In the NCAA tournament, coaching can often be the difference among evenly matched teams in games with high stakes. There are some coaches who routinely find ways to get their teams far in March, while others can’t seem to figure out the tournament at all. Here’s a look at a few of the worst coaches in the field this year.
Worst coaches in 2023 NCAA Tournament
Rick Barnes, Tennessee Volunteers
NCAA Tournament record: 22-23
Barnes has found a way to get a lot of teams to March Madness over his long coaching tenure. However, he has quickly found ways to exit the bracket almost every time. Barnes has 12 exits in the Round of 64 and another seven in the Round of 32. He did make it to the second weekend in 2018-19 with a 31-win Tennessee team but his previous appearance in at least the Sweet 16 came in 2007-08. Basically, there’s a good chance Barnes’ teams don’t go far in March.
Fran McCaffery, Iowa Hawkeyes
NCAA Tournament record: 6-11
McCaffery has had some tremendous teams at Iowa, and he generally does a strong job given the limited recruiting hotbeds he has access to. However, he’s truly dropped the ball in some tournaments. McCaffery has never reached the Sweet 16 and got bounced last year immediately after running through the Big Ten conference tournament with ease. He’s good for sideline reactions and referee staredowns but winning big games in March? That’s not really something he’s ever done.
Ed Cooley, Providence Friars
NCAA Tournament record: 3-6
Two of Cooley’s tournament wins came last year when he finally made it to the Sweet 16. The coach has done a great job turning Providence into a solid basketball program but he has not done well when it comes to March Madness. For five consecutive seasons he was out by the end of the first weekend. It’s a bit harsh because of the limitations he has at the school, but Cooley needs to show he can win some games when the pressure gets turned up.