When you think of best coaches in the WAC, who comes to mind? Arguably the best coach in the league in the past five seasons left for a Power 6 job. We have multiple coaches in their early head coaching careers. Chris Victor and Brette Tanner were each first-year head coaches. Bryce Drew is in his third season at GCU. Mark Madsen is in his fourth at Utah Valley. Matt Figger just finished up his first year at UTRGV.
So, you have Jon Judkins who has been at what was Dixie State and is now Utah Tech forever. Jason Hooten enters his 13th season as the head coach at Sam Houston. Kyle Keller enters his 6th season at SFA. Greg Heiar is in his first season at New Mexico State. Rick Croy enters his 10th season at California Baptist. Todd Simon is in his seventh season at Southern Utah. Billy Gillispie is in his third season at Tarleton. And Greg Young begins his second season at UTA head coach but 14th season on the Mavericks staff.
But, one social media post felt like seniority didn’t matter.
Drew, Keller on Top-100 List
The top 100 Head Coaches in College Basketball? pic.twitter.com/Xs70fq586l
— Parker (@CBKReport) August 15, 2022
In his five seasons thus far at SFA, Kyle Keller has led the the Jacks to 88 wins including a memorable upset at top-ranked Duke on Nov. 26, 2019. SFA also has an NCAA Tournament appearance under Keller in the 2017-18 season. Keller also led the Lumberjacks to a share of the regular season title in SFA’s first season in the WAC. So, at No. 85, it sounds about right.
Bryce Drew is entering his third season at GCU. And, while some argue it was a COVID year, Drew did something his predecessor Dan Majerle never could: win the WAC Tournament to earn the WAC’s auto bid to the NCAA Tournament. And then in his second season, Drew led GCU to 23 wins. Drew’s winning percentage is .727 at GCU and he has a loaded roster coming back in 2022-23. So, at No. 78 among the top coaches in the country, it sounds about right.
More Scheduling News
Yes, we are still waiting on the dates and times of conference games to drop. I was told today that they are still working it out at the conference offices. But, that doesn’t mean that schedules aren’t trickling out. News came today that UT-Arlington is heading to the West Coast in December to take on Pac-12 foe Cal and West Coast Conference foe San Francisco.
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Heading to the Bay Area for a pair of big matchups before the holiday break.#OnePlayOneDay // #MavUp pic.twitter.com/wUGToZ8J8I
— UTA Men’s Basketball (@UTAMavsMBB) August 16, 2022
Utah Tech had its season opener revealed. The Trailblazers will head to Reno to take on the Nevada Wolfpack on Nov. 7 in the season opener for both squads.
And Rocco Miller also dropped some scheduling news for GCU. The Lopes have true road games at Nevada and at Wyoming this season. The trip to Laramie is a return trip from the 2021-22 season when the Cowboys came to GCU Arena. GCU was supposed to play at Nevada on Dec. 21, 2021. But the game was cancelled due to COVID issues within the GCU program. So, the two teams will make up the game with the date to be determined.
And with Cal State Fullerton dropping its full schedule, we now know the Titans will play three WAC schools. Utah Tech, Seattle U and Southern Utah are all slated to play the Titans this season. In fact, all three WAC schools will host the Titans. Some good mid-major basketball games against a Big West opponent.
Fantasy Football Starting Up
Fantasy Football is right around the corner. And, when it was announced that WAC Hoops Digest was going to host a league, there was a lot of followers that wanted in. So, we had to create Wild Wild WAC and Wild Wild WAC 2.0 to accommodate. It should be a lot of fun. We will be live streaming both drafts so that should be interesting.
Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube page so you don’t miss it. There will be a weekly post recapping the weekend, too just to let the trash talk run wild.
2022-23 Season is Drawing Closer
The season is right around the corner. It is August 16 and the season starts on Nov. 7. Make sure you are following WAC Hoops Digest for all your content around your favorite mid-major basketball conference.
We are on week 6 of our team preview weeks. Seattle is the feature school this week and we have already posted a podcast episode and an article recapping the Redhawks run to a regular season crown.
Next week is Southern Utah and we end August with Stephen F. Austin. Make sure you sign up for a free account on the website so that you don’t miss any content.