ACC Coaches ain’t what we remember them to be

This was originally going to be a post about Paul Hewitt and his wonderful contract from Georgia Tech which incomprehensibly will continue to pay him $7.2 million for the next five years even as he coaches George Mason. Then Gary Williams retired. So I want to ruminate on ACC coaches current and past.

Memory is a wonderful and terrible thing. The coaches I remember in the ACC were (are) titans. I grew up with Smith, Krzyzweski, Valvano, Dreisel, Holland, Cremins. That is six of the eight coaches in the ACC during its golden period. Two of the greatest of all time and at least three other hall of famers. Today, it is two good coaches and then some guys. Outside of Roy Williams and Krzyzweksi (especially now that Gary Williams has retired) who else would you take in a coaching fight? I think Brad Brownell will be good at Clemson, but if he is really good there, he will be lured away to a bigger and better job. The same with Tony Bennett, another young coach with a bright future. Is Virginia a destination job? For that matter, is Maryland?

List of current ACC coaches:

  • UNC – Roy Williams
  • NC State – Mark Gottfried
  • Duke – Mike Krzyzweski
  • Wake Forest – Jeff Bzdelik
  • Clemson – Brad Brownell
  • Virginia – Tony Bennett
  • Maryland – TBD
  • Georgia Tech – Brian Gregory
  • Florida State – Leonard Hamilton
  • Virginia Tech – Seth Greenberg
  • Miami – Jim Larranaga
  • Boston College – Steve Donohue

List of 1992-1993 coaches:

  • UNC – Dean Smith
  • NC State – Les Robinson
  • Duke – Mike Krzyzweski
  • Wake Forest – Dave Odom
  • Clemson – Cliff Ellis
  • Virginia – Jeff Jones
  • Maryland – Gary Williams
  • Georgia Tech – Bobby Cremins
  • Florida State – Pat Kennedy

Virginia Tech, Miami, and Boston College were not in the ACC at the time. I had hoped to make the point that the coaches back in the day were a deeper group. I don’t know if I can make that argument. Williams and Cremins were hall of fame caliber, but after that it is a rather undistinguished group. Odom and Kennedy recruited well and Ellis and Jones had their moments. I would take Hamilton over Kennedy and Brownell over Ellis. The other two are a wash. The ACC’s biggest problems is that the Big East schools brought in for football have done nothing for basketball and truth be told outside of Virginia Tech, nothing for football.

Maybe another golden era of ACC basketball is around the corner. The problem there is, the next two guys to retire will probably be K and Ol’Roy. If the league does not recover before that, things could get really ugly.


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