8 College Basketball Coaches Who Changed the Game


Shortly after the invention of basketball in 1891, the college version of the game became integral to American sports. At its highest levels, college basketball has produced transformative and innovative men’s and women’s coaches. Here are eight who significantly impacted the game.

1. Tex Winter, Five colleges (1951-1983)

ACHIEVEMENT/INNOVATION: Triangle offense | Hall of Fame induction: 2011

Though Winter was best known for his accomplishments as an NBA assistant, he spent 30 years as a college head coach, with stints at Marquette (1951-53), Kansas State (1953-68), Washington (1968-71), Northwestern (1973-1978) and Cal State Long Beach (1979-1983). During his time with Kansas State, Winter won eight Big Eight titles and made two Final Four appearances.

The Triangle offense, developed by Winter in the 1950s, emphasized team play and efficient movement over individual play. In the NBA, Coach Phil Jackson famously implemented the offense with the Chicago Bulls (and later, Los Angeles) as a way to  keep defenses from focusing on Michael Jordan and to keep Jordan’s teammates involved during the early parts of a game. 


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