ESPN’s Jay Bilas Lists His Top 10 Coaches In This Year’s March Madness Tournament | Where Are The Brothers?

ESPN’s Jay Bilas sent a tweet on Wednesday of his top 10 coaches in this year’s men’s NCAA college basketball tournament. The usual suspects were on the list. Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Villanova’s Jay Wright, Kansas’ Bill Self, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, and Kentucky’s John Calipari. Hard to argue those men. Twelve national titles and 32 Final Fours between them. But there were no Black coaches on Bilas’ list. Should there be?

Let’s look at some of the other coaches Bilas included, and see if a case can be made for a Black head coach.

As College Basketball Returns, Black Head Coaches Are Missing At The Top

Auburn’s Bruce Pearl came in at No. 10. A good head coach who has won a Division II championship, won three conference tournaments and has been to a Final Four.

University of Houston basketball coach Kelvin Sampson has won six conference tournaments and has twice made an appearance in the Final Four.

Is Pearl definitively better than Sampson as a coach? Their accomplishments don’t suggest that is the case.

Tennessee’s Rick Barnes also made Bilas’ list. He’s made one Final Four appearance and won two conference tournaments.

Marquette head coach Shaka Smart has won an NIT and CBI championship, made a Final Four appearance, and won three conference tournaments.

Again, this doesn’t prove Smart is a better coach than Barnes. But their résumés look pretty even, if not slightly tilted in Smart’s favor.

There’s Providence’s Ed Cooley who wins with less talent than the men on Bilas’ list have. Indiana’s Mike Woodson who’s in the NCAA Tournament in his first year on the job, and he’s been a head coach in the NBA, leading the Knicks to the franchise’s last division title.

Or Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton who has led the Seminoles to eight NCAA tournament berths and won two conference tournaments in the past 14 seasons at a football school.

Juwan Howard Has Proven To Be A Great Hire In Ann Arbor

Michigan’s Juwan Howard has led the team to the NCAA tournament twice in just three seasons, including an Elite Eight.

The point is there are Black coaches that can coach too.

But that’s the thing about an individual’s top 10 list. There will always be a difference of opinion and personal preference.

There is no argument against any of the coaches in Bilas’ top six based on what they’ve accomplished. When you get down to the last four you can make a case for or against any of them. Personal preference.

Bilas’ list is a reflection of the state of college basketball and college sports as a whole. According to The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES), in men’s Division I basketball, 24.3 percent of all head coaches are Black. But Black or African-American Division I men’s basketball student-athletes make up 52.8 percent of the student-athlete population.

The representation of Black or African Americans as head coaches for all sports in Division I did not show improvement and continued to be unacceptable in 2020 -2021. — TIDES

Until the representation of Black people changes at the top (administrative) levels of college athletics, there won’t be significant representation at the coaching level.

So every year when analysts like Bilas make their top-10 lists it will likely reflect the reality of the moment, that the representation of Black people is unacceptable.

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