College basketball boasts some of the most impressive and dedicated coaching tenures in sports history.

For context, consider that Greg Popovich is the NBA’s longest-serving coach with a single team as he oversees his 26th season in 2022-23. Those 26 years pale in comparison to the lengthy runs some NCAA coaches enjoyed at their schools.

Multiple past NCAA coaches have spent 40-plus years running their programs, several current college coaches have held their jobs longer than Popovich.

The current roster of long-term coaches spans various tiers of NCAA basketball, encompassing those who have elevated Division II institutions to Division I status and those who established some of the most impressive college basketball programs in history.

Current Head Coaches with the longest running tenures

Unsurprisingly, Jim Boeheim is the longest-tenured head coach in college basketball today. The Syracuse legend is heading for a half-century of calling the shots, as he’s currently working his 47th season in college basketball.

Boeheim might be out in front, but others have spent multiple decades with their respective teams. Greg Kampe is in his 39th season with the Oakland Golden Grizzlies in Auburn Hills, Mich., and Ron Cottrell has been in charge at Houston Baptist for 32 years.

Duke's former head coach, Coach K, would have ranked as a near-second on that list, but he retired last season -- culminating one of the most prosperous head coaching careers in college basketball history. The all-time Duke coach spent 42 seasons in charge of the Blue Devils and is one of the longest-tenured coaches the college game has ever seen.

Ranking the Top 10 longest-tenured college basketball head coaches in NCAA history

  1. Phil Martelli

First Season: 1995-1996
Team: Saint Joseph’s
Conference: Atlantic 10
Years: 1995 to 2019 

Phil Martelli had been a Saint Joseph’s assistant coach for 10 seasons under Jim Boyle and John Griffin before being offered the head-coaching job in 1995. He would go on to coach for 23 seasons, leading the Hawks to three Atlantic 10 tournament championships and four Atlantic 10 regular-season championships.

Martelli's coaching career reached its pinnacle in 2004, when he earned almost every college-coaching accolade conceivable. That year, he guided the Hawks to an undefeated 27-0 regular-season record and propelled them to the Elite Eight stage of the NCAA tournament. Martelli was named the AP Coach of the Year and Naismith Coach of the Year. Additionally, he won both the Henry Iba and Jim Phelan Awards.

He leads the Saint Joseph’s all-time coaching wins list by a sizable margin, having coached more than 700 games and finishing his career with a record of 446-330.

  1. (Tied) James Jones

First Season: 1999-2000
Team: Yale
Conference: Ivy League
Years: 1999 to Present

James Jones has run Yale’s basketball program since the 1999 season. He has earned the Ivy League Coach of the Year award three times and steered the Bulldogs to five Ivy League regular-season championships and two Ivy League Tournament championships.

In 2023, James Jones became the second Ivy League coach to reach 200 victories, thanks to his having built a program centered on solid defense and discipline that consistently delivers.

  1. (Tied) Mark Few

First Season: 1999-2000
Team: Gonzaga
Conference: West Coast
Years: 1999 to Present

Mark Few and the Gonzaga Bulldogs have dominated the West Coast Conference over the last two decades. Few has been named the WCC Coach of the Year a staggering 14 times. He’s also won the Naismith Coach of the Year award twice and the AP Coach of the Year award for the 2016-17 season.

Few has an impressive winning percentage of 0.835 -- having won over 680 games since taking charge at the turn of the millennium. The Bulldogs have made the NCAA Tournament Final Four twice, including during their sensational 2016-17 season. Their record in the WCC is outstanding, with 21 WCC regular-season titles and 18 WCC tournament championships since Few took charge in 1999.

  1. Fran O’Hanlon

First Season: 1995-1996
Team: Lafayette
Conference: Patriot League
Years: 1995 to 2022

Fran O’Hanlon played college basketball at Villanova from 1967 to 1970 and went on to have a 40-year coaching career that included a stint in Israel. After multiple roles abroad, O’Hanlon landed at Penn as an assistant coach in 1989.

After six seasons with the Quakers, he was offered the job as the head coach of the Lafayette Leopards in the Patriot League. O’Hanlon would go on to be voted the Patriot League Coach of the Year three times.

While the Leopards lost more games than they won under O’Hanlon, he kept remained at the school so long for a reason. He did a tremendous job making the team as competitive as possible with limited resources, including many years of scholarship restrictions early in his tenure.

  1. Tom Izzo

First Season: 1995-1996
Team: Michigan State
Conference: Big Ten
Years: 1995 to Present

Tom Izzo is one of the longest-tenured current college basketball coaches -- spending his 28th season in charge at Michigan State.

Izzo is well known for leading the Spartans to the NCAA Tournament Championship in 2000, and the team has made the Final Four eight times during his years in East Lansing. Those eight appearances included three straight trips to the Final Four from 1999 to 2001, as the Spartans became a force in the Big Ten.

The current Spartans head coach has been one of the most successful basketball coaches in his conference’s history -- having been named NABC Coach of the Year twice, AP College Coach of the Year once (2004-05), and Big Ten Coach of the Year three times.

  1. Ron Cottrell

First Season: 1990-1991
Team: Houston Baptist/Houston Christian
Conference: Red River Athletic/Great West/Southland
Years: 1990 to Present

Ron Cottrell is one of the longest-tenured current NCAA basketball coaches, having been the front man for Houston Baptist (now Houston Christian) since 1990.

Under Cottrell’s direction, Houston Baptist would go on to dominate the Red River Athletic Conference in every season from 1998-99 through 2006-07, as Cottrell built a challenging roster each season. The Huskies finished first in the standings in every one of those seasons and advanced to the NAIA Division I Men’s Tournament every year.

Since 2007, when the Huskies returned to NCAA Divison I status, things have not been quite as successful for the school, which had its last winning season in 2016-17. Cottrell’s dedication to the program over his 32 seasons has earned him more than 500 wins as the Huskies’ head coach.

  1. (Tied) Bob McKillop

First Season: 1989-1990
Team: Davidson
Conference: SoCon/Atlantic 10
Years: 1989 to 2022

Bob McKillop was working as a high-school basketball coach in Long Island when he accepted his first NCAA basketball coaching role at Davidson. He had been there 12 years earlier as an assistant and returned to begin what would become one of the longest tenured head-coaching runs in NCAA basketball history.

McKillop oversaw Davidson’s 11 Southern Conference regular-season championships and seven Southern Conference tournament championships, before it transition to the Atlantic 10 in 2014. Subsequently, the Wildcats won two more regular-season championships and an additional postseason tournament under his leadership.

Former Davidson coach Bob McKillop saw something in a young Steph Curry while scouting Curry’s high school games, and the now two-time MVP and four-time NBA Champion played under McKillop from 2006 to 2009.

McKillop retired in 2022 after 33 seasons in charge, and was succeeded by his son Matt, who had been an assistant to his father since 2008.

  1. (Tied) Rick Byrd

First Season: 1986-1987
Team: Belmont
Conference: Tennessee Collegiate Athletic/Atlantic Sun/Ohio Valley
Years: 1986 to 2019

The Belmont Bruins made it to eight NCAA tournaments under the direction of head coach Rick Byrd, who spent 33 seasons in that role between 1986 and his retirement in 2019.

The second half of his career at Belmont was the most successful -- with all eight of the school’s NCAA tournament appearances coming between 2006 and 2019. In the last 10 years of his tenure, Byrd helped the Bruins dominate in the Atlantic Sun/Ohio Valley Conferences, winning over 80 percent of their games.

Byrd captured 10 conference tournament titles while in charge of the Bruins, as well as nine regular-season titles. When he retired, he was ranked 12th all-time on the coaching wins leaderboard with 805 career wins, making him one of the winningest college basketball coaches in NCAA history.

  1. Greg Kampe

First Season: 1984-1985
Team: Oakland
Conference: Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics/Summit League/Horizon
Years: 1984 to Present

Greg Kampe has been helping build the basketball program at Oakland since 1984. When he first took over, the Golden Grizzlies (then named the Pioneers) were going into their first season in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate conference in Division II.

Kampe led the Pioneers to two GLIAC titles in the 1995 and 1996 seasons, before Oakland made its move to D1 in 1997. It was then that the school changed the team’s name to Golden Grizzlies and joined the Summit League Conference (then named the Mid-Continent). Kampe led the renamed Golden Grizzlies to three Summit League regular-season championships and three tournament championships, earning the Summit League Coach of the Year distinction four times.

Working his 39th season in 2022-23, Kampe has held his job longer than all but one other NCAA head coach, as the Golden Grizzlies’ longtime leader is now approaching the 700-win milestone.

  1. Mike Krzyzewski

First Season: 1980-1981
Team: Duke
Conference: ACC
Years: 1980-2022

The recently retired Mike Krzyzewski, better known as Coach K, helped build one of the most successful dynasties in college basketball history. He coached the Duke Blue Devils to all five of their NCAA Tournament championships, as well as 13 Final Four appearances, 15 ACC tournament trophies, and 13 ACC regular season titles.

Coach K tops the all-time list of winningest college basketball coaches, having led the Blue Devils to 1,202 wins over his 42-year career. He recently retired in 2022, marking the end of an era both for Duke and NCAA basketball. He helped turn Duke into a consistent powerhouse in dominating the conference, making him one of the most successful ACC basketball coaches in history.

Krzyzewski won the Naismith College Coach of the Year award three times, as well as two NABC Coach of the Year awards. He was a UPI Coach of the Year and five-time ACC Coach of the Year. He will go down as one of the greatest college basketball coaches of all time, having led one of the most successful programs the game has ever seen over a four-decade span.

When it comes to determining the greatest college basketball coach of all time, Coach K’s name is right there in the mix.

  1. Jim Boeheim

First Season: 1976-1977
Team: Syracuse
Conference: Big East/ACC
Years: 1976 to Present

Jim Boeheim turned 78 years old in 2022 and is now in his 47th season in charge of the Syracuse Orange. One of the oldest college basketball coaches in the history of the sport, Boeheim has headed Syracuse’s basketball program since 1976.

He coached the team that made it all the way to the promised land in 2003, winning the NCAA tournament for the first and only time in Syracuse history. Under Boeheim’s leadership, Syracuse has appeared in the Final Four on five occasions, finishing as the tournament's runner-up twice.

Boeheim recently surpassed 1,000 career wins, and while he contemplated retirement back in 2018, he isn’t letting the curtains close just yet. The longest-tenured active head coach in the NCAA has won countless awards, including a Naismith College Coach of the Year, AP Coach of the Year, NABC Coach of the Year, Henry Iba Award and four Big East Coach of the Year awards.

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