The big news surrounding college basketball coaches in 2021 were the high-profile retirements of Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams, but there were 57 new head coaching hires across Division I. That was up from just 28 changes in the 2020-21 cycle.
As schools' (and boosters') budgets continue to expand with fewer COVID restrictions, there could be even more turnover to come this year. These coaches, in particular, could see their jobs on the line if they don't turn around their respective programs.
Note: Coaches are listed in alphabetical order.
Brad Brownell, Clemson
It feels like Brownell has been on the hot seat forever considering he went a six-year stretch with zero NCAA Tournament appearances and has won only two NCAA Tournament games in 11 years at Clemson. Things have been better recently — evidence being the Tigers' trips to two of the past three NCAA Tournaments. But Brownell has only three years left on what was a six-year contract, and his buyout will drop to around $2 million after this season.
Chris Collins, Northwestern
Collins was riding high in 2017 after leading Northwestern to its first NCAA Tournament in history, but it's been all bad for the Wildcats since that magical season. They finished 10th, 14th, 13th and 12th, respectively, in the Big Ten in the subsequent four seasons while never sniffing the NCAA Tournament. So Collins is entering his ninth year at Northwestern with just one trip to the Big Dance — and a 49-100 Big Ten record — under his belt. Another lackluster season could be his last.
Patrick Ewing, Georgetown
Ewing guided Georgetown to the 2021 Big East Tournament title and thus secured an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time as a head coach, which cooled his seat a bit. But the Hall of Fame player is still just 26-44 in Big East contests through four seasons, and he's finished eighth in the league in three of them. That's obviously well below the Hoyas' historical standard. So if Ewing finishes near the bottom of the Big East standings again, the administration will have to make a tough decision about an iconic alumnus.
Mark Gottfried, Cal State Northridge
Cal State Northridge has placed Gottfried and his staff on administrative leave as the school investigates allegations of rules violations. That's usually the beginning of the end for a coach — especially one who is just 37-51 through three seasons at his school. So Gottfried will likely be the first man on this list to be removed, and it might even happen before the start of what would be his fourth season.
Jerod Haase, Stanford
Haase is entering his sixth season at Stanford still in pursuit of his first trip to the NCAA Tournament with the Cardinal, and he's finished in the top half of the Pac-12 only once. That's obviously not good for a program that made 13 NCAA Tournaments in a 14-year span from 1995 to 2008. And considering that the roster, on paper, doesn't look talented enough to make the NCAA Tournament, it won't be surprising when Stanford's administration decides to move on from Haase if the Cardinal fail to finish with a winning league record for a fourth straight season.
Tim Jankovich, SMU
Jankovich was promoted to head coach after Hall of Famer Larry Brown abruptly resigned in July 2016. In his first season, Jankovich went 30-5, won the American Athletic Conference and made the NCAA Tournament. But the program has slipped considerably in the subsequent years — evidence being a 28-37 record in AAC games over the past four seasons that have resulted in zero additional trips to the Big Dance. Unless SMU makes the NCAA Tournament this season, Jankovich's sixth year as the Mustangs' full-time head coach could double as his last.
Cuonzo Martin, Missouri
Martin got off to a nice start at Missouri thanks to the enrollment of a top-five recruiting class highlighted by the Porter brothers — Michael and Jontay. But neither made much of an impact with the Tigers because of injuries, and Martin will now enter his fifth year at Mizzou still in search of his first NCAA Tournament win at the SEC school. It's fair to wonder if Martin will get a sixth year if his fifth year leads to Missouri finishing near the bottom of the SEC standings for the third time in a five-year span.
Frank Martin, South Carolina
Martin led South Carolina to its first Final Four in men's basketball history in 2017 after finishing tied for third in the SEC in back-to-back seasons. But he hasn't returned to the NCAA Tournament since and is just 32-37 in SEC games over the past four seasons, the most recent of which produced a 4-11 league record that saw the Gamecocks finishing 11th or worse in the conference for the fifth time in nine years. Yes, Martin did receive a contract extension after last season — but there's literally no buyout, which made the extension nothing more than a meaningless press release. Put another way: If South Carolina wants to move on after this season, it will cost the school nothing. And unless Martin overachieves, there's a chance that's exactly what South Carolina will do.
Matt McCall, UMass
Nobody has been able to return UMass to the level where John Calipari brought the program before leaving in 1996, but the Minutemen should still probably be better than they've been under McCall. He's 46-65 overall, including 23-41 in Atlantic 10 contests, through four seasons with an average KenPom finish of 181.5 — and he just lost his best player (Tre Mitchell) to the portal. Unless Year 5 is a breakthrough, there might not be a Year 6.
Bruce Weber, Kansas State
Weber made five NCAA Tournaments in his first eight seasons at Kansas State, advanced to the Elite Eight in 2018, and snapped Kansas' string of 14 straight Big 12 regular-season titles in 2019. In other words, things were going well. But his Wildcats are just 7-29 in Big 12 games over the past two seasons. They finished 10th in the league in 2020 and ninth in 2021. Assuming 2022 brings something similar, there's speculation that the soon-to-be 65-year-old (who previously coached at Southern Illinois and Illinois) might be nudged into retirement.