Remember all the talk this past season of the ACC basketball being in a down year?
Well, consider for a moment the coaching tenure of the 12 men's basketball coaches in the conference. With Miami's Frank Haith leaving Miami for Mizzou, Boston College coach Steve Donahue is now the seventh most tenured coach at his current post among ACC coaches (based on date of hire). Sort of mind-boggling if you think about it ...
Here's the list ranking ACC coaches based on tenure with their current programs:
1. Mike Krzyzewski, Duke (1980) -- 31 seasons
2. Gary Williams, Maryland (1989) -- 22 seasons
3. Leonard Hamilton, Florida State (2002) -- 9 seasons
4. Roy Williams, North Carolina (2003) -- 8 seasons
5. Seth Greenberg, Virginia Tech (2003) -- 8 seasons
6. Tony Bennett, Virginia (2009) -- 2 seasons
7. Steve Donahue, Boston College (2010) -- 1 season
8. Brad Brownell, Clemson (2010) -- 1 season
9. Jeff Bzdelik, Wake Forest (2010) -- 1 season
10. Brian Gregory, Georgia Tech (2011)
11. Vacant N.C. State position
12. Vacant Miami position
In the span of one season, half of the men's basketball programs in the ACC will have changed head coaches. Miami's Frank Haith and Clemson's Oliver Purnell were poached by other programs (Missouri and DePaul, respectively), while BC, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and N.C. State all parted ways with their head coaches.
The same trend recently reared its ugly head in ACC football, where in the span of a three seasons (2008-2010), two-thirds of the head coaching gigs in the conference changed hands. With this lack of stability in head coaches, the ACC has yet to produce a National Championship contender. This certainly isn't the only factor holding ACC football back from producing a National Championship-calibre team, but I can't imagine the coaching stability has helped matters.
Could the same cruel fate befall ACC men's basketball over the next few years? Consider the average coaching tenure of the last five Final Fours:
2011 -- 8.25 seasons (Jim Calhoun 25, Brad Stevens 4, Shaka Smart 2, John Calipari 2)
2010 -- 12.75 seasons (Mike Krzyzewski 30, Tom Izzo 15, Brad Stevens 3, Bob Huggins 3)
2009 -- 12.75 seasons (Jim Calhoun 23, Tom Izzo 14, Jay Wright 8, Roy Williams 6)
2008 -- 5.75 seasons (John Calipari 8, Bill Self 5, Roy Williams 5, Ben Howland 5)
2007 -- 5.25 seasons (Billy Donovan 11, Ben Howland 4, Thad Matta 3, John Thompson III 3)
The current average coaching tenure in the ACC is 6.9 seasons, with Mike Krzyzewski (31 seasons) and Gary Williams (22) propping up the conference average quite a bit. Seven of the 12 ACC coaches will start next season with less than three years of coaching at their current coaching stop.
With all the coaching changes in the ACC, will we have a few more seasons of mediocre ACC hoops before the conference reclaims the title of best college basketball conference? Duke and Carolina will always be Duke and Carolina, but without a few other marquee programs in the conference, the ACC will likely be considered "down" for several years until a third, fourth or fifth marquee program emerges from the pack.
Is coaching tenure at a coach's current stop correlated with winning college basketball and competing for National Championships? Thoughts?