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ACC Coaching Gets A Youth Movement

Rick Pitino was replaced by a coach 30 years younger.

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Virginia
Feb 15, 2017; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Virginia Cavaliers head coach Tony Bennett (L) shakes hands with Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski (R) prior to their game at John Paul Jones Arena. The Blue Devils won 65-55. 
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

ACC coaches just got younger, much younger. That’s collectively, not individually. No going back, fellas.

There are still five head coach who qualify for Social Security -- Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim (72), Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski (70), Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton (69), Miami’s Jim Larranaga (68), and North Carolina’s Roy Williams (67). All but Hamilton have directed a team to the Final Four.

There’s a 40-year spread between Boeheim and Dave Padgett, an assistant elevated as Louisville’s “acting” head coach as of this writing. Padgett is not only one of the youngest head coaches in ACC history at age 32, but remarkably shares the same birth date with Krzyzewski, 38 years his elder. Padgett is 30 years younger than the man he replaced, Hall of Famer Rick Pitino.

For purposes of comparison, Dean Smith was 30 when he took over at North Carolina in 1961 and 66 when he retired in 1997. Jeff Jones was barely 30 when he replaced Terry Holland at Virginia in 1990.

Padgett is the third active ACC coach directing the program at his alma mater, after Williams at North Carolina and Boeheim at Syracuse. Assuming Padgett remains in place, he becomes the seventh of 15 ACC coaches with four or fewer years at his current post.

Reading the swirls of speculation amid the realities of big-business basketball, at least BC’s Jim Christian and Clemson’s Brad Brownell appear to be in some employment jeopardy, as of course is true for the unproven Padgett, a stopgap while Pitino walks the plank.

Christian is the only coach whose team plays on his birthday. The Eagles travel to Notre Dame on Feb. 6.

ACC Coaching Roster for 2017-18 Season
Based on Age through November 1, 2017
Jim Christian, BC February 6, 1965 52 New York 4
Brad Brownell, C November 15, 1968 48 Indiana 8
Mike Krzyzewski, D February 13, 1947 70 Illinois 38
Leonard Hamilton, FS August 4, 1948 69 North Carolina 16
Josh Pastner, GT September 26, 1977 40 West Virginia 2
Dave Padgett, UL February 13, 1985 32 Nevada 1
Jim Larranaga, Mi October 2, 1949 68 New York 7
Roy Williams, NC August 1, 1950 67 North Carolina 15
Kevin Keatts, NCS July 28, 1972 45 Virginia 1
Mike Brey, ND March 22, 1959 58 Maryland 18
Kevin Stallings, PU October 1, 1960 57 Illinois 2
Jim Boeheim, SU November 17, 1944 72 New York 42
Tony Bennett, V June 1, 1969 48 Wisconsin 9
Buzz Williams, VT September 1, 1972 45 Texas 4
Danny Manning, WF May 17, 1966 51 Mississippi 4