College basketball coaches rarely get the ability to develop like they do at the professional levels. Instead, the young coaches are tossed into the arena of basketball to make what they will of the sport. Some of these guys rise to the top, and others fail. We have ranked the top 10 best college basketball coaches under the age of 40.
Brian Michelson, Gonzaga
Michelson might just be an assistant coach right now, but he has developed his influence with the team. He has helped lead Gonzaga’s efforts in creating pro-level players and keeping the Bulldogs moving forward. He is known for keeping a watchful eye on the players and not being afraid to dole out punishments. One wonders if the younger players use teen dating sites to maintain relationships and avoid having to do dribble drills for being caught out late at night.
Mike Boynton Jr., Oklahoma State
Boynton has been a familiar face in the NCAA for years now as he has worked with many teams. His latest foray has seen OSU finish in 5th place in the Big 12, but OSU is poised to do great things if they stay on this track.
Travis Steele, Xavier
Steele has a record of 51-37, which is rather lackluster, but you have to consider what the team has had to work with at Xavier in the last few years. Steele has been rebuilding the team, recruiting heavily and trying his best to field a championship team.
Richard Pitino, New Mexico
Despite being winless on the road with Minnesota and fired in 2020, Pitino managed to secure a new job with New Mexico. He was one of the youngest coaches when he was hired (30), but now he faces a new challenge. Many believe that the change of scenery can help him get back on track, but we will have to wait and see.
Will Wade, LSU
Wade has taken a long path to get to LSU, but you cannot argue with his head coaching record of 174-85. At 38 years of age, he has most recently led LSU to the SEC Tournament in Nashville, but his record might be marred by investigations into his recruiting methods.
Todd Golden, San Francisco
Todd Golden is the 35-year-old head coach of San Francisco’s basketball team. The first year showed a lot of promise, while the second year was less-than-great. However, there are high hopes that Golden will prove himself in the newest season.
Darris Nichols, Radford
Darris Nichols might just have a great career ahead in the world of NCAA basketball. He was an assistant at Florida for six years and now he has the chance to take over as a head coach at Radford. Nichols is a former basketball player who succumbed to a devastating knee injury but didn’t let that affect his love of the game. He starts with a clean slate in the Big South Conference and he is currently putting his team together.
Bob Richey, Furman
Bob Richey is a very successful coach under the age of 40, having a combined head coaching record of 89-34, which is very good considering his four-year tenure so far. He will face ongoing challenges in the 2021 season as he attempts to keep rebuilding his team for the future.
Jon Scheyer, Duke
The former Duke player has turned into an assistant and associate head coach at his alma mater. He has put in a lot of work to become respected for his coaching mindset and has been entrusted with the keys to one of the well-regarded programs in college basketball.
Wes Miller, Cincinnati (formerly UNC Greensboro)
Now at 38 years old, Wes Miller is one of the most successful basketball coaches under 40. He got picked for the starting job at the young age of 27, but he has shown a lot of promise. He is the winningest coach at UNC Greensboro but has recently taken a job at Cincinnati, so he has a whole new adventure ahead of him. He has accomplished more as a coach before 40 than some coaches do their entire lives.
Coaching under the age of 40 can be difficult, but the fact remains that some people have been incredibly successful in the endeavor of coaching at a young age. These individuals understand the value of hard work and know that they have to fight to prove themselves every year. These 10 represent the best coaches, head coach or otherwise, so you can count on seeing many of them around the NCAA for a long time to come.
credit to Grant Halverson/Getty Images for the photo