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9 Winningest Final Four Coaches of All Time

by: Joseph On  Monday, March 30, 2015

Winningest-Final-Four-Coaches-Mike-Krzyzewski-595x335

It is difficult enough to coach a team to the Final Four  of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. But it is even more difficult to win once you are there. (That logic just totally blew your mind, didn’t it?) For that reason, the winningest Final Four coaches in the history of the tournament deserve special recognition. Because trying your best doesn’t make you a winner. Actually winning does.

So give them the recognition they deserve (passively, in the abstract) by clicking through this listicle. It features the  nine winningest Final Four coaches of all time as determined by our complicated formula that counts the number of national championships they won.

Read to go? Then click on those arrows to get started…

 

Winningest Final Four Coaches of All Time

Winningest-Final-Four-Coaches-Mike-Krzyzewski-595x335

It is difficult enough to coach a team to the Final Four  of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. But it is even more difficult to win once you are there. (That logic just totally blew your mind, didn’t it?) For that reason, the winningest Final Four coaches in the history of the tournament deserve special recognition. Because trying your best doesn’t make you a winner. Actually winning does.

So give them the recognition they deserve (passively, in the abstract) by clicking through this listicle. It features the  nine winningest Final Four coaches of all time as determined by our complicated formula that counts the number of national championships they won.

Read to go? Then click on those arrows to get started…

 

Winningest Final Four Coaches - Henry Iba

In a stretch between the years 1945 and 1951, Henry Iba took the Oklahoma State men’s basketball team to four Final Fours, with two consecutive championship wins in 1945 and 1946. Today, his name lives on in the form of the Henry Iba Award, given to the best college basketball coach according to the United States Basketball Writers Association.

Henry Iba

Winningest Final Four Coaches - Henry Iba

In a stretch between the years 1945 and 1951, Henry Iba took the Oklahoma State men’s basketball team to four Final Fours, with two consecutive championship wins in 1945 and 1946. Today, his name lives on in the form of the Henry Iba Award, given to the best college basketball coach according to the United States Basketball Writers Association.

Winningest Final Four Coaches - Rick Pitino

Unlike the majority of the coaches on this list, Rick Pitino has made multiple Final Four appearances with multiple schools. Three, to be precise, with one for Providence, and three each for both Kentucky and Louisville.

Rick Pitino

Winningest Final Four Coaches - Rick Pitino

Unlike the majority of the coaches on this list, Rick Pitino has made multiple Final Four appearances with multiple schools. Three, to be precise, with one for Providence, and three each for both Kentucky and Louisville.

Bob Knight is one of the rare group of NCAA basketball coaches who’s known even to those who don’t follow the sport – he’s the guy that throws chairs around and chokes people, right? But on the court he took his Indiana team to five Final Fours between 1973 and 1992, winning the national championship in three of those years.

Bob Knight

Bob Knight is one of the rare group of NCAA basketball coaches who’s known even to those who don’t follow the sport – he’s the guy that throws chairs around and chokes people, right? But on the court he took his Indiana team to five Final Fours between 1973 and 1992, winning the national championship in three of those years.

Winningest Final Four Coaches - Jim Calhoun

Since first taking Connecticut to the Final Four in 1999, coach Jim Calhoun has done so another four times, most recently in 2011. And in three of those four years, he took his team all the way to a national championship.

Jim Calhoun

Winningest Final Four Coaches - Jim Calhoun

Since first taking Connecticut to the Final Four in 1999, coach Jim Calhoun has done so another four times, most recently in 2011. And in three of those four years, he took his team all the way to a national championship.

Winningest Final Four Coaches - Roy Williams

Another coach on this list to work his magic at multiple schools is Roy Williams, who’s been a Final Four stalwart with both Kansas and North Carolina. Altogether, he’s got seven Final Four appearances to his name, as well as two national championships.

Roy Williams

Winningest Final Four Coaches - Roy Williams

Another coach on this list to work his magic at multiple schools is Roy Williams, who’s been a Final Four stalwart with both Kansas and North Carolina. Altogether, he’s got seven Final Four appearances to his name, as well as two national championships.

Winningest Final Four Coaches - Adolph Rupp

You know a guy’s an old-timer when his name is “Adolph” (that name tended to drop precipitously in popularity sometime around 1940, not really sure why), but Adolph Rupp’s six Final Four appearances and four national championships with Kentucky between 1942 and 1966 remains impressive today.

Adolph Rupp

Winningest Final Four Coaches - Adolph Rupp

You know a guy’s an old-timer when his name is “Adolph” (that name tended to drop precipitously in popularity sometime around 1940, not really sure why), but Adolph Rupp’s six Final Four appearances and four national championships with Kentucky between 1942 and 1966 remains impressive today.

Winningest Final Four Coaches - Dean Smith

Besides the following two coaches on this list, North Carolina’s recently departed Dean Smith has the most Final Four appearances of anyone, with 11 from between the years 1967 and 1997. Two of those years ended with national championships for his team – definitely a career than anyone in the sport can be jealous of.

Dean Smith

Winningest Final Four Coaches - Dean Smith

Besides the following two coaches on this list, North Carolina’s recently departed Dean Smith has the most Final Four appearances of anyone, with 11 from between the years 1967 and 1997. Two of those years ended with national championships for his team – definitely a career than anyone in the sport can be jealous of.

Winningest Final Four Coaches - Mike Krzyzewski

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is having one incredible stretch, with 12 appearances in the Final Four since 1986, which ties him for having the most appearances of any coach in the history of the tourney. And with four national championships under his belt so far, he may be on his way to surpass that record in the very near future.

Mike Krzyzewski

Winningest Final Four Coaches - Mike Krzyzewski

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is having one incredible stretch, with 12 appearances in the Final Four since 1986, which ties him for having the most appearances of any coach in the history of the tourney. And with four national championships under his belt so far, he may be on his way to surpass that record in the very near future.

Winningest Final Four Coaches - John Wooden

The coach with the most Final Four wins and the most national championships is John Wooden, who had a truly remarkable career with UCLA between the years 1962 and 1975, failing to make it into the Final Four only two of those years, and with national championships won in ten of them.

John Wooden

Winningest Final Four Coaches - John Wooden

The coach with the most Final Four wins and the most national championships is John Wooden, who had a truly remarkable career with UCLA between the years 1962 and 1975, failing to make it into the Final Four only two of those years, and with national championships won in ten of them.



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