Ivy League: Coach Ranking

December 4th, 2008

Ranking the 8 Ivy League coaches is no easy task:  One of them has never been a head coach before, two others coached their 1st Ivy games last year, and none have served a full decade as an Ivy head coach.  As we get ready for another college basketball season, here is a look at who is doing the best job of keeping up with the Joneses...literally.


1. Glen Miller - Penn

(223-184 record in 17 years as head coach at Connecticut College/Brown/Penn)

Career highlights: Went 13-1 in conference play during his 1st year at Penn en route to winning the school's 3rd straight Ivy title.  As coach at Brown for 9 years, had most consecutive wins in school history since the 1930s, in addition to 1 NIT bid.  As coach at Connecticut College for 6 years, he went 24-0 in regular season in 1998-1999.  As assistant at Connecticut for 7 years, worked for team that won 1988 NIT title. 

Prediction for 2008-09: Having lost only 1 starter from last year, he will have a decent chance to unseat Cornell from the top of the standings.


2. Steve Donahue - Cornell

(96-123 record in 8 years as head coach)

Career highlights: Went 14-0 in conference play last year en route to winning the school's 2nd Ivy title ever and being named NABC district Coach of the Year.  As assistant at Penn for 10 years, he helped recruit 5 of the top 20 scorers in school history for teams that won 6 conference titles in 8 years. 

Prediction for 2008-09: With most of last year's NCAA Tournament team back, a repeat of last year's success will put him further down the long path towards Dunphy/Carril territory.


3. James Jones - Yale

(117-134 record in 9 years as head coach)

Career highlights: During  his 9 years at Yale, he has become the longest-tenured coach in the league and given the school its only postseason tournament win in over a century of basketball.  During his 9 years as an assistant at Albany, Yale, and Ohio, he worked for teams that made the postseason twice.

Prediction for 2008-09: He has a great track record, but not sure if he will ever get over the hump to get a career winning record.


4.  Joe Jones - Columbia

(63-75 record in 5 years as head coach)

Career highlights: As assistant at Villanova for 6 years, he worked for teams that went to the postseason 5 times.  During his 5 years at Columbia, he has won more games than any Columbia coach in almost 3 decades.

Prediction for 2008-09: His young team will have to grow up fast to avoid its 5th losing season in 6 years.


5. Tommy Amaker - Harvard

(184-57 record in 11 years as head coach at Seton Hall/Michigan/Harvard)

Career highlights: As head coach at Seton Hall/Michigan, for 10 years, he only had a losing record twice, and won 2004 NIT title.  He was also an assistant for 9 years at Duke, getting to the Final Four 5 times in 6 years, including back-to-back NCAA titles in 1991 and 1992.  During his 1st year at Harvard, his team went 8-22.

Prediction for 2008-09: After an investigation cleared him of any improper recruiting violations earlier this year, his 4 returning double-digit scorers will try to put the media's focus back on wins and losses.


6. Terry Dunn - Dartmouth

(34-71 record in 4 years as head coach)

Career highlights: As assistant at several schools for 15 years, he worked for teams that went to the postseason 6 times.  During his 4 years at Dartmouth, his team has not won more than 10 games in any season.

Prediction for 2008-09: If he cannot turn the program around soon, he will probably not be around for long.


7.  Sydney Johnson - Princeton

(6-23 record in 1 year as head coach)

Career highlights: As assistant at Georgetown for 3 years, he worked for team that reached the Final Four in 2007.  During his 1st year at Princeton, his team had 1 of the worst seasons in the school's storied history.

Prediction for 2008-09: As the only 3-time captain in school history from his playing days in the 90s, the administration will probably cut him some slack as he tries to return to the glory days, but it will take awhile to do so.


8. Jesse Agel - Brown

(1st year as head coach)

Career highlights: As assistant at Vermont for 17 years, he helped recruit Taylor Coppenrath and won several conference titles.  During his 2 years as an assistant at Brown, his team set a school record for most wins in a season.

Prediction for 2008-09: A rebuilding year, but if he can recruit anyone half as good as Coppenrath, he might get the Bears their 1st 20-win season ever at some point in the near future.