Mentors through the years

Originally Published: December 21, 2003

Every coach has a mentor. Every mentor has a mentor. When looking at the influences of coaches, it's nearly impossible to track every coach's mentor, let alone every mentor's mentor.

But figured the Hall of Fame was a good place to start.

So, here are six former college coaches -- five of whom are in the Hall of Fame -- who influenced the coaching careers of several coaches who served or played under them during their tenures.

Dean Smith Dean Smith remains the NCAA's all-time winningest coach with 879 career wins in 36 seasons at North Carolina. Coached UNC to two national championships (1982, 1993) and 11 Final Fours -- second only to UCLA and John Wooden's 12 appearances. His Tar Heels won 65 NCAA Tournament games -- the most in tourney history. Smith's teams made a record 23 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. Roy Williams: Spent 10 seasons as an assistant under Smith at UNC (1978-88) before leaving for Kansas, where he spent 15 seasons its head coach. Won 418 games and reached four Final Fours at KU before returning to be UNC head coach this season.
Bill Guthridge: Smith's longtime assistant at UNC took over the program in 1997 after sitting next to Smith for 30 seasons. He promptly guided the Heels to the '98 Final Four. Spent three seasons in charge of UNC.
Eddie Fogler: Played for two of Smith's Final Four teams, then became part of the UNC coaching staff in 1971, spending 15 seasons on the bench before taking the Wichita State job in 1986. Was also head coach of Vanderbilt and South Carolina.
Larry Brown: A Hall of Famer himself, Brown has spent 31 years on the sidelines. Current head coach of Detroit Pistons also played for and served as a Smith assistant before bouncing back and forth between NBA and college ranks. Coached Kansas to '88 national title and guided UCLA to '80 national title game. Has coached seven different NBA teams.
George Karl: After playing for Smith at UNC, Karl broke into coaching as an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs (ABA) under head coach Doug Moe and landed his first head coaching position with the Montana Golden Nuggets of the CBA in 1980. He spent 15 seasons as an NBA head coach, the past five in Milwaukee. He's also guided Cleveland, Golden State and Seattle.
Kenny Rosemond: Former assistant at UNC spent eight seasons in charge of Georgia in '73, earning SEC coach of the year honors four years later. Spent more than 20 years directing campus and community relations for UNC athletics
John Lotz: Spent eight years as an assistant to Smith before taking over Florida program, where he was named SEC coach of the year.
Randy Wiel: Left UNC in 1993 to become the head coach at the UNC-Asheville before moving on to Middle Tennessee State.
Buzz Peterson: Played on UNC's 1982 national championship team. A head coach at Appalachian State before taking over Tennessee.
Matt Doherty: Played on '82 UNC title team, served as an assistant coach under Roy Williams at Kansas before taking over Notre Dame program. He was hired to replace Guthridge in 2000, led the Heels to 26 wins and a 2001 NCAA Tournament appearance.

John Wooden John Wooden set the benchmark for all future UCLA coaches, leading the Bruins to 10 national championships, including seven in a row (1966-73). His record in 27 seasons at UCLA was 620-147 and was highlighted by four 30-0 seasons, 88 consecutive victories at one point and 38 straight NCAA Tournament victories. Denny Crum: Played two seasons for Wooden at UCLA and then joined his staff in 1968, where he assisted on two national title teams. Left the Bruins in 1971 to embark on his own Hall of Fame career at Louisville, where he spent 30 seasons until retiring in 2001 with 675 career wins. Led the Cardinals to six Final Fours and two national championships (1980, '86).
Gary Cunningham: A 10-year assistant to Wooden, he eventually replaced his mentor in 1977 and guided the Bruins to a two-year mark of 50-8. Left the sidelines to become AD at Western Oregon State College (1979-81), Wyoming (1981-86), Fresno State (1986-95) and UC-Santa Barbara (1995-present.).
Henry Bibby: A starting point guard on three NCAA title teams coached by Wooden, he has been in charge of the USC program for the past eight seasons. He remains the only person to play for NCAA, NBA and CBA championship teams.

Adolph RuppAdolph Rupp earned the nickname the "Baron of Bluegrass," winning 875 games in 41 years with 80 percent of his rosters made up of players from the state of Kentucky. His teams won four NCAA championships (1948, 1949, 1951, 1958), one NIT title in 1946, appeared in 20 NCAA tournaments and captured 27 SEC titles. He retired in 1972. Joe B. Hall: An assistant to Rupp for seven seasons, he spent 13 seasons in charge of UK and led the Wildcats to the 1978 national championship. Notched 297 victories, a national championship and three Final Four appearances at UK before retiring in 1985.
Gale Catlett: An assistant on Rupp's staff, left to coach Cincinnati to 124 wins, before returning to his alma mater to become West Virginia's winningest coach, compiling a 439-276 record. Retired after 30 years as a college coach with a 565-320 record.

Phog AllenPhog Allen coached 48 seasons at four different colleges, but his legacy is forever etched into Kansas basketball history. A former Jayhawk player under James Naismith, Allen would retire as the all-time winningest coach in collegiate basketball history (746-264) before Dean Smith passed him. In 39 seasons at KU, Allen won 590 games, leading Kansas to the 1952 NCAA national championship. Dean Smith: Played for Allen before becoming a graduate assistant coach in 1953-54 season. Went on to coach the Air Force for four seasons before starting Hall of Fame career as assistant for three seasons to Frank McGuire at UNC in 1958. Became UNC head coach in 1961.
Ralph Miller: Another former player and assistant who went on to his own Hall of Fame career. Began a 38-year collegiate coaching career in Division I at Wichita State (1951-64), moved to Iowa (1964-70) and then made a national name for himself at Oregon State (1970-89). From 1980 to 1982, OSU captured three consecutive Pac-10 titles, won 77 of 88 games and compiled a 49-5 conference record. When he retired following the 1988-89 season, his 657 wins ranked eighth all-time in Division I history.

Henry IbaHenry Iba coached Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State) to back-to-back national titles in 1945-46 and 655 of his 767 career wins. He is the only coach in history to win two Olympic gold medals (1964 and 1968). Don Haskins: Played three years under Iba and will forever be credited for revolutionizing college basketball when, in 1966, his all-black Texas Western team (now UTEP) upset the all-white Kentucky team coached by Adolph Rupp for the NCAA championship. A Hall of Famer himself, he finished with 719 career wins, suffering just five losing seasons in 38 years at UTEP.
Eddie Sutton: Played for Iba at Oklahoma A&M before becoming graduate assistant for 1958-59 season. Has guided four different teams to NCAA Tournament (Arkansas, Creighton, Kentucky, OSU). Entering 14th season at OSU and 33rd at Division I level. He has had just one losing season in his 33-year career and is adding to over 700 wins with each Cowboys' victory.
Jack Hartman: Another former player of Iba's, the former CFL quarterback went on to become Kansas State's all-time career leader in wins with 295 over 16 seasons. Also coached U.S. Pan-American team to gold medal in 1983.
Bud Millikan: Maryland's head coach from 1955-67 led the Terps to winning seasons for eight years and finished with a career record of 243-183.

Jude HeathcoteJud Heathcote spent 19 seasons in charge of Michigan State, leading the Spartans to the 1979 national championship. He won 340 of his 420 career wins at MSU, the first 80 coming at Montana -- where he revitalized the Grizzly program in five seasons. He retired in 1995 as Michigan State's all-time winningest basketball coach. Tom Izzo: A 10-year assistant, he was appointed Michigan State's head coach upon Heathcote's retirement in 1995. The Spartans won the 2000 national championship and have reached three Final Fours since his promotion. He entered this season with 189 career wins.
Kelvin Sampson: Served as an assistant before leaving for Montana State, Washington State and now Oklahoma. Enters his 10th season in charge of the Sooners, who've reached nine straight NCAA Tournaments and the 2002 Final Four. Entered the season with 390 career wins.
Mike Montgomery: An assistant to Heathcote at Montana, where he eventually took over the program. Spent eight seasons in charge of Montana before taking over Stanford program. Enters 18th season as Stanford head coach with 517 wins. Led the Cardinal to 1998 Final Four and 1991 NIT title.

Which current coaches have had the biggest impact on coaches? These five certainly have influenced their share. Two are in the Hall of Fame, but each now occasionally bump into several of their proteges on the sidelines -- some who served as assistants, others who played for them, and some who did both during their careers.

Bob Knight Bob Knight established his place in college basketball lore while leading Indiana to three national championships, five Final Fours and one NIT title. He continues to add to his legacy now at Texas Tech, where he earned his 800th victory last season. Only Dean Smith of North Carolina (879), Adolph Rupp of Kentucky (876) and Mount St. Mary's Jim Phelan (827) have won more games than Knight at the Division I level, as he enters the 2003-04 season with 809 career wins. Mike Krzyzewski: A player for Knight at Army, Coach K served for five years as Army's head coach. He then joined Knight's staff at Indiana in 1975. He was introduced as the Duke head coach in 1980.
Mike Davis: Spent three seasons as an assistant to Knight before taking over the IU program upon his mentor's departure. First coach in Indiana history to begin his tenure with three straight 20-plus win seasons and three straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
Steve Alford: Guided the 1987 Indiana squad to the national title under Knight, before spending four seasons in the NBA. He joined the coaching ranks at Division III Manchester (Ind.) College in 1992, and prior to taking his current position at Iowa, he posted a 78-48 record in four seasons (1996-99) at Southwest Missouri State. In 1999, SMS reached the Sweet 16. A few weeks later, Alford was named Iowa head coach.

Eddie Sutton Eddie Sutton is one of two OSU coaches with 700 career wins, the other being his former coach and mentor Henry Iba. A former Kentucky head coach as well, he joins Adoph Rupp in the same company as the only two schools with two 700-win coaches. Sutton has spent the past 13 seasons in charge of Oklahoma State, leading the Cowboys to 11 NCAA Tournament appearances. He is the only coach to lead four different teams to the NCAAs (OSU, Creighton, Arkansas and Kentucky). He entered the 2003-04 season with Bill Self: An assistant for three seasons at OSU, he went on to be the head coach at Oral Roberts in 1993. After four seasons and an NIT bid in 1997, he was named head coach at Tulsa, where he guided the golden Hurricane to two NCAA appearances in three seasons -- including 32 wins and the Elite Eight in 2000. Spent two seasons at Illinois before taking over Kansas program this season.
James Dickey: An assistant at Kentucky, Arkansas and OSU before taking the head coaching position at Texas Tech in 1992. Remained Red Raiders head coach until 2001.
Rob Evans: Served as an assistant at Oklahoma State before taking over Mississippi State program in 1993. Spent five season in charge of the Bulldogs before taking Arizona State job in 1999. Led the Sun Devils to NCAA Tournament last season.
Leonard Hamilton: An assistant at Kentucky and OSU before moving on to take head coaching job at Miami (Fla.) in 1991. Spent eight seasons with Hurricanes before taking NBA head coaching job in Washington. Returned to college a year later to take over Florida State program.
Paul Graham: Coached on OSU staff until 2000 when he took over Washington State program. Served as WSU head coach for three seasons.

Mike Krzyzewski Mike Krzyzewski remains one of the most dominant college coaches into his third decade at Duke. He has led Duke to three national championships (1991, 1992, 2001) and to nine Final Fours. In 21 seasons at Duke, Krzyzewski entered the 2003-04 season with 590 wins at Duke and 663 overall. His Duke teams have reached nine Final Fours -- including five in a row from 1988-92. Tommy Amaker: A four-year starter for Duke, he spent nine years on the Duke bench as an assistant before taking over the Seton Hall program. Spent four seasons at Seton Hall, reaching the postseason each year, including a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2000. Enters his third season as head coach at Michigan.
Mike Brey: A 16-year veteran of the college ranks, he served from 1987-95 on the Duke bench before taking over Delaware program in 1995. Now at Notre Dame, has compiled a 66-31 mark in his first three seasons with the Irish. Brey owns a 165-83 career mark heading into the 2003-04 season in eight years as a head coach.
Quin Snyder: During his student days at Duke (1986-89), he played on three Final Four teams under Coach K. Returned to Duke as an assistant coach in 1993-99, before taking the Missouri head coaching position. Entered his fifth season this year with a 84-49 record, including four straight trips to the NCAA Tournament.
Mike Dement: Entering his ninth season in charge of SMU, where he's posted 128 of his 250 career wins. Started his career at UNC-Greensboro.
Jeff Capel: Another former player and assistant coach at Duke, he's still the youngest Division I men's coach in the country as he enters his second season at Virginia Commonwealth.The 28-year-old directed the Rams to an 18-10 record in his first season after just two years on Coach K's bench.
Neil Dougherty: The longtime assistant coach spent four seasons at his alma mater under Coach K. He then went on to spend time on the bench at Drake, Vanderbilt, South Carolina and finally seven seasons on Roy Williams' Kansas staff before taking the TCU head coaching job last year.
David Henderson: Spent two seasons under Coach K after playing for Duke. Took over for Mike Brey at Delaware when the fellow Duke assistant took the ND job.
Tim O'Toole: An assistant at Duke from 1995-97, he enters his fourth season in charge of Fairfield. Also spent time as an assistant to Amaker at Seton Hall when he left Duke to take charge of the Pirates.

Tom Izzo In just eight seasons, Tom Izzo has started his own family coaching tree after replacing Jud Heathcote at Michigan State. While winning a national championship in 2000 and reaching three straight Final Fours, Izzo has employed plenty of young, talented coaches who've gone on to build their own successful programs. Tom Crean: Assisted with Izzo on Heathcote's staff before leaving for similar positions at Western Kentucky and Pittsburgh. Returned to MSU to be an assistant coach when Izzo replaced Heathcote, spending four seasons at MSU before being hired by Marquette in 1999. In his fourth season in charge of the Golden Eagles, he led Marquette back to the Final Four for the first time in 25 years.
Stan Heath: Spent five seasons as Izzo's assistant before being named head coach of Kent State. Led the Golden Flash to 30 wins and the Elite Eight in his first and only season at Kent State. Was hired to replace Nolan Richardson as head coach at Arkansas prior to 2002-03 season. He enters his second season in charge of the Hogs.
Brian Gregory: Another former assistant to Heathcote who also served under Izzo on two separate occasions at MSU. Was hired this spring as Dayton's head coach -- his first head coaching job after 13 years of assisting others on the bench.
Mike Garland: After seven seasons on Izzo's staff, took over the Cleveland State program this spring.

Rick Pitino Rick Pitino enters his 18th season as a college head coach, spending three seasons in the NBA as the head coach of the New York Knicks. His career started in 1978 at Boston U., and included stops at Providence and Kentucky before becoming Louisville's head coach in 2001. Herb Sendek: Current head coach of North Carolina State spent four seasons as assistant to Pitino at Providence and Kentucky before taking first head coaching job at Miami (Ohio) in 1994.
Ralph Willard: Current coach at Holy Cross served two seasons as an assistant to Pitino with New York Knicks before following Pitino to Kentucky for a season. Was a head coach at Western Kentucky and Pittsburgh before Holy Cross.
Billy Donovan: A guard on Pitino's Final Four team at Providence, Donovan also was a Kentucky assistant coach on Pitino's staff for five seasons before becoming a head coach at Marshall and now Florida.
Mick Cronin: Latest assistant of Pitino's to take over his own program. Cronin worked with Pitino at Louisville before being hired as Murray State head coach this spring.