— -- Over the next two weeks, Insider is assessing the stability of the coaching situation for each team in the top 10 leagues in college basketball. The ACC is up first.
The league has multiple Hall of Famers in the latter stages of their careers, and welcomes in a pair of new coaches in Kevin Stallings (Pittsburgh) and Josh Pastner (Georgia Tech).
These rankings go in descending order, from least to most stable. Keep in mind that stability is not solely determined by whether a program will want to part ways with its head coach if there are perceived failings; often, success will make it difficult, if not impossible, for a program to keep a coach from leaving for a seemingly better job. Here is the breakdown of each ACC coaching situation.
Jim Christian, Boston College Eagles
Third season, 20-44
It hasn't been a pretty start to the Christian regime in Chestnut Hill, but in all fairness he didn't inherit a ton from the Steve Donahue era. Christian's contract runs through 2019 (he inked a five-year deal when he was hired in 2014), and his future could ultimately be linked to that of athletic director Brad Bates -- who also hired football coach Steve Addazio. The Christian-Addazio duo didn't win a single ACC game this past season. BC is a difficult job, but Christian needs to make progress -- and quickly.
Leonard Hamilton, Florida State Seminoles
15th season, 278-178
It was a little surprising to see Hamilton receive a two-year extension this past year, but his deal had only one year left on it so the administration needed to make a decision one way or the other -- especially for recruiting purposes. Hamilton, the youngest-looking 67-year-old I've ever met, hasn't been to the NCAA tournament since 2012, but he continues to bring in high-level talent to Tallahassee. This coming season, one in which he'll have more than enough talent to get back to the tournament, could determine his fate.
Brad Brownell, Clemson Tigers
Seventh season, 107-87
This is a tough one to evaluate. Clemson is obviously a football school, and that's ultimately what matters. Brownell is considered a terrific X's and O's guy, but the question is whether he can recruit at a high enough level. He went to the NCAA tournament in his first season (with Oliver Purnell's players) but hasn't returned since. He signed a new deal in 2014 that runs through 2020, but there's still some pressure on Brownell to get back to the tournament.
Jim Boeheim, Syracuse Orange
41st season, 988-346
If Boeheim sticks to the plan, one he made public in March 2015, he will retire after two more seasons. Boeheim is 71, and is an institution at Syracuse. The question is whether he would want to go beyond the two years, and whether anyone would stand in his way if he tried to put off retirement. His good friend, soon-to-be-former ESPN executive John Wildhack, was recently hired as the athletic director. The good news for 'Cuse fans is that there's already a plan in place with assistant Mike Hopkins pegged as the coach-in-waiting when Boeheim does retire.
Danny Manning, Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Third season, 24-38
Manning didn't inherit much from a Jeff Bzdelik regime that was 17-51 in the ACC in four seasons. Not much was expected the first two years from Manning, and not much has been delivered -- with a 24-38 overall mark and a 7-29 league record. Now Manning, whose current deal runs through 2019, will need to start to turn things around. If he doesn't make progress in the next couple of years, the fans will start to get restless -- as was the case with Bzdelik.
Roy Williams, North Carolina Tar Heels
14th season, 365-108
Williams nearly cut down the nets this past April, but it has been a tough go of late. He has dealt with the academic scandal in Chapel Hill, and also health issues (vertigo and also knee problems). It doesn't look as if he'll get hit hard at all when the NCAA announces the UNC penalties, and if that's the case, he might go a few more years. Then again, the 65-year-old could retire sooner and it wouldn't shock anyone.
Rick Pitino, Louisville Cardinals
16th season, 391-134
This is a difficult one without knowing exactly what the NCAA has dug up and been able to prove from the stripper/escort scandal. Pitino is under contract through 2026, and AD Tom Jurich has been in his corner through a pair of major scandals. But Pitino is 63 and could still bolt elsewhere, retire or be forced out depending on what comes from the NCAA folks. Then again, if he gets through this unscathed, he could remain in Louisville until he's 70 and it wouldn't be shocking.
Mark Gottfried, NC State Wolfpack
Sixth season, 108-69
He has managed to bring plenty of talent to Raleigh, and he took the Wolfpack to the NCAA tournament in each of his first four seasons before failing to go this past year. His ACC record in his tenure is 44-44 and he has yet to crack the top three in the regular season, but Gottfried does have a pair of Sweet 16's on his resume. He also has a talented team for this coming season, a contract that was signed at the start of this past season and runs through 2020, and an AD in Debbie Yow who hired him and probably will stick with him.
Jim Larranaga, Miami Hurricanes
Sixth season, 118-57
Sure, he's 66 years old, but he signed a deal that runs though 2022 after winning the ACC and going to the Sweet 16 in 2013. He just returned to the Sweet 16 this past season, and has plenty of equity built up with the Hurricanes. I'd be surprised if Larranga doesn't finish his career with a retirement speech in Miami, meaning he'll be around for at least a few more years.
Buzz Williams, Virginia Tech Hokies
Third season, 31-37
Williams' decision to leave Marquette for Blacksburg a couple of years ago was a shocker. He was in his early 40s and had gone to the NCAA tournament in five of his six seasons at Marquette. However, Hokies AD Whit Babcock sold Williams -- and also handed him a 7-year, $18.2 million deal that includes a one-year rollover beginning in the fourth year. Williams has most of his team back from a group that won 20 games last season and went to the NIT, and the Hokies should make the NCAA tournament this coming season -- which will make him a hot commodity again. The other question is where would Williams go? Texas just hired Shaka Smart a year ago, and that was the one he wanted. The bad news for Hokies fans? His buyout dropped from $3 million to $1.5 million -- and falls to less than $1 million in year four.
Mike Krzyzewski, Duke Blue Devils
37th season, 970-262
He'll call his shot when he wants to go out. For a while, there was speculation he'd step down after this summer -- his final run as the U.S. coach in the Olympics. However, he's a young 69 -- and he's recruiting at a high level, to where he won't be retiring anytime soon. The Blue Devils are the favorites to cut down the nets this season, but I could see Coach K sticking around for another three or four years -- health provided.
Josh Pastner, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Pastner was on his way out at Memphis, and was beyond fortunate to land what may be a better job (for him) in Atlanta. Pastner was hired by one of the better athletic directors, Mike Bobinski, after he swung and missed on numerous other guys. Pastner signed a six-year deal worth in excess of $11 million. He'll be around for a while because the expectations are low -- and guys like Bobby Cremins and Paul Hewitt showed you can win at Tech.
Kevin Stallings, Pittsburgh Panthers
Stallings was in danger of not returning to Vanderbilt, and was able to get the job to replace Jamie Dixon in Pittsburgh before a decision was made on his future at Vandy. He was hired by AD Scott Barnes and signed a six-year deal through 2022. Stallings is 55 and should get at least four years -- since Barnes is also early in his tenure.
Eighth season, 165-72
Bennett is no longer considered a rising star in the business. He's now considered a star at 47 -- after having won 89 overall games in the past three years. Bennett and the Cavaliers are a ridiculous 45-9 in the ACC in that span, and after saying "no thanks" to Wisconsin this past year and Indiana a few years ago, it's difficult to imagine Bennett going anywhere -- except for maybe the NBA. While his name has been mentioned as a possibility at the next level, many feel as though his offense wouldn't work in the NBA.
Mike Brey, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
17th season, 356-177
It's difficult to imagine a scenario in which Brey doesn't remain in South Bend until he chooses to retire. The 57-year-old has made the Irish nationally relevant, going to the NCAA tournament eight times in the past decade and also making consecutive Elite Eights the past two years. It would take an elite-level job to lure Brey -- and that might not even do it. Brey, who is extremely well-liked, is locked in through 2022 and has no shortage of stability right now at Notre Dame.