Survey: Which Big Ten coach 'works' the refs the best?

“Working” officials is an art form. Some coaches are masters at knowing just the right buttons to push over the course of a game to the point where—Who knows?—maybe they can get a key call in their favor. I asked several media members who cover the Big Ten which coach they felt was best at “working” officials.

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Jeff Washburn, Boiler Sports Report/Scout.com: Bo Ryan is the most demonstrative and theatrical, but Tom Izzo seems to produce results that would make Perry Mason smile.

Kevin Noon, BuckeyeGrove.com:
Watching Tom Izzo is worth the price of admission, but it is a maddening adventure if you are a fan of his opposition. There are a few certainties in college basketball, but Izzo going into histrionics over the first call he doesn’t get is as sure as it gets.

Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: I’d vote for Tom Izzo: Part crazy, part beggar. But his rep/resume gives him cache.

Scott Dochterman, Cedar Rapids Gazette: Tom Izzo does an excellent job of expressing his displeasure, making his point and then reaping both the calls and non-calls in the aftermath.

Marcus Fuller, St. Paul Pioneer Press: Bo Ryan. Players aren’t the only ones who can feel his scowl. Nobody gets better home cooking with calls.

Doug Lesmerises, Cleveland.com: I think I’d say Tom Izzo, always has a conversation going and with a physical team you need to.

Joe Rexrode, Detroit Free Press: I think Tom Izzo. Bo Ryan and Fran McCaffery work them more ferociously. Doesn’t always work. Tom Crean’s approach seems effective.

About Tom Dienhart BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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9 Comments

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B1Gfan MI on 2/28/2014 @ 6:38pm EST Said:

Izzo’s schtik reminds me of a 2nd grader who is running for class bully. Whatever calls that he weasels out of officials is usually short lived. The “good” officials quickly realize his motives. The “most effective” coach, who communicates in a respectful manner is Beilein. Zero in on him and learn how a class act conducts himself !

Peter DiGaudio on 2/28/2014 @ 7:24pm EST Said:

Really miss watching The General work the zebras.

Doug on 2/28/2014 @ 8:41pm EST Said:

Belien’s schtik reminds me of a 2nd grader who is running for class bully. Whatever calls that he weasels out of officials is usually short lived. The “good” officials quickly realize his motives. The “most effective” coach, who communicates in a respectful manner is Izzo. Zero in on him and learn how a class act conducts himself

Thomas on 3/1/2014 @ 8:39am EST Said:

The General didn’t work them, he instructed them. Not sure why Crean is even a choice, he doesn’t work them at all but needs to start. Ryan edges out Izzo in the current crybaby race, but Groce is simply psychotic.

B1Gfan MI on 3/1/2014 @ 9:50am EST Said:

Oh, how original ! Amaizing that some BB fans continue to ” fly Izzo’s flag ” ! What does a realistic coach do when his players stop listening ?

Dave Dorn on 3/1/2014 @ 11:41am EST Said:

Bo Ryan’s Badgers have never committed a foul in his eyes, which can scare the cohoots out of his players, lol, but Izzo probably gets more makeup calls with his theatrics than Ryan does, but at home, Bo seems to get a few more his way, On Wisconsin

Robert Boyd on 3/1/2014 @ 12:02pm EST Said:

which coach “works the refs the best”? How bout which one gets a free pass from the refs. That’d be Izzo, The officiating in this league is woefully unbalanced.

bigtengrad on 3/1/2014 @ 1:22pm EST Said:

Dougie, you’re so clever.

John on 3/1/2014 @ 5:26pm EST Said:

It’s sad that this even is a question…