Credit: Boston College Athletics

Hot Seat Watch: ACC

Highlighting the status of every coach in the Atlantic Coast Conference

Possibly the deepest batch of coaches in the country, the level of competition in the ACC can make it very tough for a team to move up in the hierarchy of the league. Due to this fact there are always coaching not living up to the expectations putting them in the hot seat but one solid season or a deep tournament run can quickly save a coaches job. We broke down the status of each coach in the conference heading into the 2018-2019 season. The Categories are Ice Cold, Not In Jeopardy, In Danger of Seat Warming, Hot, Honeymoon Phase, and First Year Coaches.

Ice Cold: 

Mike Krzyzewski (Duke)

Career Record: 1132-344

Record at Duke: 1059-285

Five national championships, twelve final fours, 15 ACC tournament championships, 3 time national coach of the year. Possibly the greatest college coach in history, he will be at Duke until his retirement.

Jim Boeheim (Syracuse)

Career Record: 1047-385

Record at Syracuse: 1047-385

The coach that brought Syracuse their first national championship and five final four, he has kept them competitive over the last 10-15 years with a slight decline in success. Similar to Coach K at Duke, the job is his until he decides to retire.

Tony Bennett (Virginia)

Career Record: 323-122

Record at Virginia: 254-89

After the Cavaliers were the first ever one seed to lose to a sixteen seed in the first round of the NCAA tournament some analysts were questioning whether or not a team could win in the postseason with Bennett’s style of play. Those questions were answered with a national championship in 2019 cementing that Bennett will be staying in Virginia unless he leaves for the NBA or a job like Duke or Kentucky.

Roy Williams (North Carolina)

Career Record: 891-234

Record at North Carolina: 453-133

Another coaching legend after three national championships and 9 final fours between Kansas and North Carolina. Williams has the job until he chooses to call it quits.

Not In Jeopardy: 

Leonard Hamilton (Florida State)

Career Record: 556-426

Record at Florida State: 356-216

Although there have been some down years in his 17 seasons leading the Seminoles, his teams have had some solid success in the last three seasons quieting the ones who were calling for a change to made a few seasons ago. He has been to the sweet sixteen twice and the elite eight once during his tenure, and while there is no doubt the fanbase is looking to get to a final four, at the age of 71 he will likely retire with the school when he chooses to move on.

Jim Larranaga (Miami)

Career Record: 617-406

Record at Miami: 175-97

Miami has traditional struggled as a program but Larranaga immediately had them competing making the NCAA four times in his first 7 seasons and making the sweet sixteen twice while having seasons of 29, 27 and 25 wins. They did miss the tournament last year for the first time since 2014-2015 but he is a proven winner who will theoretically lead the program until his retirement.

Brad Brownell (Clemson)

Career Record: 336-212

Record at Clemson: 169-127

Brownell was firmly in a warm seat after back to back 17 win seasons in 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 before the team won above 20 games in the two seasons since, making the sweet sixteen in the NCAA tournament in 2018. There are legitimate questions as to how far he can take the program, but he will be sticking around after signing an extension keeping him under contract through 2024.

In Danger of Seat Warming:

Mike Brey (Notre Dame)

Career Record: 516-273

Record at Notre Dame: 417-221

Brey brought Notre Dame back to the level of success they had become accustomed to under Digger Phelps in the 1970’s and 80’s, leading the Fighting Irish to twelve NCAA tournament appearances in nineteen years with making the elite eight twice. At 60 years old it is a possibility that he retires after another 5 to 10 years in South Bend, but after missing the NCAA tournament in two straight seasons and winning only 14 games in 2018-2019, he needs to turn the program back in the right direction.


Jim Christian (Boston College)

Career Record: 304-254

Record at Boston College: 62-100

If the Eagles do not have a better showing this year then Christian will possibly be the most likely candidate in the conference to be looking for a spot elsewhere next off season. He likely saved his job after a 19 win season in 2017-2018, but the team regressed and went 14-17 last year after losing lottery pick Jerome Williams to the NBA. It should be noted that on paper the 19 win season doesn’t look bad but with a backcourt of Williams and Ky Bowman they could have had more success.

Josh Pastner (Georgia Tech)

Career Record: 215-126

Record at Georgia Tech: 48-53

Pastner started his coaching career with some solid seasons at Memphis before it the program took a wrong turn. The Georgia Tech job is more challenging due to being in the ACC so it should not come as a major surprise this has not been a smooth first few years with the program having win totals of 21, 13 and 14. Throw in some issues with NCAA and assistant coaches and you have a recipe for a coach that needs the team to show improvement in his fourth season if he wants to keep his job going forward.

Danny Manning (Wake Forest)

Career Record: 103-122

Record at Wake Forest: 65-93

Manning paid his dues as an assistant at Kansas before heading to Tulsa for only two seasons when Wake Forest took a chance and offered him the job. As a coach with not much winning on his resume overall, there were some questions about how he would fair entering arguably the toughest conference in the country. The reviews since joining the program are not great with one NCAA tournament appearance in five seasons along with 4 sub .500 years. His contact is guaranteed through 2025 which would put Manning in the position to received around $15 million dollars in his buyout if it came at the end of this season. That fact alone could grant him a couple of more years, but he needs the team to be more competitive this season or it could be his last.

Honeymoon Phase:

Chris Mack (Louisville)

Career Record: 235-111

Record at Louisville: 20-14

Mack had the Cardinals playing better than many were projecting at the beginning of last season, and he returns potential first round pick Jordan Nwora heading into this season. Louisville has been competitive on the recruiting trail which can always be hit or miss, but being in play with some big name recruits is a solid start. Having to deal with Kentucky down the road is never easy, but it appears that Mack has the program headed in the right direction after the issues at the end of the Rick Pitino era.

Kevin Keatts (North Carolina State)

Career Record: 117-52

Record at North Carolina State: 45-24

By all accounts the start to Keatts leading the Wolfpack has been a more than passing grade, getting over 20 wins in each of his first two seasons and making the NCAA tournament in 2017-2018. The third and fourth season are the ones that allow you have any sort of longevity in a program, and the expectations are fairly high in Raleigh, however to this point he has not hurt his job security.

Jeff Capel (Pittsburgh)

Career Record: 189-129

Record at Pittsburgh: 14-19

Replacing Jamie Dixon proved to be very hard for Kevin Stallings leading the Panthers to hire Capel who had not been a head coach since the 2010-2011 season at Oklahoma. Coming off of an 8 win season there were not a lot of expectations, and the team at least met or exceeded those depending on who you ask. Capel is still getting his footing on leading a program after being an assistant for a considerable amount of time but his recruiting has been solid to this point and one would imagine he will get more than the two seasons granted to Stallings to put together a winning culture.

First Year Coaches:

Mike Young (Virginia Tech)

Career Record: 299-234

Young was a bit of a surprise to replace Buzz Williams hire after 17 seasons with mixed results at Wofford. Recruiting top tier talent to Blacksburg is no easy task and the team lost a ton of talent in the off season or to the NBA, which could lead to a less than stellar first year on the job as far as wins and losses. Williams had the program at new heights so it will be a tough act to follow.

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