NCAA Basketball

Who are the winningest men's college basketball coaches?

Here is a look at the top 10 winningest head coaches in men’s college basketball history.

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If there’s one thing every great college basketball team has, it’s tremendous leadership from the top. 

Oftentimes, it starts with coaches, motivating their players to operate as a cohesive unit in order to find success. 

While the success of a team is mostly measured by its results, greater success can be found with coaches who make the effort to reach their athletes on an individual level, creating more effective and positive coaching patterns.

Let’s take a look at the winningest men’s college basketball coaches of all time:

1. Mike Krzyzewski, 1202

Having led the Blue Devils for 41 seasons, Krzyzewski amassed an impressive 1202-368 record, holding the record for most wins as a college basketball coach.

He has coached five NCAA championship teams (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015) and has earned six gold medals as head coach of the U.S. men's national team. 

Krzyzewski coached Army for five years (1975-1980) and posted a 73-59 record. 

After 46 years of coaching college basketball, Krzyzewski retired after the 2021-22 season.

2. Jim Boeheim, 1116

Boeheim guided the Orange to an 1116-441 record, coaching the team for 47 years before retiring in March of 2023

A Syracuse alumnus himself (1966), Boeheim has led the team to five Final Four NCAA Tournament appearances, three appearances in the national title game and a national championship in 2003. He has been named the Big East Coach of the Year for four seasons.

3. Roy Williams, 903

Williams coached Kansas for 15 years and North Carolina for 18 years, amassing a tremendous career record of 903-264.

He led the Tar Heels to three national championships (2005, 2009, 2017), five Final Four appearances and three ACC Tournament Championships. 

Williams, who graduated from UNC in 1972, was named ACC Coach of the Year and Big 12 Coach of the Year for two seasons each.

Williams retired from coaching in 2021.

4. Bob Knight, 899

Throughout his 45 years of coaching college basketball, Knight's record was 899-374, leading Army (102-50), Indiana (659-242) and Texas Tech (138-82).

He led Indiana to three NCAA Championships (1976, 1981,1987) and coached five Final Four teams. 

Knight was named Big Ten Coach of the Year four times throughout his career. He retired from coaching in 2008.

5. Dean Smith, 879

Smith coached North Carolina for 36 years, putting together a record of 879-254.

He led the Tar Heels to 11 NCAA Tournament Final Fours and two national championships (1982 and 1993).

Smith was named National Coach of the Year four times and ACC Coach of the Year eight times. 

Smith retired from coaching in 1997. 

6. Jim Calhoun, 877

In 40 years of coaching, Calhoun earned a record of 877-382, leading Northeastern (248-137) and Connecticut (629-245).

Calhoun made four NCAA Tournament's Final Four, winning three NCAA Championships (1999, 2004, 2011). He also won seven Big East tournament championships. 

Calhoun was named Big East Coach of the Year four times and retired in 2012.

While some may think that referees are salaried workers who are given an annual salary, they are actually paid per game.

7. Adolph Rupp, 876

In his 41 years of coaching, Rupp led the Wildcats to a record of 876-190.

He coached the team to six Final Four appearances in the NCAA Tournament and four NCAA Championships (1948, 1949, 1951, 1958).

He was the first college basketball coach to win 800 or more games and was named SEC Coach of the Year seven times.

Rupp, who retired in 1972, passed away from cancer of the spine and diabetes. He was 76 years old. 

8. Bob Huggins, 863

Huggins has been coaching for 40 years, holding a record of 863-389. In his career, he has led Akron (97-46), Cincinnati (398-128), Kansas State (23-12) and West Virginia (345-203).

The West Virginia graduate (1977) has made 26 NCAA Tournament appearances, grabbing two Final Fours finishes.

He has led his team to 10 conference championships throughout his career and was named Big 12 Coach of the Year once (2014-15).

Huggins, 70, has a contract with WVU that will reportedly extend until he decides to retire.

9. Rick Pitino, 846

In his 49 years of coaching, he has amassed an 846-299 record with numerous teams including Hawaii (2-4), Boston University (91-51), Providence (42-23), Kentucky (219-50), Louisville (416-143), Iona (64-22) and St. John's (NY) (12-6).

Pitino is a two-time NCAA Tournament champion (1996, 2013) and has led 14 teams to win a conference tournament. In 2013, he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Pitino, 71, currently has a six-year deal with the St. John’s men’s basketball team

10. John Calipari, 845

Coaching for 36 years, Calipari has an 845-256 record, with Massachusetts (193-71), Memphis (252-69) and Kentucky (400-116).

He has made seven appearances in the NCAA Tournament Final Four and won an NCAA Championship in 2012 coaching Kentucky.

Calipari has been named SEC Coach of the Year four times and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015

Calipari, 64, has a 10-year contract with Kentucky that expires at the end of the 2028-29 season but has the option to step down as the head coach and become special assistant to the athletics director/university representative after six years (2025). 

Who is the winningest women's college basketball coach?

The winningest women's college basketball coach is Stanford's Tara VanDerveer.

She passed Mike Krzyzewski as the winningest coach in college basketball history with her 1,203rd victory on Jan. 21.

Besides coaching Stamford, she has also led Idaho (1978–80) and Ohio State (1980–85). She has three national titles under her belt and has been to 14 Final Fours.

VanDerveer will have a chance to become the winningest college basketball coach in history on Sunday as Stanford takes on Oregon State.

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