As the Pac-12 comes crumbling down, we decided it was time to look at the greats it has produced from the sidelines in college basketball.
We rank the top ten best Pac-12 head coaches of all time in the sport.
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1. John Wooden – UCLA
Arguably the best head coach in all college sports, Wooden sits atop this list untouched. He helped the Bruins bring home ten national championships in 12 years in the 1960s and 1970s. Plenty of his coaching practices remain in use today, while head coaches across the sport reference him as their idol growing up.
2. Lute Olson – Arizona
Olson‘s 25-year run with the Wildcats led to 24 NCAA Tournaments, four Sweet Sixteens, three Elite Eights, three Final Fours, and a national championship. It was one of the most dominant head coaching tenures in college hoops and one of the sport’s great player developers of his time.
3. Jim Harrick – UCLA
Although Harrick only spent eight seasons with the Bruins, he brought them some of their best memories for the late 20th century. His team found the NCAA Tournament in all eight seasons and took home a national title after going 31-2 in 1994-95.
4. Slats Gill – Oregon State
Gill brought Oregon State to heights it hasn’t seen since. Two Final Four appearances under Gill remain the only two the program has ever seen, while the Beavers were the only Division I team he ever coached. He easily remains the school’s best head coach of all time.
5. Sean Miller – Arizona
A more modern name that most fans will recognize, Sean Miller made reaching the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament the floor in Tucson for nearly a decade. He brought buzz and excitement to Arizona’s basketball program yet again and helped it maintain its national spotlight after Olsen had left.
6. Tippy Dye – Washington
Although Dye didn’t stay with Washington long, leading the Huskies to their only Final Four appearance is enough for him to crack the list. He also led the school to three consecutive Pacific Coast titles to kick off the 1950s.
7. Dana Altman – Oregon
Although Altman‘s Ducks have struggled to find footing out west since their 2017 Final Four run, we still believe in his elite coaching abilities. He has brought Oregon to the second weekend in five different NCAA Tournaments and is regularly discussed as a basketball mastermind by his peers.
8. Frosty Cox – Colorado
Cox‘s postseason success with Colorado throughout the 1930s and 1940s does not stop at a Final Four appearance in 1942. The Oklahoma native also led the school to a trio of NIT championships, helping build the foundation for the sport in the Centennial state for decades to come.
9. Fred Snowden – Arizona
The Fox should find his way on this list exclusively for becoming the first African-American head coach at any major university in the country in 1972. But instead, he claims the ninth spot for helping the Wildcats to a conference title and Elite Eight run in 1976.
10. Mick Cronin – UCLA
It may be early to sneak Cronin into the final spot of this list, but a combined record of 99-36 with three straight second-weekend showings in the NCAA Tournament, including a Final Four, is good enough for us. At just 52 years old, Cronin has plenty of time to continue to rise up this list.
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