Now that the college basketball season is officially over I thought we would take a closer look at the coaches in the Big 12. The conference was already loaded with high caliber coaching talent and just added two more due to the vacancies at Oklahoma State and TCU.
Ranking Criteria: Career wins/losses, conference championships, national championships, conferences coached, NCAA tourney success.
10. Brad Underwood - Oklahoma State
Overall Record - 89-14
Big 12 Record - 0-0
The first newcomer to the Big 12 is Stephen F. Austin's Brad Underwood. Out of the two new coaches in the conference I believe Underwood is getting a better situation at OSU than Dixon at TCU. Coach Underwood built a really nice program at SFA in just three seasons, but that was the Southland Conference. Now he must show he can do it in a power five conference.The Big 12 is probably the best conference top to bottom right now so Underwood will have to acclimate quickly.
9. Bruce Weber - Kansas State University
Overall Record - 392-209
Big 12 Record - 37-35
Without a doubt Weber will have the hottest coaching seat going into the 2016-2017 season. After 9 seasons in the Big 10 at Illinois he was relieved of his duties and hired by Kansas State in 2012. Much like at Illinois Weber enjoyed early success at K State but the program seems to be trending downward.
8. Steve Prohm - Iowa State University
Overall Record - 127-41
Big 12 Record- 10-8
Steve Prohm enjoyed success at a smaller school in a smaller conference and earned a job in the Big 12. Prohm racked up a record of 104-29 in his four years at Murray State and then bolted for Iowa State last year. His first season in Ames, Iowa was wildly successful, but those were not players he recruited. While I do believe Coach Prohm will be successful it is safe to say the jury is still out.
7. Jamie Dixon - Texas Christian University
Overall record - 328-123
Big 12 Record- 0-0
Dixon was the second new coach to join the Big 12 last month as he returned to coach his alma mater. Coach Dixon brings an impressive record from Pittsburgh where he coached for 13 seasons. Pittsburgh University and the fan base didn't have a problem lowering his buyout clause so that he could make the move to TCU. This was mainly because he had not been able to get the team to the next level (final fours and national championships). It will be a tall order to get TCU to the level he left the Pitt program, but if he does he will deserve a higher ranking on this list.
6. Scott Drew - Baylor University
Overall Record - 252-172
Big 12 Record - 85-115
Drew has been at Baylor since 2003 and no one can argue he has made the basketball program relevant at the national level. Drew's teams have made a couple of appearances in the Elite 8, but the last couple of years have underachieved in post season play. For Drew to make it to the next level of coaching he needs to capture some regular season championships or take a trip or two to the final four.
5. Shaka Smart - University of Texas
Overall Record - 183-69
Big 12 Record - 20-13
Smart finally cashed in on his abundant success at VCU and accepted the head coaching job in 2015 at the University of Texas. Smart made the NCAA tourney 5 out of 6 years at VCU which included a trip to the final four in the 2010-2011 campaign. In his inaugural season at UT Coach Smart racked up 20 wins and a ticket to the big dance. Make no mistake, Smart came to Texas because he believes the program can make a yearly run at the final four.
4. Lon Kruger - Oklahoma University
Overall Record 590-361
Big 12 Record 52-38
Kruger has been the head coach at 6 different schools (Texas-Pan American, Kansas State, Florida, Illinois, UNLV, and Oklahoma) and has enjoyed much success at every stop along the way. His teams have made 21 appearances in the NCAA tourney with two trips to the final four. Kruger has OU at the top of the conference and that shouldn't change anytime soon.
3. Bob Huggins - West Virginia University
Overall Record - 784-315
Big 12 Record - 88-66
Not only is Huggins at the top of this list, but he is at the top of the list nationally. He has won at every stop along his 30 plus years of coaching. In the 1990's he built Cincinnati into a national power and all signs point to West Virginia being on the same track. Huggins really needs a national championship to solidify him as an all-time great.
2. Tubby Smith - Texas Tech University
Overall Record - 557-276
Big 12 Record - 18-36
Coach Smith could very well be the best coach in the conference and if you asked Bill Self he would say Smith is. Smith is the only other Big 12 coach, besides Kansas' Self, to have won a national championship. Tubby Smith has won everywhere he has been and has already turned around a Texas Tech program that was in shambles before his arrival.
1. Bill Self - Kansas University
Overall Record - 593-188
Big 12 Record - 179-39
Bill Self has done nothing but dominate the conference since he arrived at Kansas in 2003. He has been to the NCAA tourney 18 years in a row with three different schools (Tulsa, Illinois, Kansas). During his 13 years at Kansas Self has won the Big 12 regular season title twelve times. As of now he is the king of the Big 12. I really do feel like you could swap out Tubby Smith and Bills Self on this list. I ended up giving Self the nod due to his consistent domination of the conference year in and year out.
Trying to rank these coaches was a lot harder than I though it would be. No I am not certain I got it right, but I am certain there are nine very talented coaches looking to take down the King of the Big 12, Bill Self.