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Statistical Analysis of ACC Basketball Hires in the Last Five Seasons

What does the resume of an ACC coach look like? How have the recent coaching hires performed with their new teams?

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

With Jeff Bzdelik likely on the way out, now is the time to look at possible candidates. But instead of looking at specific coaches to replace Bzdelik, I wanted to target qualities and resumes for potential replacements through recent ACC hires. For this reason, I have compiled data from all ACC basketball hires in the last five seasons and analyzed the hire based on on-court and recruiting success.

The allure of coaching in arguably the country's best conference has drawn some of the best coaches in the game. Even football schools like Clemson and Miami brought in respected, high-level mid-major coaches-Brad Brownell and Jim Larranga, respectively-due to the opportunities for NCAA tournament and recruiting success in the ACC.

Meanwhile, more traditional basketball programs have taken successful coaches from other BCS jobs.

Virginia's Tony Bennett came from an up-and-coming Washington State team. During his tenure, the Cougars shook up the PAC 10 hierarchy and took the Huskie dominant state by storm. The Cavaliers have adopted Bennett's methodical, defensive-oriented identity, improving in all of his five seasons, culminating in regular season and ACC tournament titles this season. Bennett has also dominated on the recruiting trail.

Maryland's Mark Turgeon left a Texas A&M team that qualified for four straight NCAA tournaments to replace the legend Gary Williams. In the midst of a controversial move to the Big Ten, Turgeon has continued to win on the recruiting trail. After an up-and-down first three seasons, Turgeon is confident Maryland will contend in the near future.

Meanwhile, NC State's Mark Gottfried made the NCAA tournament five times with his alma mater Alabama, but was forced to resign midseason due to an administrative disagreement. Since joining the Wolfpack, Gottfried has won 24 games in back-to-back seasons and has signed three straight Top 25 recruiting classes.

In his time with the Hurricanes, Larranaga has accomplished what no one had done since Skip Prosser's Demon Deacons in 2003, unanimously beat out Duke and UNC for the regular season conference title. Larranaga has reinvigorated the program and should bring the youthful Hurricanes back into contention in the coming years.

Brownell and Brian Gregory from Georgia Tech have had considerable success on the recruiting trail. Brownell's Clemson team finished in the upper half of the ACC and made the NIT, while the Yellow Jackets have fought admirably after a slew of injuries to top players. Expect Georgia Tech to come back strong next year.

After consecutive last place ACC finishes, Virginia Tech's James Johnson was canned. Additionally, Steve Donahue from Boston College lost his job after four seasons with only an NIT bid to show.

Month-Year Hired Mar-09 Apr-10 Apr-10 Apr-10 Mar-11 Apr-11 Apr-11 May-11 Apr-12
College Virginia Boston College Wake Forest Clemson Georgia Tech Miami NC State Maryland Virginia Tech
Coach Tony Bennett Steve Donahue Jeff Bzdelik Brad Brownell Brian Gregory Jim Larranaga Mark Gottfried Mark Turgeon James Johnson
Age Upon Hire 39 47 57 41 44 61 47 46 40 46.89
Prior Job Washington State HC Cornell HC Colorado HC Wright State HC Dayton HC George Mason HC Alabama HC Texas A&M HC Virginia Tech Asst. High mid-major HC
Record at Previous Job 69-33 (3 seasons) 146-138 (10 seasons) 36-58 (3 seasons) 84-45 (4 seasons) 172-94 (8 seasons) 273-164 (14 seasons) 210-131 (11 seasons) 97-40 (4 seasons) No prior HC experience 60.25%
Notable Achievements (prior job) Back-to-back top 3 Pac 10 finishes, 2 NCAA appearances, Sweet 16 3 straight Ivy League titles and NCAA appearances, Sweet 16 Finished 8th in the Big 12 4 straight 20+ win seasons, NCAA appearance five 22+ win seasons, NIT champions, 2 NCAA appearances Final Four appearance, no losing seasons, five NCAA appearances 5 straight NCAA appearances, Elite 8, co-SEC champs 4 straight 24+ win seasons, NCAA berths Assistant under Seth Greenberg for 5 seasons, 4 NIT appearances 2.13 NCAA appearances
Recruiting- Class of 2009 4*, 3* X X X X X X X X
2009-2010 Season 15-16 (5-11) X X X X X X X X
Recruiting- Class of 2010 Two 4*s, Two 3*s, Two 2*s 2*, JC Four 4*s, 3* 2* X X X X X
2010-2011 Season 16-15 (7-9) 21-13 (9-7) NIT 1st rd 8-24 (1-15) 22-12 (9-7) NCAA 2nd rd X X X X X
Recruiting-Class of 2011 Two 4*s, 3* 4*, 3*, Four 2*s, Euro, Two unrated Two 3*s, 2* 4*, Three 3*s, 2* 4* Two 3*s 4*, 2*, Euro 4*, Euro X
2011-2012 Season 22-10 (9-7), NCAA 2nd Rd 9-22 (4-12) 13-18 (4-12) 16-15 (8-8) 11-20 (4-12) 20-13 (9-7) NIT 2nd rd 24-13 (9-7) Sweet 16 17-15 (6-10) X
Recruiting- Class of 2012 Three 4*s, Two 2* 3*, 2* Two 4*s, Three 3*s, Two 2*s 4*, Two 3*s, Two 2*s Two 4*s, 3*, Two 2* 3* Three 4*s Two 4*s, Two 3*s 3*
2012-2013 Season 23-12 (11-7) NIT Quarters 16-17 (7-11)


13-18 (5-13) 16-15 (6-12) 29-8 (15-3) ACC Title, Sweet 16 24-11 (11-7) NCAA 2nd rd 25-13 (8-10) NIT Semis 13-19 (4-14)
Recruiting- Class of 2013 4*,3* 3*, 2* Two 3*s Two 3*s, 2*, JC Two 3* 4*, Two 3*s, 2*, JC, Euro Three 4*s, 3*, JC 4*, 3* Three 3*s, Two 2*s, Euro
2013-2014 Season 28-6 (16-2) ACC Title 8-24 (4-14) 17-16 (6-12) 20-12 (10-8) NIT bid 16-17 (6-12) 17-16 (7-11) 21-13 (9-9) NCAA appearance 17-15 (9-9) 9-22 (2-16)
Recruiting- Class of 2014 Two 3*s, Euro None 3*, Unrated 2*, 3* 4*, 3* 4*, Two 3*s, JC Two 4*s, 3* Three 4*s, #8 Two 4*s, Unrated
Team Record Totals 104-59 (48-36) 54-76 (24-44) 51-36 (27-51) 71-57 (32-36) 43-52 (16-36) 66-37 (31-21) 69-37 (29-23) 59-43 (23-29) 22-41 (6-30)
Winning Percentage 63.80% 41.50% 40.20% 55.50% 45.30% 64.10% 65.10% 57.80% 35% 53.03%
Recruiting Totals Nine 4*s, Seven 3*s, Four 2*s, Euro 4*, Three 3*s, Six 2*s, Two Unrated, JC, Euro Six 4*s, Nine 3*s, Three 2*s, Unrated Two 4*s, Eight 3*s, Six 2*s, JC Four 4*s, Four 3*s, Two 2*s Two 4*s, Seven 3*s, 2*, Two JC, Euro Nine 4*s, Two 3*s, 2*, JC, Euro Seven 4*s, Four 3*s, Euro Two 4*s, Four 3*s, Two 2*s, Unrated, Euro
Average Recruiting 3.25 2.25 3.05 2.63 3.2 3.1 3.67 3.64 2.78 3.06

Notes: The recruiting averages were compiled using's recruiting rankings. Unrated recruits were tabulated as 1-stars, while junior college and European players were not incorporated into the numbers.


Note: 2013-2014 record only through the ACC tournament play

Back to Wake Forest. The statistics are damning for Ron Wellman's hire. Every other ACC head coach hired in the last five years made the NCAA tournament at their prior gig (not including James Johnson who was an assistant coach) and the average is 2.13 NCAA berths. Additionally, every other head coach had a winning record at their prior stop, with an average winning percentage of 60.25%. Bzdelik, meanwhile, won at a 38.30% clip in Boulder.

Now, #BuzzOut should finally come to fruition.

Wellman has a chance for redemption. A chance to bring a prideful school with a strong basketball tradition back to respectability.

This time, hire a guy who fits the criteria for an ACC head coach.