Big Ten Coach of the Year Right Now?

Submitted by MaizeNBlue_Kzoo on February 12th, 2019 at 6:10 PM

Turned on the BTN Tip Off Show, and they were hyping the Purdue-Maryland game as a battle of the two coaches at the top of the Big Ten Coach of the Year race. 

That got me thinking... based on results to date, who would the Big Ten Coach of the Year be?   I am biased, and I can't think of a better candidate than our own John Beilein.  An undefeated non-conference season, with several big opponents.  And at the top of the B1G standings right now.   And with our strong season since the beginning, people forget that there were several question marks coming in to the season, given our losses of top offensive talent.

I guess a case could be made for Matt Painter and Purdue, but other than that I don't see any obvious alternatives  (perhaps getting Rutger to merely bad is also an accomplishment).



February 12th, 2019 at 6:14 PM ^

Painter, Izzo, Beilein, and Turgeon all have a case at this point. I do think Painter is likely the front-runner as of now. There is still a lot of basketball to be played though and the discussion will start to get more and more clear as to who it should be. 


February 12th, 2019 at 6:56 PM ^

The narrative that they lost 2 lottery picks from last year and are still doing well. However, I do think that says more about his botching of a coaching job with Jaren Jackson and Bridges from last year than it does about this year. I'm not saying he should win it or be the front runner, but I do think he still at least is in the discussion at the moment with the other 3 but after the past week or two he's slowly sliding down the ranks in terms of being an actual contender for it. 


February 12th, 2019 at 7:48 PM ^

Based on B1G vs OOC, Illinois head coach should be considered if they finish at .500 in the league. I doubt they will but if just looking at B1G play, he’s done a good job. 


Beilein should get it based on current B1G standings and OOC results though. 


February 12th, 2019 at 7:42 PM ^

Yeah, my initial thought was that it has to be between Beilein and Painter considering they're leading the league after most people thought they'd take a step down from last year.

But Gard is up there too considering how far Wisconsin has come this year.

Turgeon? No way.  They have a lot of talent.  They were expected to be at the top of league and they're currently tied for 4th.  Meh.  And they still have this game against Purdue that they're losing at home, they go to Michigan next, then to Iowa and last have to host Michigan.  They'll lose three more games to finish 13-7, probably.

Fran McCaffery is above Turgeon right now, IMO.


February 12th, 2019 at 6:25 PM ^

I think Beilein is a victim of his own success here. Nobody saw Michigan being as good as they are when the season started, but it was pretty quickly forgotten once they were immediately good. If the two losses had come to, say, UNC and Nova and all the rest were W's I bet Beilein would be at the top of this list.


February 12th, 2019 at 6:28 PM ^

Don't forget Fran.. if Iowa continues this little tear they're on and keeps playing like they can finishes top 3-4 and only a game behind say Purdue/us....Fran will be in the discussion.


February 12th, 2019 at 11:14 PM ^

As I recall, we were barely ranked in preseason polls, and despite tonight's loss, I would think that Beilein is in the top five in the conference even at that when it comes to this honor. I mean, I think we know what the problems are, but that he has this team where it is at right now is quite a tribute the coach that he is. 

A Lot of Milk

February 12th, 2019 at 7:53 PM ^

Coach of the Year awards just go to the most improved team, that's it.

That's why elite coaches never win it, because they are consistently excellent and don't have years that they have to "improve" from. 


February 13th, 2019 at 2:26 PM ^

This won't be popular here but Greg Gard deserves some consideration given Wisconsin was out of the tournament last year and will likely be a 5 seed or so this year.