Ranking the ACC's Football-Basketball Coaching Duos for 2017

Duke's Krzyzewski and Cutcliffe take the top spot for 2017.

The ACC isn’t hurting for talent in the coaching ranks. Some of the nation’s top coaches in college basketball or on the gridiron with college football reside in this conference. With Mike Krzyzewski and David Cutcliffe leading the way, Duke once again ranks as the top coaching tandem by Athlon Sports from the ACC. Louisville, North Carolina and Virginia Tech round out the top four, with Florida State, Clemson and Miami bringing up the next batch of teams.


Each year, Athlon Sports ranks the coaching tandems from each Power 5 league. A variety of factors are considered for this exercise. It’s important to note that we are attempting to value balance — i.e., which schools have an above-average coach at both position? That’s why some programs with an elite football coach and a new (or struggling) basketball coach will be ranked lower than one might expect.


Ranking the ACC's Football-Basketball Coaching Duos 2017


1. Duke

Football: David Cutcliffe

Basketball: Mike Krzyzewski


The Blue Devils took a step back on the football field in 2016, but Cutcliffe’s résumé still shows a combined 27 wins in a three-year period from 2013-15. Krzyzewski is one of the most successful coaches in the history of college basketball.


Related: Early ACC Predictions for 2017


2. Louisville

Football: Bobby Petrino

Basketball: Rick Pitino


Petrino has won at every stop (in the college game) and has an impressive 17–7 record in ACC play in his three years since returning to Louisville. Don’t forget: He went a combined 12–4 in the SEC in his final two seasons at Arkansas. Pitino has won over 750 games in stops at Boston University, Providence, Kentucky and Louisville.


3. North Carolina

Football: Larry Fedora

Basketball: Roy Williams


The Williams critics point out that he’s been a head coach at Kansas and North Carolina — two schools where it’s hard NOT to win — but the fact remains that he’s averaged a staggering 28.0 wins in 28 seasons. Fedora’s career has been highlighted by two very good seasons (12–2 at Southern Miss in 2011 and 11–3 at UNC in 2015). He’s averaged a rather ordinary 7.2 wins in his other seven seasons.


4. Virginia Tech

Football: Justin Fuente

Basketball: Buzz Williams


Fuente did a great job in his first season at Tech, guiding the Hokies to the ACC Coastal Division title. Williams, who led Marquette to the NCAA Tournament five times in six seasons at the school, is on the verge of taking the Hokies to the NCAAs in Year 3. 


Related: Ranking the ACC's Football Rosters for 2017

5. Florida State

Football: Jimbo Fisher

Basketball: Leonard Hamilton


Fisher is on the short list of active college football head coaches with a national championship. He has a 78–17 record in seven seasons. Hamilton, in his 15th season at Florida State, will have the Seminoles in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012. Prior to this recent slump, FSU went to the NCAAs every year from 2009-12.


6. Clemson

Football: Dabo Swinney

Basketball: Brad Brownell


Swinney silenced his critics by winning the 2016 national championship — one year after losing in the national championship game. Brownell is a highly respected coach who has struggled to break through at Clemson. The Tigers could be headed to the NCAAs in 2017.


7. Miami

Football: Mark Richt

Basketball: Jim Larranaga


Richt did a nice job in his first season at his alma mater. That followed a 15-year run at Georgia in which he went 83–37 in SEC games — but failed to win a league title in his final 10 years. Larranaga, who is 20 games over .500 in the ACC in his five-plus seasons at Miami, is one of the nation’s most underrated coaches.


Related: A Very Early College Football Top 25 for 2017


8. Syracuse

Football: Dino Babers

Basketball: Jim Boeheim


Babers thrived at his first two stops as a head coach (Eastern Illinois and Bowling Green) but went 4–8 in Year 1 at Syracuse. He will be given time to turn things around. Boeheim has won one national championship and been to five Final Fours in his storied career at his alma mater.


9. Virginia

Football: Bronco Mendenhall

Basketball: Tony Bennett


Mendenhall went 2–10 in his first season at Virginia, the first time in his career he’s had a losing record. He will have to prove he’s the right fit at Virginia after winning 99 games in 11 seasons at BYU. Bennett and Arizona’s Sean Miller are battling for the title as the top coach in college basketball who has never been to a Final Four. 


10. Georgia Tech

Football: Paul Johnson

Basketball: Josh Pastner


Johnson bounced back from his first losing season at Georgia Tech to win nine games in 2016. He’s 70–48 overall in nine years with the Yellow Jackets and has won or shared the Coastal Division title four times. Pastner has done a tremendous job in his first season at Tech after an underwhelming seven-year run at Memphis. 


11. Pittsburgh

Football: Pat Narduzzi

Basketball: Kevin Stallings


Narduzzi, who has a combined 11–5 record in ACC games in two seasons, appears to be a really good fit at Pittsburgh. Stallings’ tenure is off to a rough start. Barring a late-season miracle, the Panthers will miss the NCAA Tournament for only the third time since 2001.


Related: Grading College Football's New Coaches from 2016


12. Wake Forest

Football: Dave Clawson

Basketball: Danny Manning


Clawson has successfully rebuilt four programs in his career as a head coach that includes stops at Fordham, Richmond, Bowling Green and Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons went 7–6 in 2016. Manning has upgraded the talent at Wake in his two-plus seasons as the head coach and is starting to show progress on the court. 


13. NC State

Football: Dave Doeren

Basketball: Mike Gottfried (gone after the season)


Despite leading the Pack to a bowl game in each of the past three seasons, Doeren’s seat will be slightly warm in 2017. The reason? A 9–23 record in ACC games, with three consecutive 3–5 seasons. Gottfried guided NC State to the NCAA Tournament in each of his first four seasons, but the Pack slumped to 5–13 in 2015-16 and was 3–11 through 14 ACC games this season when the school announced he would not return next season.


14. Boston College

Football: Steve Addazio

Basketball: Jim Christian


Addazio greatly improved his job security by leading the Eagles to a 7–6 record in 2016. Still, he’s 2–14 in ACC games in the last two years. Christian was a curious hire — and it’s no surprise that he is struggling at Boston College.

Event Date: 
Saturday, February 18, 2017 - 13:08

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