With every new college basketball season comes changes. New players, new superstars, and new coaches. These 10 coaches are about to embark on new challenges as they prove themselves in their first year as head coaches. Will they lead their teams to victory or fall short?
Adrian Autry – Syracuse
Adrian Autry has big shoes to fill this season. Former Hall of Fame head coach Jim Boeheim’s run lasted 47 years, most of them very successful. Autry is more than familiar with the rich history of Syracuse men’s basketball though. He played for the Orange from 1990-94 and still ranks fifth in assists and sixth in steals. Autry served as an assistant coach for the Orange in 2011 and was later promoted to associate head coach in 2017. Autry says he will not change the “Orange standard” and will “do whatever it takes to win the game.” Although this might sound promising to fans, actions will speak louder than words come November when Autry is put to the test against New Hampshire in their home opener.
Amir Abdur-Rahim – South Florida
South Florida announced that Amir Abdur-Rahim would be their new head coach on March 29. Abdur-Rahim is coming off an ASUN Conference Championship with Kennesaw State where they also appeared in the NCAA Tournament. This season marked their first winning season in Division I history. Abdur-Rahim served as an assistant coach with Texas A&M and Georgia previously. He helped the Aggies advance to three NCAA Tournaments, two of which included Sweet 16 appearances. With the Bulldogs, Abdur-Rahim helped recruit Anthony Edwards who went on to be the number one NBA Draft pick in 2020. The Bulls will face South Carolina State University in November in their home opener.
Chris Beard – Ole Miss
The past few years have been a whirlwind for Chris Beard. He took the job as head coach for the Texas Longhorns in 2021, was fired after being arrested for assault in 2022, and is now coaching for the Ole Miss Rebels. Beard had a successful career as the Texas Tech Red Raiders head coach from 2016-21 where his team fell just short of a national championship in 2019. He had an overall record of 112-55 with the Raiders but ultimately chose to take his talents to Austin. Beard said the Ole Miss head coaching position, “is one of the best jobs in the country.” Ole Miss is set to play NC State in November for the ACC/SEC Challenge.
Damon Stoudamire – Georgia Tech
Damon Stoudamire brings a load of NBA credit along with him in this new position at Georgia Tech. Stoudamire played in the NBA for a decade, where he won Rookie of the Year in 1996 and previously held the triple-double record for the Toronto Raptors. Most recently, Stoudamire coached alongside Joe Mazzulla for the Boston Celtics where the team lavished in success. This will be Stoudamire’s first college head coaching job since 2021 when he coached for the Pacific Tigers. “I am humbled and honored to be the head coach at Georgia Tech,” Stoudamire said, “It is an incredible honor to be entrusted with leading such a tradition-rich program.” The Yellow Jackets will host Mississippi State at home in November for the ACC/SEC Challenge.
Ed Cooley – Georgetown
For 12 years, Ed Cooley served as the Providence Friars head coach. With only one losing season, some might say Cooley did fairly well for himself. He led the Friars to the 2022 Big East Championship and a spot in the Sweet 16. Is he ready to take his talents to a struggling Georgetown Hoyas team? Within the past 10 seasons, the Hoyas have only made the NCAA Tournament twice, and have only won 13 games in the past two seasons. “The journey of building,” Cooley told FOX Sports, “the journey of getting back to the mountaintop is what this is going to be about.” The Hoyas will face Le Moyne in November for their home opener.
Grant McCasland – Texas Tech
Grant McCasland is making a move just east of his last one. The former North Texas head coach will now be the skipper for the Texas Tech Red Raiders. McCasland had a very successful career in Denton, TX with an overall record of 135-65. He led the Mean Green to an NIT championship last season and has won two regular-season conference championships during his time there. “The commitment and vision for Texas Tech has no limits and we look forward to loving our team every day with a greater purpose,” McCasland said in a statement. McCasland is an alum of both Texas Tech and Baylor, giving many great storylines for the Big 12. Not only did McCasland play for Baylor, but he also served as an assistant coach under Scott Drew from 2011-16. The Red Raiders will play the Villanova Wildcats in the Battle 4 Atlantis this November, in what should be a great first real test.
Mark Madsen – Cal
While Mark Madsen might not have an extensive head coaching background, he makes up for it with a nine year NBA playing career. Madsen helped the Los Angeles Lakers win two NBA championships with the likes of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. The California native played for Stanford where he still holds records for blocks and rebounds. Coming off a four-year stint at Utah Valley, Madsen led the Wolverines to a WAC regular season title and an NIT semifinal this past season. Madsen says he looks forward to this upcoming season with the Golden Bears and, “has always admired Cal as an institution and as an athletic program.” The Golden Bears will take on the Tommies of St. Thomas-Minnesota in November to open up their season.
Micah Shrewsberry – Notre Dame
With an impressive resume, Fighting Irish fans should be thrilled to have Micah Shrewsberry as their new head coach. After a head coaching stint at Indiana State, Shrewsberry joined the Butler Bulldogs staff as an assistant in 2007. He was a part of both teams who were back-to-back NCAA tournament runner-ups and made waves throughout the nation. Shrewsberry also served as an assistant with the Boston Celtics with former Butler head coach Brad Stevens. During his time in Boston, he helped coach the Celtics to five playoff appearances, including back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals. In recent years, Shrewsberry was the head coach at Penn State where he collected more Big Ten Conference wins than any other Penn State coach. Shrewsberry will make his Notre Dame debut in November during a home matchup against Niagara.
Paul Mills – Wichita State
Paul Mills formerly coached at Oral Roberts where he led the squad in 2021 to the Sweet 16. Two seasons later, the Golden Eagles had a perfect in-conference record and made another appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Previously, Mills coached at Baylor alongside Scott Drew for 14 years. This resume is for sure impressive, but Mills is about to take on an even bigger challenge as head coach of the Wichita State Shockers. “We know people expect to win,” Mills said, “and I can assure that my entire family expects to win too, so we could not be more excited to have this opportunity.” The Shockers will host Lipscomb in November where Mills will make his debut.
Rick Pitino – St. John’s
Rick Pitino is one of the most well-known figures in college basketball. He’s coached many successful teams and built dynasties within those programs. He led Kentucky and Louisville both to national championships, won countless conference tournaments, and was named John Wooden National Coach of the Year in 1987. Pitino is coming off a three-year stint at Iona where he had a record of 64-22. Now, he’s taking on the head coaching position at St. John’s in the Big East, whom he’s very familiar with. “It’s surreal to now have this opportunity to bring St. John’s back to prominence,” Pitino said, “I’m honored, humbled and grateful.” The Red Storm opens their season with a game against Stony Brook in November.