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The intricacies of college basketball coaching : what makes college basketball coaches successful?

by Heine, Jared Alexander


This study investigates the effects of men’s college basketball coach’s abilities on their team’s success. Previous research has been limited, but has shown that at the professional level, the abilities of a coach have very little effect on the outcome of their team’s games. This suggests that the most important aspect of team success, and thus, coaching success comes from having the best players on the court rather than having the best strategy as a team. The present study divides the various aspects of college basketball coaching into three separate categories, recruiting ability, in game coaching ability and the pedigree in which a coach has earned through past experiences. This study uses three separate regression analyses in order to most accurately describe the various phases of a college basketball season: the regular season, the conference tournament and the NCAA tournament. Controlling for a wide variety of variables that affect the outcome of a basketball game, this study finds that when measuring a coach’s success during the regular season, a coach’s pedigree is the most important aspect of his success. However, when measuring a coach’s success in the NCAA tournament, where the top programs in the country are matched against one another, it is a coach’s ability to recruit top level talent that most determines the success of that coach’s team, and in turn that coach himself.


Includes bibliographical references.

Administrative Notes


Copyright restrictions apply.
Colorado College
Digital Origin
born digital
73 pages : illustrations
Senior Thesis -- Colorado College
Thesis Advisor
Fenn, Aju
Department of Economics and Business
Degree Name
Degree Type
Bachelor of Arts
Degree Grantor
Colorado College
Date Issued