 30 team and main reason for that is Pearl and his staff holding things together when it would have been easy to be a train wreck. Please give me reasons he is not top 15 let alone top 30???

Since: Mar 27, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2010 11:03 am

Dear Gary (on National Coach of the Year)

I think that Fran Dunphy does not get enough of attention nationally.  He is very business-like and boring and doesn't have the flair and excitement of other coaches but he wins.  Temple was picked to finish 5th in the A-10 after losing Dionte Christmas who led the A-10 in scoring for the last 3 years.  Temple was written off as NIT bound.  Christmas leaves and Temple gets better.  His teams are very disciplined and take on the personality of their coach.  Right now, they are tied for the lead in the A-10 and have quality wins against VTech, Nova, Siena, and Xavier.  They are also outright Big 5 champs, which means alot in Philly.  They play very solid defense and are always ready to play.  I think that, because Dunphy doesn't get huge recruits, it is more about coaching than talent.  At some of these other places, there is so much talent, they could win without great coaching.  Dunphy gets guys that fit his system, and like John Chaney, expects disciplined basketball.  Temple averages 11 turnovers a game, which is ranked for some of the fewest in the nation per game.  More importantly, Dunphy develops his players as men and teaches them how to be productive members of society.  I still want Dunphy to get Temple over the hump and win some games in the Dance but I think that he needs to get more credit as a head coach and a great basketball mind.

Since: Mar 3, 2010
Posted on: March 3, 2010 10:59 am

Dear Gary (on National Coach of the Year)

um, how come Rick Majerus is not on this list. 19-9 with all fresh and soph's???

Since: Dec 4, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2010 10:34 am

(National Coach of the Year is Jamie Dixon)

The coach of the year is more diificult this year than others because, so many teams exceded expectations. I give it to Jamie Dixon because he didn't have Gilbert Brown and Jermaine Dixon for a great part of the year. He did more with less!! Buzz Williams, Frank Martin and Jimmy B should all be in the conversation though. Remember Pitt has beaten 3 top 5 teams this year and was picked to finish 9th in the Big East. Had Buzz won a couple of those close losses he would be my choice.
The worst team this year has to be North Carolina with 14 losses. Is Roy Williams a great coach? Look at the talent he has and you just shake your head.
Dixon is a Hot Coach and Pitt might have to pay him more just to keep him from listening to other offers. I actually thought Pitt should have gone after a more high profile coach after Ben Howland left for UCLA, how wrong was I!!!

Since: Oct 19, 2009
Posted on: March 3, 2010 10:30 am

Dear Gary (on National Coach of the Year)

Jermaine Dixon was the only one from this year's team to start for the team last season, dummy. 

Since: Oct 4, 2008
Posted on: March 3, 2010 10:24 am


I don't think enough people are taking into account that recruiting is a huge part of the coaching process. Calipari took an NIT team, which lost it's leading scorer too, to a what looks like a likely final four appearance. Giving an award to a coach who is doing a great job with less talent is great and there is a lot to be said about that. However, coaches like Self and Calipari have to get that talent to come to their schols before they can coach them. Caoches have to be great recruiters as well. Steve Alford will probably take the award though.

Since: Jan 1, 2007
Posted on: March 3, 2010 10:19 am

Dear Gary (on National Coach of the Year)

Gary:  Great to see that you have Coack Mack in your list of 30.  As a first year coach, losing the top three scorers from last year. along with an early departure with Derrick Brown going to the NBA, Chris Mack certainly deserves strong consideration.  The Muskies were 8-5 their first 13 games losing some tough ones to Butler, Wake Forest and others but continued to develop and learn over the course of the season.  In the last 15 games Xavier has gone 13-2 and leads the A-10 along with Temple.  In my opinion that's what coaching is all about.  Develop your young players, address your weaknesses and prepare the team for Marcfh Madness.  In addition Xavier has one of the top 25 recruiting classes for 2011 and already signed two top recruits for 2012.  With a new coaching staff and a young team many were predicting a rebuilding year for Xavier but not to be.  The tradition continues!  Looking forward to a great post season and deep run in the tournament.  Go X!

Since: Jan 7, 2010
Posted on: March 3, 2010 10:15 am

Dear Gary (on National Coach of the Year)

jhawk613!   You are CRAZY if you think that Self doesn't resemble Calipari.   I've got two words for you XAVIER HENRY.   Henry came right out and said that he's a one-and-done player.    Then it just comes down to which team will give him the most exposure, start him, and make him a lottery pick.   He didn't choose Kentucky because of Wall, Cousins, Bledsoe, etc... not enough ball to go around.   Sure, Aldrich and Collins stuck around (Only Aldrich was a guaranteed late 1st rounder- see Eric Chenowith).   I would agree with that whoever wins the National Championship should be the COY.   

Bo Ryan- great coach.   He has worked his way up the ladder from high school, Division III, Division II, to have to respect the man.    I wouldn't want to play them in the NCAA tourney.

Boeheim...again... lets not brag about the Big Least... give me a team in this conference thats worth anything this year????  Last year, YES...this year... HELL NO.    Villanova????   They're Missouri except with east coast media.    West Virginia...typical Huggy Bear team...can't hit free throws..will choke in tourney.   G'Town - 6 player team....very overated.   Louisville...rebuilding year...  What else do you have??  Cinncinatti, Notre Dame, Rutgers, South Florida.... GIVE ME A BREAK!  

Syracuse will have trouble in the NCAA tourney because their bigs can't hit free throws, no point guard, and Wes Johnson plays scared in the last 5 minutes...   If I were the CUSE...I'd start leaning on Joseph... that guy is a player.


Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: March 3, 2010 10:08 am

Dear Gary (on National Coach of the Year)

And Boeheim was picked to finish 6th in the Conference, and has his team ranked first..............IN THE COUNTRY.

Jamie who?

Since: Nov 14, 2007
Posted on: March 3, 2010 8:19 am

Dear Gary (on National Coach of the Year)

Turgeon was not 28th on the list. The list was in alphabetical order by last name.

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