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How the ACC Basketball Coaching Situation Could Look in Five Years

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A lot of changes will likely be happening around the league

Louisville v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

Since there are still no college athletics to talk about (and sadly there probably won’t be for a while), I thought it would be fun to take a look at the ACC basketball coaching situation and speculate about what it could look like five years down the road. The conference has a lot of coaches at the ends of their careers, and five years from now the sidelines could look much different than they do now.

Here is a school-by-school breakdown:

Boston College Eagles

Current Head Coach: Jim Christian

NCAA BASKETBALL: DEC 23 Providence at Boston College Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Age: 55

Season at Boston College: 7th

Record at Boston College: 75-119

Record in the ACC: 25-85

Best Season: 19-16 overall, 7-11 conference (12th place) (2017-18)

Postseason Appearances at BC: NIT First Round (2018)

Prediction for 5 Years from Now:

If not for COVID-19, Christian almost certainly would have been gone at the end of the 2019-2020 basketball season. Barring a major turnaround, I would expect BC to move on at the end of the season. Expect whoever is hired after Christian to be in his fourth season on the Eagles’ bench in 2024-25.

Clemson Tigers

Current Head Coach: Brad Brownell

Clemson v Kansas Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Age: 51

Season at Clemson: 11th

Record at Clemson: 185-142

Record in the ACC: 85-93

Best Season: 25-10 overall, 11-7 conference (T-3rd place) (2017-18)

Postseason Appearances at Clemson: 2018 NCAA Sweet Sixteen, 2011 NCAA Round of 64, 2014 NIT Semifinal, 2019 NIT Second Round, 2017 NIT First Round

Prediction for 5 Years from Now:

Clemson is definitely a football school and most of their resources and fan interest are invested in football. They seem to be fine with mediocrity in basketball with the occasional tournament run. In 2018 he signed a six-year, $15 million contract extension. This keeps him as coach through 2024, and as long as he makes the tournament a couple of times during that stretch I see no reason why he won't still be around in 2024-25.

Duke Blue Devils

Current Head Coach: Mike Krzyzewski

NCAA Basketball Tournament - East Regional - Washington DC - Practice Sessions Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Age: 73

Season at Duke: 41st

Record at Duke: 1,084-291

Record in the ACC: 441-180

Accomplishments at Duke: 5-Time National Champion (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015), 12 Final Four Appearances (1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2010, 2015), 3-Time Naismith Coach of the Year (1989, 1992, 1999), 2-Time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee (2001, 2010), College Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee (2001), 12 ACC Regular Season Championships, 15 ACC Tournament Championships, 5-Time ACC Coach of the Year (1984, 1986, 1997, 1999, 2000), Winningest Coach in college basketball history at any level (men’s or women’s), 36 postseason appearances, 35 NCAA Tournament berths.

Prediction for 5 Years from Now:

As I said in the opening, this entire article is purely conjecture. Duke will let Coach K continue to coach as long as he wants to and/or until he is physically unable to coach anymore. For all I know he probably has a lifetime contract at this point. But he is 73, and at some point he will have to retire. In five years he would be 78 and nobody has ever coached to that age in Division 1 College Basketball. His grandson, Michael Savarino, joined the team last season as a walk-on. Michael has three years of eligibility remaining. Could it be that Coach K wants to coach three more years and coach to the end of his grandson’s career? If so, that would make K’s last season the 2022-23 season. Potential candidates to replace him could include former assistant and current Pitt coach Jeff Capel, former assistant and current Harvard coach Tommy Amaker, former longtime assistant and current Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski, former Duke guard and current Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley, former longtime assistant and current Central Florida coach Johnny Dawkins, and current Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens should he choose to return to college. My guess is Jeff Capel is Duke’s next head coach, and will be coaching the Blue Devils in 2024-25.

Florida State Seminoles

Current Head Coach: Leonard Hamilton

NCAA Basketball Tournament - West Regional - Anaheim Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Age: 71

Season at Florida State: 19th

Record at Florida State: 379-221

Record in the ACC: 163-142

Best Season: 26-5 overall, 16-4 conference (1st) (2019-20-shortened by COVID-19)

Accomplishments at Florida State: ACC Regular Season Champions (2020), ACC Tournament Champions (2012), 3-Time ACC Coach of the Year (2009, 2012, 2020), 14 Postseason Appearances, 7 NCAA Tournament Appearances, 1 Elite Eight (2018), 3 Sweet Sixteens (2011, 2018, 2019)

Prediction for 5 Years from Now:

Leonard Hamilton never seems to age, and actually looks younger now than he did 10 years ago. If anyone currently over the age of 70 could continue coaching five years from now, it’s probably Leonard. But at 71 now, he would be 76 in 2024-25, and at some point he will probably consider retiring. Stan Jones has been Hamilton’s top man since he took the job in 2002, and at 60 years of age should at least get a look when Hamilton does decide to hang it up. My guess is Leonard has retired in 5 years, but again who knows? This is all conjecture.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Current Head Coach: Josh Pastner

Memphis v Virginia Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Age: 42

Season at Georgia Tech: 5th

Record at Georgia Tech: 65-67

Record in the ACC: 31-43

Best Season: 21-16 overall, 8-10 conference (11th place) (2016-17)

Postseason Appearances at Georgia Tech: NIT Runner-Up (2017)

Prediction for 5 Years from Now:

Georgia Tech is a highly academic school, and Pastner’s program was placed on probation, leading to a self-imposed postseason ban for 2019-20. While the postseason ended up not happening anyway, the donors likely look down upon NCAA violations. Pastner hasn't shown a lot of on-court success and will be on the hot seat over next couple of seasons if he can't turn things around. If he doesn't, look for Georgia Tech to have a new coach in 2024-25 and be on their fourth coach since 2010-11.

Louisville Cardinals

Current Head Coach: Chris Mack

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Age: 50

Season at Louisville: 3rd

Record at Louisville: 44-21

Record in the ACC: 25-13

Best Season: 24-7 overall, 15-5 conference (T-2nd place) (2019-20-shortened by COVID-19)

Postseason Appearances at Louisville: NCAA Tournament Round of 64 (2019)

Prediction for 5 Years from Now:

Chris Mack is in the prime of his coaching career, and proved he can have long-term success during his tenure at Xavier. Louisville is used to being in the national picture every year, and I see no reason why Mack can’t keep them there. As a member of the Skip Prosser coaching tree, Mack certainly knows how to win. He should be the coach for many years going forward, as it doesn't get much better than being an annual contender in the ACC.

Miami Hurricanes

Current Head Coach: Jim Larranaga

NCAA Basketball: Miami-Florida at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Age: 70

Season at Miami: 10th

Record at Miami: 190-113

Record in the ACC: 87-75

Best Season: 29-7 overall, 15-3 conference (1st place) (2012-13)

Postseason Appearances at Miami: 2013 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen, 2016 NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen, 2017 NCAA Tournament Round of 64, 2018 NCAA Tournament Round of 64, 2015 NIT Tournament Runner-Up, 2012 NIT Second Round

Accomplishments at Miami: 2-Time ACC Coach of the Year (2013, 2016), ACC Regular Season Championship (2013), ACC Tournament Championship (2013), 2 Sweet Sixteen Appearances (2013, 2016)

Prediction for 5 Years from Now:

At 70 years old with two Sweet Sixteens under his belt, Larranaga will probably be allowed to finish out his career at Miami. I doubt he goes five years, but coaches seem to be staying in the profession longer and longer so who knows? Larranaga’s current contract runs through 2024, so perhaps that is his last season. Who they turn to after he does retire, I have no idea.

North Carolina Tar Heels

Current Head Coach: Roy Williams

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Age: 69 (turns 70 on August 1, 2020)

Season at North Carolina: 18th

Record at North Carolina: 467-152

Record in the ACC: 202-88

Accomplishments at North Carolina: 3-Time National Champion (2005, 2009, 2017), 5 Final Four Appearances (2005, 2008, 2009, 2016, 2017), AP Coach of the Year (2006), 2-Time ACC Coach of the Year (2006, 2011), 9 ACC Regular Season Championships, 3 ACC Tournament Championships (2007, 2008, 2016), 16 postseason appearances, 15 NCAA Tournament appearances

Prediction for 5 Years from Now:

At 70 years of age, Roy may have several more years under his belt, as again coaches are seemingly staying in the profession longer and longer. His current contract reportedly runs through 2028, but at the time the 2027-28 season ended Williams would be 77. Should he decide to retire before then, UNC alum Wes Miller has done an outstanding job proving his coaching acumen at UNC Greensboro and would probably be the favorite to land the job. Another potential option could be Jerry Stackhouse depending on how he does at Vanderbilt over the next few seasons. My prediction is that Roy retires sometime in the next five years, and Wes Miller (who was a finalist for the Wake Forest job this offseason) is coaching North Carolina in 2024-25.

North Carolina State Wolfpack

Current Head Coach: Kevin Keatts

NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Age: 47

Season at NC State: 4th

Record at NC State: 65-36

Record in the ACC: 30-26

Best Season: 21-12 overall, 11-7 conference (T-3rd) (2017-18)

Postseason Appearances at NC State: 2018 NCAA Tournament Round of 64, 2019 NIT Quarterfinals

Prediction for 5 Years from Now:

NC State can be rather picky about coaches, but Coach Keatts seems to have developed the type of culture that is sustainable and needed in Raleigh. He is reportedly signed through 2024, but barring a major collapse I see no reason why Keatts won't be coaching the Wolfpack in the 2024-25 season.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Current Head Coach: Mike Brey

NCAA Basketball: Notre Dame at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Age: 61

Season at Notre Dame: 21st

Record at Notre Dame: 437-233

Record in the ACC: 64-64

Best Season in the ACC: 32-6 overall, 14-4 conference (3rd) (2014-15)

Postseason Appearances at Notre Dame in the ACC: 2015 NCAA Tournament Elite Eight, 2016 NCAA Tournament Elite Eight, 2017 NCAA Tournament Round of 32, 2018 NIT Second Round

Accomplishments at Notre Dame in the ACC: 2015 ACC Tournament Champion, 2 Elite Eight Appearances (2015, 2016)

Prediction for 5 Years from Now:

Brey has been on the hot seat recently, as Notre Dame has struggled after going to back-to-back Elite Eights. They were on the bubble before the season was cancelled, so perhaps this season was a bit of a turnaround. He has a contract through the end of the 2024-25 season, so Notre Dame probably won’t want to pay a buyout in the next year or two and will give him a chance to turn things around. If Brey is successful and Notre Dame makes the tournament a couple of times in the next 3 or 4 seasons and makes a run in 2021 or 2022 my guess is that he will still be coaching the Irish in 2024-25.

Pittsburgh Panthers

Current Head Coach: Jeff Capel

NCAA Basketball: Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech Michael Thomas Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

Age: 45

Season at Pitt: 3rd

Record at Pitt: 30-36

Record in the ACC: 9-29

Best Season: 16-17 overall, 6-14 conference (T-13th) (2019-20)

Postseason Appearances at Pitt: None

Prediction for 5 Years from Now:

Capel’s records at Pitt may not look great, but he inherited a huge mess from Kevin Stallings when he took over. He had success in his previous stops at VCU and Oklahoma. Capel will likely have Pitt turned around in a few years, but as I said above he is probably the top candidate to take over at Duke when Coach K retires. If and when Coach K retires within the next five years, Capel likely leaves Pitt to return to Durham. Who Pitt hires afterward, I don't know.

Syracuse Orange

Head Coach: Jim Boeheim

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Age: 75

Season at Syracuse: 45th

Record at Syracuse: 964-399

Record in the ACC: 70-55

Best Season in the ACC: 28-6 overall, 14-4 conference (2nd) (2013-14)

Postseason Appearances at Syracuse in the ACC: NCAA Tournament Final Four (2016), NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen (2018), NCAA Tournament Round of 32 (2014), NCAA Tournament Round of 64 (2019), NIT Second Round (2017)

Accomplishments at Syracuse in the ACC: Final Four (2016)

Prediction for 5 Years from Now:

At 75, Boeheim is the oldest coach in college basketball. He will be 76 when the season starts. My best guess is that he will coach the Orange until his son Buddy graduates in 2022 at which point he would be 77 years old. That means Boeheim would be at the helm for 2 more seasons. Mike Hopkins, the one-time coach in waiting, took the Washington job in 2017 after Boeheim decided to continue coaching rather than retire. With decent success at Washington, Hopkins should be the first call Syracuse makes when Boeheim does call it quits. My guess is that Mike Hopkins is coaching the Orange in 2024-25, assuming he doesn't turn down the opportunity.

Virginia Cavaliers

Current Head Coach: Tony Bennett

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Virginia Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Age: 51

Season at Virginia: 12th

Record at Virginia: 277-96

Record in the ACC: 136-58

Best Season: 35-3 overall, 16-2 conference (T-1st) (2018-19)

Postseason Appearances: 2019 National Champion, NCAA Tournament Elite Eight (2016), NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen (2014), NCAA Tournament Round of 32 (2015, 2017), NCAA Tournament Round of 64 (2012, 2018), NIT Quarterfinal (2013)

Accomplishments at Virginia: National Champion (2019), Final Four (2019), 4-time ACC Regular Season Champion (2014, 2015, 2018, 2019), 2-time ACC Tournament Champion (2014, 2018), Naismith College Coach of the Year (2018), AP National Coach of the Year (2018), 4-Time ACC Coach of the Year (2014, 2015, 2018, 2019), Single Season Wins Record at Virginia (35 in 2019)

Prediction for 5 Years from Now:

At this point if they haven't already Virginia should just give Tony Bennett a lifetime contract. His current deal runs through 2027, but the only way I see him leaving is if Wisconsin offered (he’s from Wisconsin). Even then I don't see him leaving Virginia. Bennett might spend the rest of his career at Virginia and become Virginia’s Coach K. I would be shocked if Tony Bennett isn't coaching Virginia in 2024-25.

Virginia Tech Hokies

Current Head Coach: Mike Young

NCAA Basketball: Clemson at Virginia Tech Michael Thomas Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

Age: 57

Season at Virginia Tech: 2nd

Record at Virginia Tech: 16-16 (2019-20)

Record in the ACC: 7-13 (2019-20)

Postseason Appearances: None at Virginia Tech (2020 Postseason Cancelled Due to COVID-19), 5 NCAA Tournament Appearances at Wofford

Prediction for 5 Years from Now:

Mike Young just started at Virginia Tech so it is tough to tell what path his career will take. However, he had a ton of success at Wofford, and I think once his system is fully in place at Virginia Tech they will start to see some results. If I had to guess right now, Mike Young will be the coach at Virginia Tech in 2024-25.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Current Head Coach: Steve Forbes

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Florida vs East Tennessee State Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Age: 55

Season at Wake Forest: 1st

Overall Division 1 Head Coaching Record: 130-43

Record at East Tennessee State: 130-43

Postseason Appearances: 2017 NCAA Tournament First Round (2020 SOCON Automatic Bid-Postseason Cancelled Due to COVID-19), 2019 CIT First Round, 2016 Vegas 16 Semifinals

Accomplishments: 2-Time Southern Conference Regular Season Champion (2017, 2020), 2-Time Southern Conference Tournament Champion (2017, 2020), Southern Conference Coach of the Year (2020), 3 Postseason Appearances, 1 NCAA Tournament Appearance (Plus 2020 SOCON Automatic Bid-NCAA Tournament Cancelled Due to COVID-19)

Prediction for 5 Years from Now:

Steve Forbes was the only coach hired at a Power 6 school in 2020. Wake Forest has been to the NCAA Tournament just once since 2010 (First Four in 2017), and has had just two winning seasons overall and none in the conference since 2010. Coach Forbes has his work cut out for him, and it may take him a few years to get Wake Forest basketball back to relevance in the ACC. He has a proven track record of winning though, and should have the Deacs back in the NCAA Tournament by his fourth season. I fully expect Steve Forbes to be coaching Wake Forest in 2024-25.

I hope you enjoyed this look at the ACC basketball coaching situation and how it could change in the next five years. The sidelines could look much different in the next five years.