You may remember I was planning on posting about coaching trees. Then Dana O’Neil went and blew my mind with this column. It had way more information then what I planned on presenting. About the only thing she missed was the fact that Scott Drew was a student manager at Butler when Thad Matta was a junior assistant there. You can argue that doesn’t really count, but if you want to Stump the Schwab, that’s the type of information you would need to stump him.
Even if much of this is redundant, let’s have some fun anyhow. It looks like I can hit 62 of the 73 active BCS coaches by starting with five active coaches who were already coaching in 1984-1985,
and 12 historic figures,
I know what you are thinking. Who is Jerry Pimm? Unless you are an obsessed basketball fan (or a Pitt fan), you probably don’t know that he’s the start of the Ben Howland – Jamie Dixon tree.
. 1) Ben Howland – former assistant at UC Santa Barbara
. 2) Jamie Dixon – Pimm assistant at UCSB, Howland assistant at Pitt
But there’s a bigger question here. What does a coaching tree really mean? I’m basing this on resumes available online. Since the start of 64-team era in 1984-85, what connections can you draw? But are those connections really meaningful? I list Rick Barnes as a Gary Williams disciple. But Barnes was only a William’s assistant for one season. And then Barnes returned to George Mason where he had been a long-time assistant under Joe Harrington. It hardly seems fair to put Barnes in Gary Williams coaching tree based on one season. But that’s what we do. Meanwhile, most of the Joe Harrington’s of the world get ignored. But the former Colorado coach is lucky. Seth Greenberg was also Harrington’s assistant. So Joe Harrington becomes a piece of trivia:
. 3) Seth Greenberg – former assistant at Long Beach St.
4) Gary Williams
. 5) Rick Barnes – assisted Harrington at GMU, Williams at Ohio St.
. 6) Frank Haith – Barnes’ assistant at Texas
My goal is to cover connections made after the start of the NCAA tournament era. I.e. after 1984-85. Williams, Ryan, Huggins, Boeheim, and Mike Montgomery were already head coaches at that time which is why they get to start trees.
7) Bo Ryan
. 8) Tony Bennett – remained assistant at Wisconsin after father left
9) Mike Montgomery
. 10) Ernie Kent – former assistant at Stanford
. 11) Trent Johnson – former assistant at Stanford
. 12) Mark Fox – Johnson’s assistant at Nevada
Thad Matta was also an assistant under Barry Collier who was an assistant under Mike Montgomery. But I put Thad Matta in the Rick Pitino tree.
13) Jim Boeheim
. 14) Rick Pitino
. 15) Herb Sendek – assisted Pitino at Providence and Kentucky
. 16) Thad Matta – assisted Sendek at Miami(OH)
. 17) Sean Miller – assisted Sendek at Miami(OH), Matta at Xavier
. 18) Todd Lickliter- assisted Matta at Butler
. 19) Scott Drew – student manager while Matta assisted at Butler
. 20) Tubby Smith – assisted Pitino at Kentucky
. 21) Billy Donovan – assisted Pitino at Providence and Kentucky
. 22) Travis Ford – played under Pitino, Sendek, Smith, & Donovan
. 23) John Pelphrey – played with Ford, Donovan assistant
. 24) Anthony Grant – assisted Donovan at Florida, Marshall
Pitino was in the NBA in 1984-1985 which was the intended cut-off of my coaching trees, but I couldn’t resist the connection to Boeheim.
Mick Cronin was also a Pitino assistant at Louisville, but I put him in the Bob Huggins tree.
25) Bob Huggins
. 26) Mick Cronin – former assistant at Cincinnati
. 27) Andy Kennedy – former assistant at Cincinnati
. 28) Frank Martin – assisted Kennedy & Huggins at Cinc., Kansas St.
Mike Krzyzewski was also already a head coach at Duke in 1984-85, but I couldn’t resist the temptation to put him under Bob Knight. But am I the only one who gets the feeling that Krzyzewski doesn’t appreciate the connection to Knight anymore?
. 29) Pat Knight – assisted Knight at Texas Tech
. 30) Mike Krzyzewski – played under Bob Knight at Army
. 31) Mike Brey – former assistant at Duke
. 32) Jeff Capel III – played for Duke while Brey was an assistant
. 33) Johnny Dawkins – former assistant at Duke
Fred Hill was also an assistant under Tommy Amaker who was an assistant at Duke, but I put Hill in the Rollie Massimino tree.
. 34) Jay Wright – former assistant at UNLV and Villanova
. 35) Fred Hill – Wright’s assistant at Villanova
Pete Gillen – former assistant at Villanova
. 36) Dino Gaudio – Gillen assistant at Xavier
. 37) Bobby Gonzalez – Gillen assistant at Xavier, Prov., & Virginia
Steve Lappas – former assistant at Villanova
. 38) Paul Hewitt – Lappas assistant at Villanova
. 39) Tom Izzo – former assistant at Michigan St.
. 40) Stan Heath – former assistant at Michigan St.
. 41) Tom Crean – former assistant at Michigan St.
. 42) Darrin Horn – Crean’s assistant at Marquette
. 43) Buzz Williams – Crean’s assistant at Marquette
Buzz Williams was also an assistant under Billy Gillispie at Texas A&M so you could pencil him in another tree below.
. 44) Bruce Weber – assisted Keady at Purdue
. 45) Matt Painter – played under Keady, assisted Weber at S. Ill.
. 46) Tracy Webster – assistant under Weber at Ill., Keady at Purdue
. 47) Kevin Stallings – assisted Keady at Purdue
Stallings was also an assistant under Roy Williams at Kansas. Tracy Webster was also an assistant under Billy Gillispie at Kentucky. Thus you could put both of them in another tree below.
. 48) Roy Williams – former assistant at North Carolina
. 49) Jeff Lebo – played under Smith when Williams was an assistant
. 50) Mark Turgeon – assisted Williams at Kansas
Mark Turgeon also played at Kansas when Calipari and Self were assistants there.
. 51) John Calipari – assisted Brown at Kansas
. 52) Leonard Hamilton – assisted Sutton at Kentucky
. 53) Bill Self – assisted Brown at Kansas, Sutton & Hamilton at OkSt
Billy Gillispie – assisted Self at Illinois and Tulsa
. 54) Doc Sadler – assisted Gillispie at UTEP, Sutton at Arkansas
. 55) Norm Roberts – assisted Self at Illinois and Tulsa
John Pelphrey was also a one-year assistant under Eddie Sutton, but I listed him earlier because he was a long time assistant under Billy Donovan.
. 56) Bill Carmody – former assistant at Princeton
. 57) John Thompson III – assisted Carmody and Carril at Princeton
. 58) Craig Robinson – Carmody’s assistant at Northwestern
. 59) Lorenzo Romar – former assistant at UCLA
. 60) Ken Bone – Romar’s assistant at Washington
. 61) Bruce Pearl – former assistant at Iowa
. 62) Keno Davis – former assistant at Drake
The remaining active BCS coaches have no co-mingled resumes with other active BCS coaches since 1984-1985 as best I can tell.
63) Jim Calhoun
64) John Beilein
65) Kevin O’Neill
66) Al Skinner
67) Rick Stansbury
68) Oliver Purnell
69) Ed DeChellis
70) Sidney Lowe
71) Jeff Bzdelik
72) Gregg McDermott
73) Mike Anderson
A lot of these guys touched on the NBA or had other important mentors. You can’t ignore the fact that Mike Anderson is a former Nolan Richardson assistant because he brings 40 minutes of hell at Missouri. But with no other Richardson assistants in BCS leagues, there is no tree to draw.
So now can you connect Scott Drew to Matt Painter through Bill Self?
Scott Drew – Thad Matta – Herb Sendek – Rick Pitino – Billy Donovan – John Pelphrey – Eddie Sutton – Bill Self -
Now either take Bill Self - Mark Turgeon – Roy Williams – Kevin Stallings – Gene Keady – (optional Bruce Weber) – Matt Painter
Or Bill Self – Billy Gillispie – Tracy Webster – Bruce Weber – Matt Painter
What, you think you can do better?