You Simply Can’t Compare Coach K And John Wooden

Coach K might be the greatest college coach of all-time. After winning 5 NCAA National Titles, 12 Final Four Appearances, 14 ACC Tournament titles, and 12 ACC Regular Season titles, he’s without question one of the most impactful minds in collegiate basketball history. Still, is he better than John Wooden?

Coach K has put together arguably the greatest recruiting class of all-time for 2018. Many are starting to wonder if he’s not only one of the best at getting talent, but winning with it as well. It’s never been done (at least to my knowledge) that any college coach in any sport has gotten the top-three players of any recruiting class. This is in addition to his other top-ten recruit as well.

Yes, John Wooden might not have been in an era of AAU, 5-Star ratings, and one and dones. Nevertheless, that’s where Coach K thrives. He’s taken an old Duke philosophy of not going to the route of one and done. He is changing the game by doing just that. He’s getting with the times, and that’s how you win games in today’s NCAA.


A 3× National Coach of the Year, Coach K might not be as legendary as John Wooden when it comes to National Championships. However, those two are from a different era. In today’s game of college basketball, winning 10 National titles is damn near impossible. It’s also not feasible that a men’s team could go undefeated for a 40 game season ( Kentucky, Saint Joseph’s), not only once but twice.

There are some things Wooden has over Coach K. But the two are just from completely different eras. Who knows how Wooden would do in this new school age, where recruiting is more cut-throat, the pressure of the one and done, the sanctions the NCAA has mandated.

Truthfully, Coach K might have had an easier time winning back in Wooden’s day. But still, neither would have the same success coaching in different times. One is the greatest college coach of his era (Coach K). The other is the greatest college coach ever ( John Wooden). Nonetheless, there’s not really a way to compare them evenly.

Whatever way you look at it, Coach K and Coach Wooden are quite possibly the most iconic coaches of all time in college basketball. They have and will have, left legacies for the game, and the coaches that roam the sidelines now. You can’t argue the greatness of these two. And don’t even try to compare them.


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