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College Basketball Coaches That Should Retire

Publish Date: 03/20/2023
Fact checked by: Vicky Winters

Basketball arena in dim light

March Madness is a time of extremes. For every expected victory, there’s a vicious upset. For every Cinderella story, there’s a top-tier team with crushed dreams.

And for every team in the tournament, there’s a slew of disappointed fan bases wondering: what the heck is going on with my team?

College basketball has so many moving parts, it’s hard to put the blame for a team’s lack of success on one person. But if you had to, the head coach might be your best bet. Not every coach can retire as a decorated hero and a legend of the sport like Coach K did in 2022. Some stick around despite failing to live up to expectations.

For certain coaches, the time has come to step away gracefully and let the new guard take over. Here are a few college basketball coaches that should retire.

John Calipari: University of Kentucky

Once a stalwart top pick for college basketball bettors, the Kentucky Wildcats simply haven’t lived up to their potential in the past few years. They’re a 6-seed this year, playing 11-seed Providence in the round of 64.

Last year, Kentucky fell victim to a 15-2 upset against the St. Peter’s Peacocks. Kentucky lost 85-79 and exited the first round in a stunning defeat from a team nobody had on their radar before the tournament began. The Peacocks would go on to the Elite Eight, where they lost to North Carolina.

Just one season earlier, Kentucky failed to qualify for the tournament. With no final four appearances since 2015, the writing may be on the wall for Coach Calipari.

Greg Gard: Wisconsin Badgers

The Badgers exist in a strong Big Ten conference, and they’ve fallen well short of expectations for the past few years. Greg Gard has ushered in a meager two tournament game victories within the last five years.

2022-23 hasn’t brought any hope to Wisconsin fans. The Badgers finished 11th in the Big Ten with an 18-14 record, ahead of only Nebraska (16-16), Ohio State (16-19), and Minnesota 9-22. The rough season led to missing the NCAA tournament altogether, a big disappointment for UW fans. Greg Gard has led the team since 2015 when Bo Ryan retired. Gard hasn’t produced any meaningful results for Wisconsin. His time may be up.

Patrick Ewing: Georgetown

Patrick Ewing is best known for his illustrious career as a professional NBA player. He played for the New York Knicks from 1985 to 2000 before moving to the Seattle SuperSonics for a season and eventually one final season with the Orlando Magic in 2001-02 before retiring. He’s a legend in the NBA and currently the 24th-highest all-time point scorer in the history of the league.

Now, he coaches his alma mater Georgetown. It’s…not going all that well. Georgetown finished dead last in the Big East conference this year with a terrible 2-18 record. The prior season, Georgetown finished with fewer than 10 wins. Depaul beat out Georgetown in the 2022-23 season by one win with a 3-17 record.

Something isn’t clicking at Georgetown, which plays in a conference with other basketball-focused schools such as UConn, Marquette, Creighton, and Xavier. Ewing hasn’t been able to make a meaningful run at a solid season in his time as head coach, which began in 2017. The school notched one appearance in March Madness in 2020-21, listing in round one to Colorado by more than 20 points. Without a major shake-up, Georgetown has shown it can’t compete at the level it needs to win games. Ewing’s clock may be running out.

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