Utah's duo of Kyle Whittingham and Larry Krystkowiak are the best tandem in the Pac-12
The Pac-12’s depth in the coaching ranks has increased in recent years, as this conference has made stellar hires on the gridiron, including Washington’s Chris Petersen, Oregon’s Willie Taggart and Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre. On the basketball side, the conference is anchored by Oregon’s Dana Altman, Utah’s Larry Krystkowiak and Arizona’s Sean Miller.
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 Pac-12's Football-Basketball Coaching Duos for 2017
Football: Kyle Whittingham
Basketball: Larry Krystkowiak
After a relatively rough transition from the Mountain West to the Pac-12, the Utah football program has averaged 9.3 wins over the last three seasons and is 16–11 in league play over that stretch. Krystkowiak has done a masterful job rebuilding the Utah basketball program. The Utes went 13–5 in the Pac-12 in each of the last two full seasons and could be headed back to the NCAA Tournament for a third straight year with a strong finish.
Football: Willie Taggart
Basketball: Dana Altman
Taggart’s tenure in Eugene got off to a difficult start with some off-the-field issues, but he brings a solid rÃ©sumÃ© to his new job. Altman is regarded as one of the elite coaches in college basketball and has elevated the status of this program nationally in the past few seasons.
Football: Mike MacIntyre
Basketball: Tad Boyle
MacIntyre earned several National Coach of the Year honors after guiding the Buffaloes to the Pac-12 South title. He has now completed successful rebuilds at both San Jose State and Colorado. Boyle has done a very good job with the basketball program, leading the Buffs to the NCAA Tournament four times in his first five seasons. This year has been a bit of a struggle, but he is an outstanding coach.
Football: Jim Mora
Basketball: Steve Alford
Mora’s done a decent job at UCLA, with an overall record of 41–24 and a 25–20 mark in league games, but the general feeling — both among UCLA fans and nationally — is that the program is not reaching its potential. Alford reached the Sweet 16 in his first two seasons at UCLA before hitting rock bottom with a 15–17 record last season. However, it’s safe to say the Bruins are back. The ’16-17 team is one of the best in the nation and the program is well-positioned to win at a high level in the next few years.
Football: Rich Rodriguez
Basketball: Sean Miller
Miller elevates this duo to near the top of the rankings. It’s only a matter of time before he leads Arizona to a national championship. Rodriguez is highly respected nationally, but he went 6–18 in the Big Ten in three seasons at Michigan and is 18–26 in the Pac-12 in five seasons at Arizona.
Related: Early Pac-12 Predictions for 2017
Football: David Shaw
Basketball: Jerod Haase
Shaw has the Stanford football program in great shape. Haase is a bit of a mystery at this point. He did an outstanding job at UAB, but the Cardinal have been a bit underwhelming in his first season on the Farm.
Football: Chris Petersen
Basketball: Lorenzo Romar
Petersen might be the No. 1 football coach in the league, but the Huskies check in at No. 7 on this list due to Romar and the slumping basketball program.
Football: Clay Helton
Basketball: Andy Enfield
After a rocky start, Helton had a very nice first season as the full-time coach at USC, ending the year with a thrilling win over Penn State in the Rose Bowl. Enfield went a combined 5–31 in the Pac-12 in his first two seasons but is on the verge of leading the Trojans to the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the late 2000s.
9. Washington State
Football: Mike Leach
Basketball: Ernie Kent
Leach has returned Washington State football to relevance both in the Pac-12 and nationally. Kent had a good run at Oregon, his alma mater, before being fired after the 2009-10 season. The Cougars have been surprisingly competitive this season, but it’s doubtful they will make a big move in the league in the next few years.
10. Oregon State
Football: Gary Andersen
Basketball: Wayne Tinkle
Andersen won at Utah State and Wisconsin and appears to have the Beavers on the right track. After going winless in the Pac-12 in 2015, his first season, Oregon State improved to 3–6 last fall. In 2016, Tinkle guided Oregon State to its first NCAA Tournament since 1990, but the Beavers have been ravaged by injuries this season and have been one of the nation’s most disappointing teams.
11. Arizona State
Football: Todd Graham
Basketball: Bobby Hurley
Graham’s stock is at its low point after the Sun Devils slumped to 2–7 in the Pac-12 in 2016 following a 4–5 mark in 2015. Still, he’s done a solid job at Arizona State. Hurley enjoyed two strong seasons at Buffalo before making the move across the country to Tempe. The Sun Devils haven’t been a factor in the Pac-12 since his arrival, but he has done a good job recruiting better talent.
Football: Justin Wilcox
Basketball: Cuonzo Martin
Martin is highly respected around the game, but his teams always seem to underachieve just a bit. Wilcox is a first-time head coach who has strong ties to the Pac-12.