In the world of college sports, you can find some of the most passionate athletes and fans in the world. At this level, sports are all about personal pride and representing your hometown. Even without money to be made, these players leave it all on the court every time. Naturally, it takes a head coach as passionate as these players to lead them. In all of college basketball, these three coaches stand out as some of the best in the sport today.
Dana Altman‘s coaching career has lasted four decades and counting. For the last ten years, he has been the head of the Oregon Ducks and in that time we have seen countless triumphs. His persistence and consistency has helped mold the Oregon basketball program one of the best NCAA basketball teams in the country today.
Of course, with the sterling reputation that Altman has built, you would expect that many elite athletes have once been under his leadership. Numerous college standouts, as well as several pros, have attributed their success to Altman’s guidance in the past. You may recall names like Dillon Brooks of the Memphis Grizzlies (played for the Ducks 2014-17) and former Indiana Pacers player Joe Young (2013-15).
Recently, one of the most promising NBA players to emerge under coach Dana Altman is the newly minted Boston Celtics’ rookie Payton Pritchard (2016-20). So far, the combination of Pritchard and Robert Williams as a backup duo has proved to be very effective. As the Celtics have consistently been one of the best teams in the NBA through recent seasons, the NBA betting odds certainly favor them going into the second half of the season, especially with the young talent that has added depth to their roster.
Overall, Altman has had a sensational career with numerous highlights. The Ducks once had a 46-game winning streak at home under Altman. They have placed in the top 4 of the Pac-12 almost every year since Altman took over. There are countless statistics that show Altman is among the best coaches in college basketball today.
It’s safe to say almost all college basketball players and fans know Jay Wright of the Villanova Wildcats. His recent Naismith Hall of Fame nomination solidifies this, as well as his numerous Coach of the Year awards. Under Wright’s guidance, the Wildcats have gone on to win six Big East championships, as well as 14 NCAA Tournament appearances and two National Championships. This is all in two decades as the head coach within a nearly 40-year career.
Wright has helped to grow some exceptionally talented players in his time. Recent names include Jalen Brunson (2015-18) who went on to be selected by the Dallas Mavericks in 2018, and Josh Hart (2013-17) who currently plays for the New Orleans Pelicans. Of course, countless other players have made a massive impact for Jay Wright and the Wildcats but never went on to play professionally.
Rumors have been circulating for a long time that Wright may head to the NBA, but for now at least he looks content to keep winning championships with Villanova. Wright’s style revolves around emphasizing 3-point shots, and training his players to think under pressure for strong defense and protecting the rim.
Roy Williams is yet another coach who has earned his place of recognition in this sport. He’s been the head of the North Carolina Tar Heels for almost two decades. Across his nearly 50-year career, Williams has brought home three NCAA championship titles, with the most recent being his 2017 victory with the Tar Heels.
Williams can take credit for growing the careers of some immensely talented players like Justin Jackson (2014-17) who currently plays for Oklahoma City Thunder, and Tyler Hansbrough (2005-2-9) who had a seven year career in the NBA before going overseas. Williams has been very influential in both his coaching style and recruitment approach. It was Williams that spotted the talent in the legendary Michael Jordan while he was an assistant in 1981 and insisted that North Carolina sign him at any cost. They of course did, and the rest is history.