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Jeff Goodman ranks Pitino ahead of Izzo, Calipari

You know how this goes.  You start out by saying “I like Jeff Goodman” and then throw out a huge BUT and go into the rest of it.  So just pretend all of that introduction is there.  Because Jeff Goodman ranked current college coaches based on their ages and seems to have gone a little crazy in a the grouping he should have called “Menopause”.

In breaking down the 50-60 year old coaches, Goodman puts Roy Williams and his two championships and recent run of Tar Heel magic at the top spot.  Fair.  Then, at the second spot, he puts Rick Pitino.  Not Rick Pitino in 1997.  Rick Pitino now.  With seven tournament wins in the last five years and 12 in the last ten.  The king of the three-star recruit.  The NBA Dream Dasher.  The 15 second pumper.  Ricky Freakin’ Three Stacks. 

Pitino checks in on his list ahead of Tom Izzo, his third ranked coach, and John Calipari, ranked fourth.  You could argue that either should sit atop the list, though Cal’s lack of a title and Izzo’s regular season inconsistencies probably prevent them from topping Roy, at least using Goodman’s logic.  But it’s at least a conversation.  Pitino?  I’m not sure how he even factors into the conversation unless it’s heavily rooted in what he did at Kentucky over 15 years ago.  It is?  Oh. 

Here’s what Goodman has to say about the guys ranked in spots 2-4: 

2. Rick Pitino, Louisville: Has taken three different programs to the Final Four: Providence, Kentucky and Louisville. Won a national title in 1996 with the Wildcats after taking over a program in disarray. Pitino has also spent a handful of seasons in the NBA as the head coach of the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics.
Age: 58
Career record: 597-220 (25 seasons)
National championships: 1
Final Four appearances: 5

3. Tom Izzo, Michigan State: His win total isn’t up there with some of the other guys on this list, but he has won a national title and has gone to six Final Fours in the past 13 seasons — at a place that’s not considered one of the elite 10 or so jobs in America.
Age: 56
Career record: 383-161 (16 seasons)
National championships: 1
Final Four appearances: 6

4. John Calipari, Kentucky: Has gone to a trio of Final Fours — although two have been vacated. Built a powerhouse at UMass, then revived the program at Memphis before taking over at Kentucky a couple years ago and taking the Wildcats back to the Final Four.
Age: 52
Career record: 509-152* (19 seasons); 42 wins vacated by NCAA
National championships: 0
Final Four appearances: 3

Antoine Walker ain’t walking through that door.  Again.

Read the whole article here

Article written by Thomas Beisner

36 Comments for Jeff Goodman ranks Pitino ahead of Izzo, Calipari

  1. BBN
    4:11 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    Shame on you Jeff! You should probably start writing your letter to the NCAA.

  2. kyeric
    4:14 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    JESUS CHRIST! Why can’t anybody figure out that negative UK non-stories equals more hits and more revenue?! Stop linking to these useless stories.

  3. KD
    4:17 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    Based on the overall body of work yes Rick is the better of the two. BBN of course we are only looking at Cal based on these outrageous recruiting classes the past two seasons.lets’ not forget a hall a fame coach named Denny owned Cal while in CUSA. after Cambi Cal was just a rogue coach nobody would touch with a ten foot pole.Were Rick was sought after and loved n the bluegrass country and to be honest BBN miss ole Rick every coach since him Rember Rick set those standards we expect!!!!!

  4. PatPattersonISWalkingThruThatDoor
    4:20 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink


  5. JohnnyRed
    4:20 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    Whoa! This website’s obsession with Louisville and Pitino is quite entertaining! Now, even as a Cardinal fan, I really do not think that Pitino should be ranked that high, but seriously, Ky Sports Radio needs to chill. LMAO! Ok – so you do not think that Pitino should be judged on his “body of work”, i.e. anything that happened more than 10 years ago. Fair enough, but it cuts both ways, so I expect CAT fans to shut the hell up about UK’s “7 Championships, blah blah blah”, cause if only the last 10 years counts, I would say the the Cards and Cats are about even.

  6. gossie21
    4:26 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    5. Yup. You are absolutely right. This story has nothing to do with UK. I’m confused as to why it is even mentioned since this topic of discussion focuses solely on UofL’s head coach who has no connection to UK whatsoever.

  7. Goodman
    4:28 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    the article does count the coach’s entire career, only groups them by age

  8. Frankoa
    4:41 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    5) A big part of Tricky Ricky’s BODY OF WORK took only 15 SECONDS!

  9. Nutwrap
    4:45 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    KSP ahead of the game again. I agree with the list. Look at the stats and compare what they have done. He’s only been at UK 2 seasons (Not Like Ricky P’s tenure when he got all those good stats to his name) However, in 10 years I bet Coach Cal is up there at #1 since he’ll have 10 National championships, and 13 final fours.

  10. bung
    4:47 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    3) Coach Rupp set the Standard for everybody

  11. SexnNursinHomes
    4:49 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    4- word to big bird

    Pitino will be in Depends by next year, and Izzo is the Jim Tressel of college basketball when it comes to gettin’ to the big game and miserably losing. 6 ff and only 1 banner??????????? somebody get him the book titled “How To Close The Deal” because that guy is havin’ trouble. 6 ff’s and 1 banner? GD.

  12. Kanter Banter
    4:50 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    I think Cals the best recruiter but he hasn’t won the big one yet….and he will and when he does…he will be #1.

    Ricky P…….Please…..he’s in a 2nd rate league and like last year was the 3-4 best team in the state last year!

  13. Blondie1971
    4:50 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    5. If you are a Cardinal fan..why are you even on this website reading and commenting?

  14. Marcus L. Owens
    4:50 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    These guys receive more credit than they deserve. I’m sure he is a good writer and smart person but truly what does he know? The researchers and interns and the assistants find that stats and records and the details then he writes it, then get the credit. I dont knock the order of simply because its his opinion. But how could you write about Izzo and not include the what 6 final fours in ten years and the fact that he has one a NC as well? Cal will always get the short end of the stick that just how it is but everybody around the country know where Cal stands including Pitino and Izzo. Goodman is cool but this article will get more views because of Cal low ranking than it would of he was #1.

  15. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater
    4:56 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    5. Your Card delusions knows no bounds. Not surprising though. UL and UK are far from even. The 10 year rule doesn’t work. It’s only used for fans of programs like UL that haven’t been relevant in over 20 years. Since your last championship UK has won 2, made 3 consecutive finals, been to multiple final fours and have numerous NBA draft picks with a few of those winning NBA championships. This coming season we’re one of the favorites to win it all. So looking at each program’s resume since your last championship it’s obvious that we’re on opposite ends and are nowhere close to even. You idiots always try to discredit our tradition like it doesn’t count. Even if it wasn’t counted we’ve done more in the last 20 years than most programs anyway including your Cardinals. Did we have a lull under Tubby? Of course, that’s why he’s gone and why a coach like Cal calls this his dream job. Unlike UL where Pitino has admitted he was wrong for leaving UK, constantly tries to compare his teams to his UK teams and had former UK players on his staff. You guys can’t even be winners with our left-overs. That’s how pathetic you are. You want to keep using that 10 year rule then go ahead because which program is most prominent right now? Which program is getting top recruits every year and is a legit title contender every year? It’s not UL. You guys are spiraling back down to where you were in the 90s again. Keep going back 10 years because it’s only going to make UK look that much better than you.

  16. Brew Crew
    4:57 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    Stop linking Goodman. The guy only makes these claims to get page views from rabid UK fans. I don’t even think it’s his true opinion. But by getting mad at him and viewing his stuff, we are paying his bills.

  17. wd
    5:04 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    Just based on the numbers alone, why would anyone with a little knowledge say pitino is better than Izzo. Goodman makes his case by saying RP took 3 teams to final fours as if that is better than being loyal to the same university for many years like Izzo. Bottom line, Goodman is a numbskull.

  18. Spurious
    5:09 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    Rankings, like statistics, are for losers. Or, in this case, for basketball writers who have nothing constructive to do for several months. Who gives a rats butt about coaches rankings. The best coach in America could very well be coaching at Backwater State where people like Goodman would never think to look.

  19. NCAA
    5:11 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    Mr. Goodman can you please retract this article and issue an apology to the NCAA due to the fact you posted John Calipari has 509 wins. You have 5 days to respond.

  20. oh well
    5:41 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    i have always been a daily reader of this site(3-4 times min),but its getting harder and harder to do so. i know its a slow time of the year but some of this trash that is getting posted is getting ridiculous. its like every post is a BTI post or something…lol

  21. Thomas
    6:14 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    Goodman looks like Peyton Manning’s older fatter brother.

  22. JohnnyRed
    6:15 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    15 – I went back 10 years, because the KSR article was slamming the Pitino pick because Rick has not done much lately – My point was that UK fanse LOVE to go back to 1939 or whatever when talking about championships. and I was trying to point out the hypocrisy. So, since we are apparantly choosing whatever timeframe we want, lets go back 50 years (thats 1961, since you probably cannot subtract) and compare programs:

    UK – 9 Final Fours, 3 NCAA Championships, UofL – 7 Final Fours, 2 NCAA Championships. Yes, UK has performed better, but not overwhelmingly so.

  23. CardHater
    6:34 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    SEXtino is a scumbag that screws in restaurants then pays for the abortion..Lil Brother deserves this POS and he should not be rated in any poll..Forget this ad example of no morals…

  24. BravoBigBlue
    6:35 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    22 – How bout we go back only 4 years in football, JR Douche?

  25. fairview
    6:40 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    I can’t argue with that list..

  26. Greg
    6:53 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    I have no problem with Pitino, Izzo or Cal. My problem is with Williams. True he has two titles, but one of those titles was with Matt Doughtery’s team. Why do I bring that up? The same reason that people bring up Tubby and say that it was Pitino’s team. Are we forgetting all the teams that Williams had at KU that always underachieved. Top ranked and top seeded and they lost..

  27. Chase
    8:00 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    Best coach, not best recruiter, i.e. Pitino > Calipari.

  28. Guck Foodman
    8:11 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink


  29. Guck Foodman
    8:12 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    Best human being i.e. Every other coach > Pitino.

  30. Jalockehop
    8:38 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    I agree with Goodman.. Rick Pitino has 5 final fours and a national title, he’s more consistant in the season than Izzo.. As soon as Cal wins his first title he will just to #2 on that list..

  31. Badgercat
    10:17 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    Does Izzo get a victory/loss for the game he was suspended? Why not an asterisk and notation like Goodman did for Cal.

  32. kycager
    11:09 pm June 15, 2011 Permalink

    Kentucky makes the man, ask Rick. Louisville is just the next best thing.

  33. mark p
    6:33 am June 16, 2011 Permalink

    Coach ranked at 2 has nowhere but to go down, which he will. Coach ranked at 4 has nowhere to go but up, which he will. Maybe Jeff is giving Rick credit for 98. 96 thru 98 was an awesome run and so was the year with Billy D as his point guard a lifetime ago. But, Rick, is old news.

  34. KD
    10:08 am June 16, 2011 Permalink

    Like it or not….Jim Calhoun is way up any list.

  35. KD
    10:10 am June 16, 2011 Permalink

    Oh my bad….Calhoun is over 60. No way I was clicking Goodman’s link

  36. the bruiser
    12:31 pm June 16, 2011 Permalink

    Pitino should be ranked before calipari, not izzo but definetly calipari. Cal shouldnt even be ranked in the top 10. How many national championship does he have again?