When thinking of the top college football and basketball coaching combinations, it’s important to consider historical success and potential future accomplishments. While some schools have a football and basketball coach with fantastic historical resumes (see: Kansas – Les Miles, hugely successful at LSU, where he won a BCS National Championship and Bill Self, three NCAA Final Four appearances and one National Championship), but is Miles still considered one of the best and brightest minds in college football? Not really. It’s difficult to find a coaching duo in the country better than Bob Huggins and Neal Brown, but I tried…
My top five duos include the following:
5.) Jimbo Fisher and Buzz Williams, Texas A&M – Fisher won the 2014 National Championship at Florida State and will have a chance to do the same at Texas A&M with recruiting and resources galore in College Station. Buzz Williams is a high-energy coach and outstanding motivator. This duo will have consistently great results with potential for conference and national championships.
4.) Mark Stoops and John Calipari, Kentucky – You can’t argue with Calipari’s success and Stoops has led the Wildcats to a 10 win season in the SEC last season. If Stoops has more success in the future, this could be the top duo in the country in the future.
3.) Gus Malzahn and Bruce Pearl, Auburn – Pearl has won the SEC conference titles in 2018 and 2019 while leading Auburn to the Final Final last season. Malzahn has led the Tigers to a National Championship as an Offensive Coordinator and to the BCS Title game in 2014.
2.) Lincoln Riley and Lon Kruger, Oklahoma – Not a fan of Riley, but it’s difficult to argue with what he’s done in Norman. He’s 36-5 overall and has won 3 Big 12 Conference Championships. Kruger has led the Sooners to the NCAA Tournament in six of eight seasons and a Final Four appearance.
1.) Mark Dantonio and Tom Izzo, Michigan State – Dantonio has led the Spartans to 3 Big Ten Championships and has a 114-57 overall record. Izzo has been a model of consistent excellence, winning a national championship, led the Spartans to eight Final Four appearances and nine Big 10 regular season championships.
Brian Kelly and Mike Brey, Notre Dame
Kirby Smart and Tom Crean, Georgia
Bronco Mendenhall and Tony Bennett, Virginia
Jim Harbaugh and Juwan Howard, Michigan
Mack Brown and Roy Williams
With this said, is there any combination of coaches that West Virginians would trade for Bob Huggins and Neal Brown? Huggins has one of the best coaching resumes in college basketball history, but Brown, 39, is at the very beginning of his coaching career. He has tremendous upside, but it’s difficult to rank him alongside coaches with great historical success.
While many of the aforementioned duos have had longer, more successful careers, the way that Huggins and Brown represent our state is irreplaceable, and I wouldn’t trade this duo for any other two coaches in the country. The West Virginia Mountaineers are in great hands and there isn’t a better combination of coaches for our state and university than Bob Huggins and Neal Brown.