You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Tue, Jul 31, 2012 : 2:10 p.m.

Michigan basketball coach John Beilein ranked No. 18 on Athlon's top coaches list, Tom Izzo No. 1

By Nick Baumgardner


Michigan basketball coach John Beilein made's list of the top college coaches in America.

Melanie Maxwell |

Michigan basketball coach John Beilein's national profile isn't exactly massive, but that doesn't mean it's not growing.

Beilein made's list of the country's top college basketball coaches, coming in at No. 18 overall.

"He’s one of eight coaches and four active coaches to take four teams to the NCAA Tournament (Canisius, Richmond, West Virginia, Michigan)," the site wrote. "At each of those stops, Beilein pulled the program out of an extended rough patch.

"While he doesn’t have a national championship like (Tom) Izzo, an extended track Big Ten track record like (Bo) Ryan, and Final Fours like (Thad) Matta and (Tom) Crean, an argument could be made he deserves to be at or near the top of any Big Ten coach rankings."

Athlon justifies its ranking of Beilein among the nation's elite based on the fact that he's the only active coach with a 20-win season at the junior college, NAIA, Division II and Division I level.

Also, he's never been an assistant coach -- meaning he's had to find his own way without a ton of high-level mentors.

Beilein has earned Athlon's respect, but not as much as his counterpart in East Lansing.

Izzo was named the top overall coach in the country by the site, followed by Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and Kentucky's John Calipari.

Other Big Ten coaches on the list were Bo Ryan (No. 9), Thad Matta (No. 14), Tom Crean (No. 17) and Matt Painter (No. 24).

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan sports for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.



Thu, Aug 2, 2012 : 5:22 p.m.

I'll take Izzo over Coach K because he does it with fewer blue chip players. Coach K does it with talent, Izzo does it with coaching. Bo Ryan can flat out coach and has tough, unselfish players he molds into a competive team. He does this better than Beilein whose rigidity sours even the most scheme appropriate players such as Smotrycz. Thad Matta I would put only a few places behind Izzo because he is the conference's best recruiter. If he were a better game coach he would wind more games. Crean, another very good recruiter. He's an emotional coach who willed his team over Kentucky. Beilein can't will his tem over Duke or top teams, so I put Crean ahead of Beilein. Finally, Matt Painter out of the mold of Gene Keady is a decent recruiter but an excellent game coach. He can beat teams such as MSU, Indiana, Wisconsin and OSU at home. He also does it with minimal talent. For this reason I put him a few places ahead of Beilein. Where does that leave the Michigan? Average, square in the middle of the pack. And this analysis comes from a Michigan fan.


Wed, Aug 1, 2012 : 9:22 p.m.

Seems about where the teams might end up this year....#1 and #18?? Who knows.


Wed, Aug 1, 2012 : 3:19 a.m.

Give it a couple years. Don't agree with the Crean ranking either. One great year at Marquette thanks to Dwayne Wade. Then a fairly good showing at Indiana last season.


Wed, Aug 1, 2012 : 3:09 a.m.

Coach Izzo is fantastic, but I can't see how, in any way, he could be ahead of Coach K. And I bleeping hate Duke! But Coach K has won more and for longer (the short version). Must be personal bias.


Tue, Jul 31, 2012 : 11:26 p.m.

I gotta give the nod to coach K. but I respect Izzo..even as a UM fan. H


Tue, Jul 31, 2012 : 8:38 p.m.

Huh, I like and respect Izzo, but Coach K is the face of college basketball coaching right now. Plus, Duke has such high academic standards and the kids rarely get into trouble in that program. not to mention he has been willing to give back to our country ever summer and coach our national teams.

Blue Marker

Tue, Jul 31, 2012 : 7:05 p.m.

The B1G is well represented on this list, as it should be. Izzo over Krzyzewski? That I'm not sure about that one. I will say he's the dean of the B1G coaches. It's tough to say it but the B1G is really a better basketball conference than football.


Tue, Jul 31, 2012 : 9:47 p.m.

I think there is nobody better than Izzo. He is not smug, he is an outstanding coach, he is a great leader of his team, has been to numerous final fours. Coach K is of course outstanding, but I would take Izzo over him personally.