After months of research and consulting with AD's, Presidents, search firms, and numerous influencers in the basketball space - We present the Silver Waves Media 50 Impactful Division II/NAIA Head Coaches in alphabetical order.
Our panel of 20 some people in different spaces within basketball submit names while we take into account each coaches record, high level players, tournament achievements, awards, votes from panelists, and other factors.
At the bottom of our list are 15 up-and-coming coaches to keep an eye on that have been at it for 5 years or less
***Will go Division I next year
With one NCAA Division II Championship and three Final Fours under his belt, Davenport is fully equipped to make a splash at the next level as the Bellarmine program transitions to the NCAA Division I level and the Atlantic Sun Conference next year. In 15 seasons with the program he has compiled a 264-109 (.708) and has yet to dip back below 20 wins like the program experienced in his first three rebuild seasons. In Davenport's fourth season at the helm he was able to turn a 12-win team into a 26-win team that advanced to the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen and in just his sixth season he was able to turn in the program's first National Championship. Bellarmine has won the GLVC six times under Davenport's direction since he arrived via Louisville under Denny Crum and Rick Pitino.
Courtesy of Dixie State Athletics
With nearly 600 wins, Judkins brings quite the profile to the NCAA Division I ranks and Western Athletic Conference next year. He has gone 569-261 (.686) in 27 seasons as a head coach at Dixie State and Snow College. Overall, Judkins has led the Trailblazers to 11-straight winning seasons with seven 20-win campaigns, which includes 22 victories in the 2010-11 and 2012-13 seasons. He has also guided them to six Pacific West Conference championships overall, including four-straight titles from 2009-13 and another crown in 2014-15, along with a PacWest Tournament title in 2013. In addition, Judkins has led Dixie State to eight trips to the NCAA Tournament in the last nine seasons overall from 2010-17, advancing all the way to the “Sweet 16” in the 2011 West Regional final.
Courtesy of UCSD Athletics
Olen, who is the owner of a 159-56 (.740) overall record as a head coach in 7 seasons, got his start as an assistant at UC San Diego for nine seasons before taking over the program. He has transformed the program during that time and will look to maintain the success as they transition to NCAA Division I and the Big West Conference in 2020. The success has been highlighted by three California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) regular season titles, four consecutive CCAA tournament crowns, and one Elite Eight appearance. This past season, ended up being the best under Olen as the program enjoyed a 30-1 overall record and ranked as high as No. 4 in the country by winning the last 22 games of the season. Along the way, Olen became the fastest UC San Diego head coach to reach 150 career wins, and his .740 winning percentage is the best in program annals. Olen has helped coach players to 20 All-CCAA selections and four Tritons have garnered league Freshman of the Year accolades during his time as head coach in Southern California.
Courtesy of St. Thomas Aquinas Athletics
St. Thomas Aquinas has been a consistent face in the NCAA Division II tournament the past four consecutive seasons with Anderson in charge. In 7 seasons with the program, Anderson has gone a blistering 167-55 (.752) with the program's first-ever Elite Eight appearance, two regular season conference championships, and four conference tournament championships. Anderson came to St. Thomas Aquinas with plenty of experience at various levels. He was an assistant at Siena (DI) for two seasons, a head coach at Hamilton College (DIII) for seven seasons, a head coach at Clarkson University (DIII) for five seasons, and an assistant at Le Moyne College (DII). He has gone 352-184 (.657) in 19 total seasons as a head coach.
Courtesy of the Associated Press
Billeter owns a 421-238 (.639) overall record in 22 seasons as a head coach. He has taken his teams to 12 NCAA Tournaments, two NSIC Championships, two NSIC Tournament Championships and has coached eight players to nine conference player of the year awards. Additionally, in 2016, Augustana won the NCAA Division II National Championship, won a school record 34 games, owned the highest win percentage in Division II and the second-most win of any team at any level that year. Billeter came to Augustana via North Dakota State where he compiled a 97-50 record, four consecutive 20-win seasons and earned four-straight appearances in the NCAA Division Division II Tournament. Billeter also has Division I experience as an assistant having served under Lute Olson at Arizona, under Fran Fraschilla at St. John's, under Melvin Watkins at Texas A&M, and at Rice. He coached and developed numerous NBA players during that span including Steve Kerr, Sean Elliott, and Ron Artest.
Courtesy of WCU Athletics
A twelve year head coach, Blair owns a 224-122 (.647) overall record with four NCAA Tournament appearances in the last seven years and six 20-win seasons at his alma mater. Due to his efforts, the program has never finished below third place in the conference standings in nine of his twelve seasons on the sidelines. Blair has become the second winningest coach in program history along the way. It's not the only mark that he has set with the program though. Blair graduated as the second all-time leading scorer in program history as well playing for HOF Dick Delaney. He was a four-time all-league selection at West Chester, including three first-team nods. Blair came to West Chester after a successful stint as a high school coach. He compiled a 173-78 (.689) record during his tenure.
Blankenship has won at every stage of his career. As a player at Tulsa and LSU Shreveport he went 100-51, as an assistant coach at LSU Shreveport, Lamar State, and Rogers State he went 119-47, and as a head coach at LSU Shreveport he has amassed a 189-70 (.730) in 8 seasons in the driver's seat. The culmination of wins while he's been at the helm has resulted in eight consecutive NAIA National Tournaments and two Final Four appearances in 2013 and 2018. He has coached and developed an impressive six All-Americans during his eight seasons that have helped him win two regular season conference titles and enjoy seven 20-win seasons.
Courtesy of LSUS Athletics
Lonnie Blow has won and been apart of championship teams everywhere he has been, including the 2020, 2019, 2016, 2010 CIAA Championships, 2011 CAA Championship at Old Dominion University; 2010 CIAA Championship at Saint Augustine’s University; 2006 MEAC Championship at Hampton University; and the 2000 Virginia High School League (VHSL) State Championship at Granby HS. He is the only coach in CIAA history to win a championship at two different schools. In 9 seasons as a head coach, he has compiled a 196-67 (.745) overall record. He has won a total of 12 different Coach of the Year awards. Blow is third all-time in scoring at Virginia Wesleyan as a player and was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the school in 2009.
Courtesy of VSU Athletics
Bohac has piloted his teams to one Final 4 and two Elite Eights in his 12 seasons as a head coach with an overall record of 253-123 (.673). The team has won the GAC regular season title the past three seasons and two straight GAC tournament championships (2018-19), a feat that has never been accomplished in the history of the conference. He has set many program records along the way as well including the highest win total in a three-year span, the most consecutive trips to the national tournament, the fastest coach to reach 100 wins, the first ranking, and the first All-American. Bohac came to Southern Nazarene via the United States Military Academy where he served as an assistant under Jim Crews for one season. He also spent time as an assistant for three seasons at Southern Nazarene before taking over.
Courtesy of SNU Athletics
Boschee has gotten off to a fast start as a head coach. He has compiled a 124-61 (.670) overall record in 6 seasons and a Sweet 16 appearance after serving four seasons as an assistant coach prior to his appointment. In fact, Boschee is the fastest Missouri Southern coach to 100 wins in program history. Since Boschee has arrived at Southern, the Lions have gone 187-87, made nine-consecutive MIAA tournaments and had trips to five of the last nine NCAA Division II postseason tournaments, while claiming the 2010-11 MIAA regular season championship, and the 2013-14 postseason tournament championship. The 2010-11 team set the MIAA record for conference wins in a season with 19. Boschee was a McDonald's All-American in high school, Big 12 Freshman of the Year in 1999-00, and third team All-Big 12 at Kansas by the time he was a senior.
Missouri Southern Athletics
Briggs is 249-61 (.803) in eight seasons at the helm of the Georgetown program. Even more impressive is that he is 366-78 (.884) in his entire thirteen-year career as both an assistant and a head coach. During his time as a head coach, he has appeared in three NAIA National Championship games winning two of them in 2013 and 2019. Briggs has also put together three Elite Eight runs and been named National Coach of the Year twice. In his 13 total seasons with the program, he has amassed six MSC regular season titles, six MSC tournament titles, coached 21 NAIA All-Americans, two MSC Player of the Years, and 33 All-MSC honorees. Briggs got his start as a manager and graduate assistant at the University of Kentucky under Tubby Smith.
Courtesy of Ferris State Athletics
Bronkema has become one of the hottest head coaches in the country the past seven years compiling a 170-59 (.742) overall record after spending the previous seven years as an assistant on the staff. The Bulldogs have won 3 GLIAC regular season championships, 4 GLIAC Tournament championships, traveled to the Sweet 16, and taken home the NCAA DII National Championship in his short time at the helm. He was named NABC Division II Coach of the Year in 2018 and has been named the GLIAC Coach of the Year on two separate occasions. Bronkema played for Kim Elders (also on this list) at Cornerstone and went to a NAIA Final Four as a player. He earned the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan Scholar-Athlete Award and finished his collegiate career with 1,725 points, 982 rebounds, 336 assists and 140 steals.
Courtesy of John Moore, Amarillo Globe
Brown hasn't wasted anytime making his mark at the NCAA Division II level at West Texas A&M. Over the last three seasons, the Buffs own the most wins (98) at any level beating out teams like Gonzaga, Virginia, etc. He has turned in a 162-40 (.802) overall record for a program that was just 10-17 in the season prior to his arrival. Additionally, the Buffs have set a program record for wins in a season (34), reached a NCAA Division II Final Four, one Elite Eight, one Sweet Sixteen, three Lone Star Conference Regular Season Championships, and three Lone Star Conference Tournament Championships. Prior to West Texas A&M, Brown served as an associate head coach at Winona State. He won two NCAA Division II National Championships while there and helped compile a 368-139 (.726) overall record during his time there.
Courtesy of Victory Sports Network
A 23-year coaching veteran, Butcher has spent the last 20 seasons compiling a 435-203 (.682) overall record. The tenure has included 15 NAIA National Tournament Appearances, seventeen 20-win seasons, one MSC Regular Season Championship, two MSC Tournament Championships, along with Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight appearances. Butcher has recruited and coached 35 MSC First Team All-Conference Selections, 11 MSC Second Team All-Conference Selections, 70 MSC Academic All-Conference Selections, 1 NAIA First Team All-American, Four NAIA Second Team All-Americans, Two NAIA Third Team All-Americans, and 12 NAIA All-American Honorable Mentions. Butcher got his start as an assistant at Georgetown College from 1987-89 before arriving at Cumberlands.
In 12 seasons on the sidelines at Chico State, Clink owns a 229-124 (.649) overall record. During that time, the Wildcats have racked up six NCAA Tournament appearances, two Elite Eights, and three California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) regular season championships. Under his tutelage, many of his players have gone on to earn individual recognition. His players have earned 38 total postseason conference awards, ten All-West Region selections and three All-America honors. Chico State's defense has been ranked in the top 10 in separate seasons during those twelve years. Clink got his start as a player and as an assistant at Chico State. He also spent time at Gavilan Community College, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Davis before taking over for his former head coach, 21-year coaching legend Puck Smith.
Courtesy of St. Edwards Athletics
The owner of a 311-172 (.644) in 16 seasons as a head coach, Cook has transformed the St. Edward's program into a contender. After sub .500 seasons in his first three years at the helm of the program, the Hilltoppers have nearly won thirty games in back-to-back seasons much like he was able to do at Hudson Valley Community College, his previous stop. His 30 wins in 2018-19 were a program record as he swept the Heartland Conference, advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA DII Tournament, and earned a No. 2 national ranking during the season. Hudson Valley also experienced a deep run in Cook's final year as the program advanced to the Final 4 of the NJCAA Division III National Tournament in 2008-09. The culmination of both programs during his final years earned him multiple national and conference Coach of the Year awards.
Courtesy of LSUA Athletics
With the highest winning percentage of any coach on this list, Cordaro is destined for stardom. He has managed to put together an astounding 170-27 (.862) overall record and a 100-10 (.909) conference record in six seasons as a head coach. The success has resulted in five Red River Athletic Conference regular season titles and three conference tournament titles. On a national level, he’s guided the Generals to the NAIA National Championship Tournament all six seasons, achieving the program’s first two trips to the Final Four, including making the program's first-ever appearance in the NAIA National Championship game in 2018. While winning numerous Coach of the Year accolades himself, he's led eight players to NAIA All-American honors. Cordaro came to LSU Alexandria after being one of the youngest Division I assistants in the country at both Southeastern Louisiana and UT Arlington. He got his start at LSU under John Brady as a DOBO for three seasons.
Courtesy of NSU Athletics
A two-time national coach of the year, Crutchfield has put together a 428-81 (.841) overall record in 16 seasons as a head coach. Crutchfield has been on the job in southern Florida for three seasons after the program posted a 6-20 record prior to his arrival. The Sharks have already posted the highest ranking in program history (3) and captured the program's first-ever SSC regular season title. Crutchfield comes to Nova Southeastern via West Liberty where he amassed a career record of 359-61 (.855), which was the highest career winning percentage in college basketball history among all NCAA coaches at any level who had spent at least 10 seasons as an NCAA head coach. West Liberty was the only team in the country to advance to the Elite Eight four consecutive years since the tournament expanded to 64 teams. If that wasn't enough, his 24-9 NCAA tournament record marked the highest all-time winning percentage among all active NCAA Division II schools in the country. Crutchfield has also advanced to an Elite Eight in his short time with the Sharks.
Courtesy of HIU Athletics
Czech just completed his 11th season on the sidelines as the head coach of the Hope International program and has accumulated a 239-128 (.651) overall record. During that time, he has taken them from a perennial last-place finish team in the GSAC to one of the top-flight programs in the NAIA. The program has competed in seven consecutive NAIA National Tournaments after never experiencing the tournament in its history before Czech arrived. It would take Czech just six seasons to advance to the NAIA Final Four and earn a No. 1 national ranking after winning a total of just four games in his first season. The club has also won two GSAC regular season titles and one GSAC Tournament. Czech came to Hope International after many successful years as a high school coach in Orange County at Fullerton Union.
Courtesy of ESU Athletics
In eight seasons as a head coach, Doty has already won an unprecedented 3 national championships with one runner-up finish at the NJCAA and NAIA levels. He is in control of a 186-84 (.689) overall record and an astounding 29-5 (.853) record during postseason play. In 2012, he took a bottom-of-the-conference Rock Valley team to four consecutive national tournaments and three consecutive national title games. Rock Valley would hold a No. 1 national ranking for 729 consecutive days during his tenure. He has received nine different National Coach of the Year awards already in his young career for his efforts. Doty has also spent time as an assistant at Sioux Falls, Riverland CC, Central Wyoming College, and Morningside College. His time as an assistant was highlighted by becoming an interim coach at Central Wyoming College and recruiting nine players that would help the team go 20-11 the following season and at Morningside where the team experienced a Sweet 16, a conference title, and a No. 10 overall ranking.
Courtesy of Cornerstone Athletics
A three-time NAIA DII National Champion, Elders has amassed a 698-254 (.733) in 27 seasons. Elders has guided Cornerstone through the domination of the WHAC conference during that time. The team has won 11 WHAC Regular Season Championships, 10 WHAC Tournament Championships, and went to the WHAC Tournament title game an impressive 14 straight times from 1999-2011. The NAIA Hall of Famer's guidance in the NAIA DII National Tournament has also been something to take notice of. Cornerstone has one runner-up finish, four Final Fours, five Elite Eights, and the program's 40 NAIA DII National Tournament victories currently ranks 1st all-time. Elders has been awarded NABC National Coach of the Year Award three times.
Courtesy of Shippensburg Athletics
Fite has completely turned around a Shippensburg program that won just seven games in the year prior to his arrival. Since, the program has put together a 135-72 (.652) overall record, gained its first NCAA Division II Tournament victories, achieved its highest national ranking, set a season record for wins, and reached an Elite Eight. The Raiders have put together three NCAA Tournament appearances in those seven years. As a recruiter, Fite has brought in four 1,000-point scorers and multiple award winners at both the conference and regional level who have helped to redefine the program. Dustin Sleva ’18, a Pittsburgh native, became the first NABC First-Team All-American in school history. He finished as a two-time All-American and one of four players in PSAC history with at least 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. Fite came to Shippensburg after seven successful seasons with Joe Lombardi at Indiana (PA), another coach on this list. He also had one-year stints at Saint Vincent College and at his alma mater, Rochester, where he won a national championship as a player.
Courtesy of MidAmerica Christian Athletics
With a career record of 116-54 (.682) in 5 seasons and a national championship already under his belt, Gamblin is one of the hottest coaches young coaches in the country regardless of level. He is the youngest coach (27 years old) in college basketball history to win a national championship at a four-year institution. Two years later he would lead the program on another run to the Sweet Sixteen. Gamblin has additional experience working as a graduate assistant under Lon Kruger at Oklahoma, as an assistant at Southwestern Christian, and as an intern video coordinator for the Los Angeles Clippers under Vinny Del Negro. He is also heavily involved with Team Griffin on the Nike EYBL circuit.
Gouard comes back to Southern Indiana after restoring UIndy back to national prominence. In 12 seasons at the helm of the program, Gouard compiled a 228-117 (.661) overall record. That success has included six consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances from 2010-2016, multiple All-America honors, a No. 1 ranking from his Division II peers (2014-15 season) and 2013-14 GLVC Coach of the Year honors. Gouard was named NABC Midwest Region Coach of the Year following the 2019-20 campaign. The 2019-20 season was perhaps his best, as the team went 24-9 and earned a No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. His twelve-year stint with Greyhounds was also highlighted by knocking off the University of Tennessee on the road and a trip to the NCAA DII Sweet Sixteen in 2014-15. Gouard won a national championship as a player at Southern Indiana in 1995 under Bruce Pearl and also earned two NABC Division II National Player of the Year awards.
Courtesy of Valdosta State
Helfer has compiled a 489-224 (.686) overall record during his 23 seasons as a head coach. The Blazers have won the GSC regular season title six times, advanced to three Sweet 16s, and one Elite Eight during this time. Additionally, Helfer has helped guide his teams to fourteen 20-win seasons and has set a record at Valdosta State for most wins in a season. He has received eight different Coach of the Year awards during this time. He served as the head coach at Southern Poly and as an assistant coach at Capital University, Kent State, and Grand Valley State before turning Valdosta State into a national power.
Courtesy of Oskaloosa News
In his 19 seasons on the sideline for William Penn as the head coach of the program, John Henry has guided the Statesmen to a 423-209 (.669) overall record. He has recruited and developed 58 all-conference performers, 22 All-Americans, 72 academic all-conference selections, and 27 NAIA Scholar-Athletes. After just a 7-win first year, Henry has pieced together eight conference titles (2006, 2007, 2008, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020) and nine to NAIA Division I or II National Tournaments (2007, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020). Eleven of his squads have reached the Conference Tournament Finals (six titles in 2007, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2020), while the 2013 team won a school-record 34 games, highlighted by a 20-game winning streak. While Henry has made his mark in the conference, he has also led his teams to two Elite Eights, one Final Four, and one NAIA National Championship game.
Courtesy of Drury Athletics
The all-time wins leader in Drury basketball history, Hesser brings a 323-126 (.718) overall record along with him as he enters the 2020-21 season. Both marks place him among the top 10 active coaches in NCAA Division II. Hesser's nine regular season conference titles, three league championships, ten NCAA DII Tournament appearances, two Elite Eights, and an NCAA Championship in 2013. Perhaps even more impressive is that Oklahoma native is the Panthers have been particularly tough at home. Drury is 118-17 all-time at the O'Reilly Family Event Center since the arena opened for the 2010-11 season and the Panthers won a program-record 32-straight home game from 2013-15. Drury was 78-13 through six years under Hesser at Weiser Gym putting his career record at 197-30 (.868) in home games. Hesser came to Drury after a successful stint as a high school coach in Oklahoma and Missouri where his efforts were highlighted by three three Oklahoma State Championships along with one runner-up finish.
Courtesy of Biola Athletics
A living legend, Dr. Holmquist is quickly approaching 1,000 wins that will put him in elite company amongst all NCAA coaches at any level throughout history. Only four other coaches throughout history have reached the milestone and Holmquist has done it with great success compiling a 992-406 (.684) overall record in 40 seasons as a head coach. He coached Biola to 21 appearances at the NAIA National Tournament and has reached postseason play in every year eligible since he began coaching at Biola. He's earned two NAIA National Coach of the Year awards, eight conference/district Coach of the Year awards and, of course, is a NAIA Hall of Fame member (2002). Biola was a program that hadn't been to a NAIA National Tournament in 18 years prior to his arrival and upon the departure from the NAIA, Biola had the sixth-most appearances in the tournament among all NAIA programs.
The winningest coach in Montana State Northern history, Huse owns a 372-203 (.647) overall record in 18 seasons that ranks him 17th in wins among active NAIA Division I men's basketball coaches, and 5th among that group in active winning percentage. He has led the Lights to five NAIA National Tournaments, five Frontier Conference titles (league or tournament), eleven 20-win seasons, and NAIA Top 25 rankings in 14 of his 17 seasons. Huse was also a successful assistant coach prior to his time at Montana State Northern. At Nebraska-Kearney, he helped lead the team to two Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Tournament Championships, two regular-season titles, and a school-record 18 consecutive games won in two seasons. He was able to do the same in two seasons at Montana Tech where the Orediggers enjoyed back-to-back conference tournament championships and national tournament appearances in 1998 and 1999.
Courtesy of Cal Poly Pomona Athletics
Kamansky, the winningest coach in Cal Poly Pomona history, has compiled a 417-166 (.715) overall record in 20 seasons. During that time, he has taken the Broncos to 12 NCAA tournaments, highlighted by six CCAA Championships, four West Region Championships, two National Final appearances, and the Division II National Championship which CPP captured in 2009-10. Under Kamansky's reign, CPP has posted winning records in 17 of his 19 seasons at the helm, and has recorded 12 20-win seasons. Prior to Kamansky’s appointment, the Broncos experienced postseason play in just three seasons in the first 52 years of CPP basketball. The Broncos have put together a 309-119 (.722) overall record during that time in conference play.
Courtesy of Dillon Tribune
Keller controls a 273-144 (.655) overall record in 13 seasons as a head coach at Providence and Montana Western. After three consecutive losing seasons prior to his arrival, Keller has turned the program around and produced a 42-20 record in two seasons on the sidelines for Providence. He came to conference rival school via Montana Western where he owned a 207-116 overall record in 11 seasons with two Frontier Conference regular season championship finishes. His teams at Montana Western were ranked in the top 25 of NAIA ranks in seven separate seasons during his time there making eight NAIA National Tournament appearances and two Elite Eight appearances. Prior to his time at the collegiate level, Keller was an extremely decorated Montana high school coach. He won seven state titles in 20 seasons while accumulating a staggering 610-180 (.772) overall record. He was inducted into the Montana Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2005 and has coached 38 years overall in the state.
The winningest coach in program history, Korver possesses a 458-184 (.713) in 20 seasons as a head coach. During that time, Northwest has won two NAIA National Championships, been to three Final Fours, one Elite Eight, thirteen NAIA National Tournaments, won the GPAC regular season conference title eight times, and won the GPAC tournament five times. Korver has recruited and coached 26 All-American players, one NAIA Player of the Year, 7 GPAC Players of the Year, 3 GPAC Freshmen of the Year, and 2 GPAC Defensive Players of the Year. He currently ranks eighth in total wins among active coaches within the NAIA.
Courtesy of MidAmerica Nazarene Athletics
Currently the winningest coach at the NAIA level, Lamar has compiled a 774-410 (.654) overall record in 34 seasons as a head coach. Before his arrival, MNU had just six winning seasons and had never experienced a 20-win season. Since, the program has won at least 20 games in 23 seasons, won 13 conference championships, have been to NAIA National Tournament 18 times, and have been to the NAIA Final Four an astounding 7 times with one runner-up finish and one NAIA National Title finish. He has garnered multiple Coach of the Year Awards during this time and was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 2014.
Courtesy of Bentley Athletics
Lawson has been the most consistent force in one of the most deepest and competitive leagues in the country. Since the 2000-01 season, Bentley has a conference-best .684 winning percentage in regular season Northeast-10 games. The Falcons have won seven of the last 15 Northeast-10 regular season championships (including five straight from 2005-09 and a Northeast Division title in 2016), have reached the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen six times since 2005 and have competed in three Elite Eights since 2007, including two national semifinal games. Bentley has broken the NCAA Division II record for consecutive regular season wins twice during Lawson's tenure. He has coached 45 of the program’s top 70 scorers, 35 All-Northeast-10 honorees, five All-Americas, three Academic All-Americas and a National Player of the Year in Jason Westrol.
Courtesy of Point Loma Athletics
Logie, who had unprecedented success at the NCAA Division III level, is now starting to make his mark at Point Loma after a 20-win first season. Before coming to the San Diego cliffs, Logie spent the past eight seasons as the head coach at Whitworth. During his tenure, the Pirates won .847 percent of their games, the highest winning percentage in the history of the NCAA (min. five years). His teams earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament in seven of his eight seasons, and he guided Whitworth to five straight Northwest Conference Championships (2011-16), and to six postseason titles (2011-16 & 2017-18). Logie was a three-time NWC Coach of the Year and a two-time finalist for the Glenn Robinson National Coach of the Year. He led Whitworth to a No. 1 national ranking in 2015-16, and he is the only coach in NCAA Division III history to win 100 games in his first four years. Prior to joining Whitworth, Logie played and was an assistant coach at Division I Lehigh. He graduated as the school's seventh all-time leading scorer (1,524 points) and recruited CJ McCollum, a 2013 NBA Draft pick and current member of the Portland Trail Blazers, who helped lead the Mountain Hawks into the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Logie is 218-41 (.842) in 9 seasons overall as a head coach with one Elite Eight appearance.
In 14 seasons at the helm of Indiana (PA), Lombardi has compiled a 333-102 (.766) overall record with nine NCAA tournament appearances, four PSAC tournament titles (2010, 2011, 2013, 2019), two Sweet 16s (2010, 2015) and two Division II National Championship Game appearances (2010, 2015). He also boasts a 204-54 (.791) record in conference games and has won an impressive nine PSAC West regular season titles, including five straight from 2010-14. Lombardi brought a wealth of NCAA Division I experience with him to Indiana (PA). He served as an assistant under Jamie Dixon at Pitt from 2003-06 compiling a 76-22 record while reaching consecutive Sweet 16s and winning the Big East. He has also worked at LaSalle, St. Bonaventure, and Saint Francis (PA). Both St. Bonaventure and Saint Francis (PA) experienced NCAA Tournaments during his tenures.
The winningest coach in Queens history, Lundy owns a 383-180 (.680) overall record in 17 seasons as a head coach at the NCAA Division I and Division II levels. In 7 total years at Queens, Lundy is an even more impressive 287-93 (.755). In his 12 years leading the Royals, Lundy has led Queens to all four of its Elite Eight appearances, eight NCAA Tournament berths including five in a row, five conference regular season titles, and two conference tournament titles since taking over the program at the young age of 25. Lundy was also named Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year in 2000-2001, Southeast Region Coach of the Year in 2003, and has coached one National Player of the Year, three conference players of the year, 13 first-team all-conference selections, and all seven All-Americans in program history. Lundy took over the High Point program from 2003-09 at the age of 31, making him the youngest head coach in NCAA Division I at the time. In his first year, Lundy was named the 2004 NCAA Division I National Rookie Coach of the Year after guiding his team to a 19-11 record, the largest turnaround from the previous year. His 96 wins are the most by a coach in High Point’s Division I history and the fifth most wins in Big South Conference history. He also established school records for conference wins, road wins and highest RPI ranking. He has also served in an assistant role at Marquette for six seasons under Buzz Williams and at North Texas for one season under Tony Benford.
Courtesy of Fast Philly Sports
One of just four coaches that have reached the 1,000 win club at any level throughout history, Magee was honored as a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee in 2011. His 1,123 wins in 53 seasons currently ranks second most all-time behind Mike Krzyzewski's 1,157 wins and his (.717) win percentage currently ranks 7th amongst all head coaches throughout history with at least 800 wins. Magee has won one National Championship, been to two Elite Eights, and nine Sweet 16s during this time. Commonly referred to as the Shot Doctor, Magee has worked with numerous NBA Players on their shooting mechanics including Charles Barkley, Jameer Nelson, and Evan Turner. He has coached 13 All-Americans, 48 1,000-point scorers, three 2,000-point scorers, and one Player of the Year.
Minnesota State Athletics
Margenthaler has built one of the top programs in NCAA Division II in the last 19 seasons. He has compiled a 410-180 overall record during that time. The program has taken home four NSIC championships, put together thirteen 20-win seasons, advanced to one four Sweet 16s, one Elite Eight, and one Final Four during his tenure. Additionally, Margenthaler has developed six All-Americans, 38 players that have earned All-NCC or All-NSIC honors, six newcomers of the year, two freshman of the year, four defensive players of the year, three most valuable players, and 26 players that have earned Academic honors. He has earned conference coach of the year six times and is the all-time winningest coach in school history. He has served on the NABC Board of Directors since 2014.
NW Missouri Athletics
McCollum has taken the NCAA Division II world by storm during his time at Northwest Missouri State. Over the past four seasons, McCollum has guided Northwest to a mark of 131-6 and two NCAA Division II national championships (2017, 2019). Northwest's four-year stretch of 131 wins is an NCAA Division II record and ranks No. 9 among all NCAA divisions over four consecutive years. Northwest Missouri State became just the fifth program in NCAA Division II history to complete an undefeated season. McCollum has an overall record of 272-76 (.782) in 10 seasons with numerous Coach of the Year awards throughout his tenure. The team has won seven consecutive conference regular season titles dating back to 2014 and has a 19-5 record in the NCAA Division II Tournament.
Courtesy of St. Xavier
In 23 seasons as a head coach, O'Malley has amassed a 527-241 (.686) overall record. The total win amount ranks third among active NAIA Division II coaches. Under his watch, the Cougars have claimed three CCAC regular season championships and four CCAC Tournament titles. They have qualified for the NAIA National Tournament twelve times during his era reaching as far as the Elite Eight in 2005. Additionally, they have won at least 20 games in 17 of O'Malley's 23 seasons while setting and matching the program record of 30 wins in a season three times. O’Malley has coached a total of 71 All-CCAC Team recipients, and 20 NAIA All-Americans. Six of O’Malley’s former players have been inducted into the Saint Xavier Athletics Hall of Fame. O'Malley was a high school coach before joining the Cougars. His win total stands at 1,001 games if you include the high school wins he collected. O’Malley is a 2011 inductee into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame, and has also been inducted into the CCAC Hall of Fame, Illinois Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) Hall of Fame, Leo High School Hall of Fame, Chicago Catholic League Hall of Fame.
Alaska Anchorage Athletics
After leading UAA to 13 winning seasons in the last 14 campaigns — including five NCAA Tourney appearances with one Final Four — Rusty Osborne has clearly established himself among the top coaches in both Division II basketball and school history. He has gone 279-166 (.627) in 15 seasons, including victories over 12 Division I teams and 15 nationally ranked NCAA Division II teams. In that time, he has produced six All-Americans (including 2012 Div. II Bulletin National Player of the Year and GNAC POY Taylor Rohde), three CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-Americans, 10 All-West Region performers and 23 All-Great Northwest Athletic Conference first- or second-team honorees, while 21 Seawolves have moved on to play professionally. Osborne’s teams have also gained a reputation for defense, leading the GNAC in points allowed in seven of his 15 seasons. The longest-tenured coach in the GNAC, Osborne is currently the chair of the NCAA Div. II West Region regional advisory committee and a member of the D-II national committee, representing the West. He has also been the GNAC representative to the NABC National Congress for the last six years.
Courtesy of Embry Riddle Athletics
A NAIA Hall of Famer, Ridder has compiled an impressive 716-296 (.708) record in 31 seasons. The winning percentage is currently 9th-best amongst active coaches at any level with at least 600 victories. Ridder inherited a program that went winless in its inaugural season in 1988-89 and won just four games in Ridder's first season before NAIA record turnaround in 1990-91. The program consistently posts 20-win seasons now and earned their first NAIA National Title in 1999-00. Embry-Riddle has claimed nine conference regular seasons titles and 11 conference tournament crowns during Ridder’s tenure. Additionally, the Eagles’ 21 mentions as the No. 1 team in the country ranks as the second-most in NAIA II history. The program's 15 NAIA II National Tournament appearances is the fourth-most by any program. The 15 appearances have been highlighted by the one national championship, two Final Fours, and Five Elite Eights.
Rooney hasn't wasted any time making his mark on the Cal State East Bay program after accumulating 200 victories, seven California Pacific Conference Championships, and five NAIA National Tournament appearances in 10 seasons as a head coach at Cal Maritime Academy. The program was just 56-133 (.296) prior to his arrival and have now gone 49-39 (.557) in the three years since. Due to the 12-game swing the program has taken, Rooney was awarded California Collegiate Athletic Association Coach of the Year honors in 2018-19 for the first time ever in program history. Rooney's decade-long tenure at Cal Maritime was unquestionably the most successful in the school's history. In his third season, the Keelhaulers won the CalPac championship, which marked Cal Maritime's first intercollegiate championship in any sport. Rooney's squads broke the program record for victories five times in his first eight years, culminating in 2013-14 when the team notched a 27-6 record and finished the season ranked No. 17 in the final National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) poll. The team advanced to two Sweet 16s during his tenure. As a head coach for 13 seasons, Rooney has coached 32 All-Conference honorees, five All-Americans, and 10 Academic All-Americans.
Courtesy of Emmanuel College
In just 17 seasons as a head coach, Rosene has appeared in more national championship games than any of the other impactful coaches on this list. He has coached in 6 national championship games between NAIA and NCCAA with 3 runner-up finishes and 3 national titles. He owns a 378-215 (.637) overall record during that time with twelve 20-win seasons. Emmanuel looks to continue that same success at the NCAA Division II level as they have only been a member since 2018. They have yet to make a tournament run in those two seasons like they have in years past, but they have made their presence felt and showed that they belong advancing to one NCAA Division II tournament so far and nearly knocking off the top overall seed. Rosene also serves as Director of Coach Development for PGC Basketball and has a Podcast called The Hardwood Hustle.
Courtesy of Arizona Christian Athletics
After breaking the school's record for wins in a season in 2018-19 (25) while advancing to the Elite Eight, Rutter was able to match that record again this past year. He has accumulated a 174-78 (.690) overall record in 8 seasons at the helm of the program making him the winningest coach in program history. Rutter has put together six 20-win seasons, recruited three NAIA All-Americans, and appeared in the NAIA National Tournament six times with Rutter on the sidelines and their Elite Eight run is the farthest the program has ever been in the postseason. In fact, the program hadn't won a postseason game until Rutter arrived via Azusa Pacific. He sports an impressive combined record of 492-180 (.732) during his time as an assistant at Azusa Pacific, Cal Baptist, and as a head coach at Arizona Christian.
Courtesy of Lincoln Memorial Athletics
A three-time national coach of the year, Schertz has led Lincoln Memorial to an astounding 316-64 (.832) overall record in 12 seasons. During that time, the Railsplitters have dominated their conference and rewritten the history books, setting marks for wins in a season (34), consecutive wins (24), consecutive conference wins (34), consecutive conference road wins (25) most wins in a four-year period (126), consecutive conference regular season titles (7), and the most Coach of the Year awards (7) . They are the only team in SAC basketball history to complete an undefeated regular season, accomplishing it twice in 2016 and 2018. LMU is also the only program in the SAC to win 20 or more games in a row, something they’ve done on four different occasions since 2010. Additionally, The Railsplitters became just the second team in the history of Division II basketball to post four consecutive 30-win seasons from 2014-18, while their streak of 95-straight weeks in the national poll was the second-longest of all time.
Courtesy of College of the Ozarks Athletics
During his 18-year tenure, Shepherd has accumulated a National title, three Final Four appearances, a conference title, three conference tournament titles for the Bobcats, and fifteen 20-win seasons. Shepherd's overall record currently stands at 390-202 (.659). He has coached and recruited thirteen NAIA DII All-American players, three of whom have received multiple recognition, and one NCCAA DI All-American during that time. Prior to coming to Ozarks, Shepherd served as an assistant for four seasons at Evangel University where he was able to contribute to another NAIA Division II Championship. Shepherd got his start as a high school varsity girls basketball coach at Marionville where he posted a 141-31 record and won the 1991 Missouri State Championship.
Courtesy of Morningside
Sykes has a career record of 361-165 (.686) for the most victories and the highest winning percentage in Morningside men’s basketball history. He has led the Mustangs to 14 winning seasons in the last 16 years, including ten 20-win campaigns, eight NAIA Division II National Tournament berths, three Elite Eight appearances, seven Great Plains Athletic Conference regular season championships and three GPAC Tournament championships. He has set a single season program record for wins along the way and earned the Conference Coach of the Year Award seven times during his tenure. Sykes was a high school coach for ten seasons before earning a spot on the Morningside staff as an assistant.
Sullivan has been able to turn the Lenoir Rhyne program around and establish a winning culture the past four seasons much like he has done at each and every one of his coaching stops throughout his career. The upward trend resulted in a NCAA Tournament appearance in 2018-19, which marked just the sixth time the program was able to accomplish the feat in its history. Prior to his arrival, Sullivan spent four seasons at Georgia State under Ron Hunter. He was instrumental in guiding the Panthers to the most wins in any four-year stretch in program history. That stretch was highlighted by the 2014-15 campaign that resulted in a Sun Belt sweep and a victory over Baylor to advance to the Sweet Sixteen for just the second time in school history. Prior to a three-year stint with Eastern Kentucky, Sullivan was a head coach at both Vincennes and Lincoln Trail for a total of five seasons. In nine seasons as a head coach he possesses a 201-100 (.668) overall record. Sullivan played at the University of Louisville for Denny Crum and is considered one of the best players in program history.
In ten seasons at the helm of the USC Aiken and Louisburg programs, Vanderslice has compiled a 236-81 (.744) overall record. In just his second year, Vanderslice led the program to its biggest turnaround in school history winning 18 games after winning just six games in year one. The team has gone on to match a program second-best for wins in a season since (27) and finish second in the conference standings. Vanderslice comes to USC Aiken via Louisburg. Vanderslice led his program to a top-eight finish in the final national polls each season. During the 2012-13 season his team posted a 35-2 record, the most wins in school history and finished No. 1 in the final national polls. 15 all-conference honorees helped him en route to five straight regular-season conference championships and three straight tournament championships during his five years with the program. He has also spent time on the sidelines at Furman, Toledo, and UNC Asheville.
Watson has been a consistent fixture in the SIAC the past 18 seasons. Watson has had winning seasons for the past 17 consecutive years, ten 20-win campaigns, six SIAC Regular Season titles and seven SIAC Tournament championships. He owns a 365-163 (.691) overall record during that time. Additionally, Watson has been named SIAC Coach of the Year seven times, his teams have earned eleven NCAA South Region Tournament berths and one Sweet 16 Appearance. Known as a relentless recruiter that quickly instills a winning culture, it will be interesting to see Watson's career continue to blossom. He has shown that he is capable of taking just a 7-win program in the year prior to his arrival to their first-ever NCAA Division II Tournament in his first year after taking the job in 2018 after 16 seasons at Benedict. He has gone 45-13 in his first two years at the helm after the program went 15-41 in the two years prior to his arrival.
Courtesy of Pikeville Athletics
As the leader of a team that has won one NAIA National Championship, been to three Elite Eights, and has gone 340-141 (.707) in 15 seasons as a head coach, it's hard to have a list without Kelly Wells on it. He has put together thirteen 20-win seasons and nine NAIA National Tournaments while setting a school record for wins in a season (31) and a league record for wins in a season (17) along the way. Wells has coached 24 NAIA All-Americans, including two NAIA Players of the Year in Bruce Reed in 2014 and Kenny Manigault in 2015. That makes 24 of the program’s 29 total All-Americans having played under Wells. There have also been 36 All Mid-South Conference selections to play for Wells, including four Conference Players of the Year and one Freshman of the Year. Wells got his start as a high school coach in Kentucky winning one state championship with one runner-up finish while coaching Chris Lofton, a former All-American at the University of Tennessee. He would go on to coach at Hawaii Pacific for two seasons before arriving at Pikeville.
- 71-30 (.703) in 3 seasons
- 3 NAIA National Tournament appearances
- Won 2 national championships under Kim Elder (on list) at Cornerstone
- 95-61 (.609) in 5 seasons
- Played for Roy Williams at Kansas
- Won national championship in 2008 coaching under Bill Self at Kansas
- 101-47 (.682) in 5 seasons
- Was an assistant under Brad Underwood at Stephen F. Austin
- Was an assistant under Chris Beard at Angelo State & McMurry
- 81-46 (.638) in 4 seasons
- 3 NAIA Tournament appearances
- The program was 32-91 (.260) in 4 seasons prior to his arrival
- Has transformed program in five-year rebuild after 9-win first season
- Just earned first conference title and NCAA Tournament appearance
- Has coached at Evansville, Texas St., Utah, & Kansas State
- Took over for a 10 win program, going 16-14 (Yr. 1) & 22-9 (Yr. 2).
- Just earned the first NCAA Tournament appearance
- Comes to Oklahoma Baptist via Mercer under Bob Hoffman
- 108-54 in 5 seasons (.667)
- One Elite Eight appearance
- Was Wayland Baptist's first-ever first team all-american as a player
- 81-13 (.862) in 3 seasons
- Two Sweet 16 appearances
- Served as an assistant under Jim Crutchfield (also on list)
- 73-25 (.745) in 3 seasons
- Two NAIA Tournament appearances
- Spent one year as an assistant at UT Martin turning in record wins
- 94-39 (.707) in 4 seasons
- One Final Four appearance
- Got his coaching start under NJCAA HOF Dennis Helms at Odessa
- 73-42 (.635) in 4 seasons
- Has improved each year, 2 NCAA Tournaments, 1 Conference title
- Assistant under Ryan Looney for 7 seasons prior to appointment (.763)
- 53-17 (.757) in 2 seasons
- NAIA National Championship runner-up finish in first season
- Served at Clemson under Brad Brownell prior to his arrival
- 72-46 (.610) in 4 seasons
- Received NAIA National Top 25 votes four times
- Helped rebuild program with older brother Bryan Rooney (on list)
- 211-81 (.723) in 4 seasons
- Multiple No. 1 national rankings
- 2 GSAC regular season titles & 4 NAIA Tournament appearances
- Highly respected coach on the west coast and across the country
- Was previously an assistant at Dominican University for 2 seasons
- Assistant for 2 NCAA tournament teams at LBSU & CS Fullerton