NCAA Basketball: Current Head Coaches With the Longest Running Tenures

Published 02/17/2021, 3:25 PM EST
CLEMSON, SC – JANUARY 14: Mike Krzyzewski head coach for Duke during a college basketball game between the Duke Blue Devils and the Clemson Tigers on January 14, 2020, at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, S.C. (Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

NCAA Division I basketball is one of the most challenging leagues all around the world. It gets extremely competitive, and teams fight hard every year to stand a chance to win the National Championship. 


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College players toil hard towards achieving the goal, and they’re the ones who receive maximum credit for getting the job done. However, a coach is the most instrumental figure behind a team’s success and there have been some real legends who’ve left their mark in NCAA basketball. 

A head coaching job is often scrutinized when it comes to sports. Coaches are always targeted whenever a team fails to make a mark or applauded when they attain glory. NCAA basketball has witnessed some real genius head coaches over the years, and here are the five who’ve enjoyed the longest tenures. 


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NCAA Basketball: Coaches with several decades of experience 


5. Ron Cottrell – Houston Baptist Huskies

Year appointed: 1990 

Ron Cottrell took charge as the head coach of the Huskies during October 1990 and is still holding his authoritative position. The Huskies compete in the Southland Conference, but Cottrell has never led his team to compete in the NCAA tournament.

4. Bob McKillop – Davidson Wildcats

Year appointed: 1989

Bob McKillop initially served as the Davidson Wildcats’ assistant coach and later returned in 1989 as their head coach. 

McKillop is yet to win the Division I championship with the Wildcats, but he’s enjoyed plenty of success in the team’s former Southern Conference, winning 11 regular-season titles, seven SoCon tournaments, and 13 SoCon division titles. 

Since switching to the Atlantic 10 Conference, McKillop led Davidson to a regular-season title and a tournament victory. 

3. Greg Kampe – Oakland Golden Grizzlies

Year appointed: 1984

Greg Kampe is one of the most renowned coaches in college basketball history. Kampe took charge of the Golden Grizzlies in 1984 and is responsible for taking them to their maiden NCAA Division I tournament appearance in 2005. 

The Ohio native won multiple regular-season titles and tournaments with the Golden Grizzlies when they were previously a part of the Summit League. Kampe was also inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame back in 2017.

2. Mike Krzyzewski – Duke Blue Devils

COLUMBIA, SC – MARCH 24: Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils watches his team warm up before taking on the UCF Knights in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Photos via Getty Images Men’s Basketball Tournament held at Colonial Life Arena on March 24, 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Year appointed: 1980

The legendary Mike Krzyzewski requires very little introduction. College hoops fans identify him as ‘Coach K’ and he’s been with the Duke Blue Devils since the 1980-81 season. Krzyzewski has more than 1,000 wins as Duke’s head coach and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001 for his incredible service to the game. 

Coach K has won five NCAA Division I championships with Duke, which includes a back-to-back run in 1991 and 1992. Krzyzewski holds a massive reputation in college basketball and is currently the second longest-serving head coach in history. 

Furthermore, Mike Krzyzewski has also been named Naismith College Coach of the Year three times in his career and guided Team USA to the gold medal in three successive Olympic Games. 

1. Jim Boeheim – Syracuse Orange

Jan 19, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim reacts to a call during the first half against the Miami Hurricanes at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Year appointed: 1976


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Who would even believe if someone said that there’s a head coach working for the past 45 years! Such is the incredible feat that the legendary Jim Boeheim has been achieving. 

Boeheim has been in Syracuse for almost his entire life. He went to school there in 1963, played three seasons of basketball, and then became an assistant in 1969. 

Syracuse promoted him as their head coach in 1976 and the rest is history. Boeheim led Syracuse to the NCAA Division I title in 2003 and is one of the most revered head coaches in history. 


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Jim Boeheim was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005 and continues to work with the Syracuse Orange even in his 70s!  


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Arjun Athreya

2180 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.