The Athletic created a criteria for inclusion, which included being an active coach, having completed at least one year at the Division I level, being a coach at a Power 6 conference school, or for non-Power 6 coaches, having at least one NCAA Tournament win. The staff sought input from experts inside and outside the industry.
Self and Drew were part of an elite group of eight coaches called Tier 1. Self has two national championships while Drew has one. In fact, Baylor and Kansas have won the last two titles.
The other six coaches include four national champions — Virginia’s Tony Bennett, Kentucky’s John Calipari, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo and Iona’s Rick Pitino. The other two are Gonzaga’s Mark Few and Houston’s Kelvin Sampson. The Athletic noted this was the one group where there was universal agreement about who should be on the tier.
After that, the Big 12 coaches were tiered like this:
Tier 2A: Chris Beard, Texas. The Athletic said the coaches on this tier only needed a national championship to move up to Tier 1.
Tier 2B: Bob Huggins, West Virginia. The Athletic created a separate tier for Huggins and Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. They noted that no two coaches ‘caused more discussion, argument, division and dissension than any others.’ Both are in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Tier 3: Jamie Dixon, TCU; Porter Moser, Oklahoma. The Athletic called this the ‘solid, reliable and consistent’ tier.
Tier 4: Mark Adams, Texas Tech; Mike Boynton Jr., Oklahoma State; T.J. Otzelberger, Iowa State. The Athletic called this the ‘mushy’ tier because the coaches listed could go either way.
Kansas State coach Jerome Tang was not listed because this is his first season as a head coach and The Athletic did not tier coaches in their first year as a head coach.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard