The Most Famous College Basketball Coach: Ranking the Legends

Choose the college basketball coach you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Oct 1, 2023 10:53
Step right up, college basketball fans! It's time to settle the ultimate debate – who is the most famous college basketball coach of all time? At StrawPoll, we know how passionate you can be about your favorite team and its mastermind coach. That's why we've crafted this epic ranking that will finally put the question to rest. From legendary figures like Mike Krzyzewski to rising stars like Jay Wright, we've got them all! So, what are you waiting for? Cast your vote now and let your voice be heard in this thrilling race. Don't see your favorite coach on the list? No worries! Suggest a missing option and rally support to get them the recognition they deserve! Dive into the excitement and let's crown the ultimate college basketball coaching legend together!

Who Is the Most Famous College Basketball Coach? (October 2023)

  1. 1
    Coach K has led Duke to five national championships and is the winningest coach in NCAA Division I men's basketball history with 1,170 wins. He has also coached the USA men's national team to three Olympic gold medals.
    Mike Krzyzewski in other rankings
  2. 2

    John Wooden

    John Wooden
    Wooden is considered by many to be the greatest college basketball coach of all time, having won 10 national championships in 12 years at UCLA. His teams also had a record 88-game winning streak.
    John Wooden is widely regarded as one of the most successful coaches of all time in American collegiate basketball. He is known for his achievements as the head coach of the UCLA Bruins men's basketball team.
    • NCAA Championships: 10
    • Consecutive NCAA Championships: 7
    • Overall NCAA Tournament Appearances: 12
    • Conference Championships: 19
    • National Coach of the Year Awards: 7
    John Wooden in other rankings
  3. 3
    Williams has won three national championships as a coach, two with North Carolina and one with Kansas. He has also been named Coach of the Year multiple times.
    Roy Williams in other rankings
  4. 4
    Knight is known for his success at Indiana, where he won three national championships. He also coached at Texas Tech and Army and is one of the few coaches to have over 900 career wins.
    Bob Knight in other rankings
  5. 5
    Rick Pitino
    MKultra · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Pitino has coached at several major programs, including Kentucky, Louisville, and Providence. He has won two national championships and has been named Coach of the Year multiple times.
    Rick Pitino in other rankings
  6. 6
    Boeheim has been the head coach at Syracuse for over 40 years and has led the Orange to one national championship. He has also been named Coach of the Year multiple times.
  7. 7
    Dean Smith
    University of North Carolina · Public domain
    Smith won two national championships at North Carolina and is known for his coaching philosophy and innovative strategies, such as the four corners offense. He also coached several future NBA stars, including Michael Jordan.
  8. 8
    Adolph Rupp
    University of Kentucky · Public domain
    Rupp is a legendary figure in college basketball, having won four national championships at Kentucky. He is also known for his strict coaching style and his impact on the game during the early years of college basketball.
    Adolph Rupp in other rankings
  9. 9
    Self has won one national championship at Kansas and has been named Coach of the Year multiple times. He has also coached several NBA stars during his career.
  10. 10
    Pat Summitt
    Blueag9 · Public domain

    Pat Summitt

    Pat Summitt
    Summitt is the winningest coach in NCAA Division I women's basketball history, with over 1,000 career wins and eight national championships at Tennessee. She is also known for her advocacy for women's sports and her impact on the game.
    Pat Summitt was one of the most successful coaches in the history of women's college basketball. She was known for her remarkable leadership, passion, and dedication to the game. Summitt's coaching career spanned over four decades and was characterized by her relentless pursuit of excellence.
    • Total Wins: 1,098
    • NCAA Championships: 8
    • Final Four Appearances: 18
    • SEC Regular Season Titles: 16
    • SEC Tournament Titles: 16
    Pat Summitt in other rankings

Missing your favorite college basketball coach?


Ranking factors for famous college basketball coach

  1. Number of wins
    The number of wins in a coach's career is often a significant factor in determining their legacy and overall fame.
  2. Championships
    Winning championships is often a hallmark of greatness in any sport, and college basketball is no exception. The number of national championships a coach has won can be a key factor.
  3. Coaching tree
    A coach's influence on other coaches can also be a significant factor. Some coaches have produced numerous successful head coaches themselves, and this can be a reflection of their impact on the sport.
  4. Consistency
    A coach's ability to consistently maintain a high level of success over a long period of time can also be a factor in their fame and reputation.
  5. Impact on the game
    Coaches who have made significant contributions to the game of basketball, whether through innovative strategies or key rule changes, can also be considered more famous and influential than others.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous college basketball coach. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or your favorite college basketball coach is missing from the list, feel free to help us improve the ranking.


  • 155 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each college basketball coach once every 24 hours. The rank of each college basketball coach is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most famous college basketball coach

College basketball has a rich history and tradition in the United States, with many legendary coaches who have left their mark on the game. From the early days of the sport to the present day, these coaches have inspired and motivated generations of players and fans alike. While there are countless successful college basketball coaches, a few stand out as the most famous and influential. In this article, we will explore the backgrounds and achievements of these coaches, and take a closer look at what makes them so legendary.