Izzo, Beilein top list of top 25 X's and O's coaches

It is no secret to Big Ten fans that Michigan and Michigan State have restored one of the top in-state rivalries throughout college basketball over the past couple of seasons. But what is it that makes both of these programs so successful?

According to ESPN.com’s Jeff Goodman, it is all about coaching.

Goodman recently put together a list of the top 25 X’s and O’s coaches in America, and Tom Izzo topped the list, followed immediately by Michigan’s John Beilein at No. 2. Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan and Indiana’s Tom Crean came in at No. 13 and 14, respectively.

The list is based on polling results from approximately two-thirds of the Division I head coaches in college basketball.

“Izzo is known for his preparation and ability to get his players to execute,” Goodman said of the Spartans head coach. ” He recruits at a high level, but it’s not as though his program has produced a ton of high-level NBA players. He has won a national title and taken the Spartans to a half-dozen Final Four appearances. He’s 30-4 as the higher-seeded team in the NCAA tournament and 18-3 in the second game of a weekend NCAA contest.”

My thoughts: This is a well put-together list that highlights those coaches who are not only elite teachers of the game, but also have the ability to get their players to execute on a consistent basis. Izzo has had a tremendous amount of success in the NCAA Tournament since taking over the MSU program back in 1995, and that is a credit to his unique style of coaching. Beilein is a guy who arrived at Michigan with a reputation as an X’s and O’s genius, and that reputation is continuing to grow, especially after the Wolverines NCAA Final Four run this past season.

Some other coaches worthy of recognition: Thad Matta, Ohio State; Matt Painter, Purdue.

About Sean Merriman BTN.com web editor Sean Merriman covers football and men’s basketball and provides original content for BTN.com. You can follow him on Twitter @BTNSean.

Originally from Farmington Hills, MI, I have worked at the Big Ten Network since 2012 and took over my role as web editor and blogger in August, 2013. Follow me on twitter for constant Big Ten updates @srmerriman. Thanks and enjoy!!

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4 Comments

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Timothy on 8/21/2013 @ 10:12pm EST Said:

Heck if Nebraska even comes close to a winning Big 10 Season our coach should be named as being really good.

Damon466 on 8/22/2013 @ 3:12am EST Said:

No Love for Thad Matta??? What the heck!! Dude has more wins and more Championships than any other Coach in the Big Ten since he joined the league for the 2004-2005 Season. Want some stats?? Ohio State under Thad Matta since 2004, 250 Wins 73 Losses, 5 Regular Season Championships, 4 Tournament Championships, and 3 Runner Ups in the Tournament. Michigan State under Tom Izzo since 2004, 232 Wins 88 Losses, 3 Regular Season Championships, 1 Tournament Championship and 0 Runner ups in the Tournament. Thad Matta had his team in the Big ten Championship game 7 out of 9 years!!! Izzo only 1 !!!! Not Even Close folks!!!!! Time Thad Matta got his props, he deserves it!!!

Doug on 8/22/2013 @ 6:37pm EST Said:

Damon, be mad at Beilein not Izzo, this thread should have compared Izzo and Matta or even Ryan

Hank on 8/23/2013 @ 2:23am EST Said:

your right- Thad is a great Big Ten Coach. As a Spartan (Izzo is our hero ) but like I said Matta brings it and when OSU & MSU go head to head its the best match up in the conference. Im sure Beilein will have some good seasons, it’s Michigan. That school wins the recruiting wars each fall and it carrys over to basketball just because it’s Michigan. But to get the talent they do and not win a championship every year- then you have to put oit on coaching and Beilein should be lucky they even called his name because Michigan is horrible. I think Matta and Izzo have beat down Michigan so many times its a wonder that school even tries to put a team on the floor each year.