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Good Beginnings For The New ACC Coaches

Getting off to a good start helps

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Duke v Louisville
 LOUISVILLE, KY - JANUARY 14: Jeff Capel the interim head coach of the Duke Blue Devils gives instructions to his team during the game against the Louisville Cardinals at KFC YUM! Center on January 14, 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The ACC’s new coaches are off to a strong start that could, by tonight, put them in select company, better than any group since 2014.

Only one of the 2015 crew – Jim Christian, Danny Manning, Rick Pitino, Buzz Williams – won more than two in a row in his debut ACC season. That year the big winner was Louisville’s Rick Pitino, whose Cardinals opened with 11 straight victories.

Only two ACC coaches ever started better than Pitino, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim in 2014 (25) and UNC’s Bill Guthridge in 1998 with 17 in a row.

So far Pittsburgh won its first five under Jeff Capel, tying him with NC State’s Kevin Keatts for the third-best debut by an active ACC coach. And Chris Mack has led Louisville to three wins out of the gate.

Pitt faces St. Louis on a neutral court, Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. Win that and Capel ties UNC’s Roy Williams for the No. 2 start by a current coach, and then goes to Iowa in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Then come in-town opponent Duquesne and Niagara.

Mack has a tougher row to hoe, facing top-10 Tennessee and Rick Barnes in the NIT Season Tip-Off. Barnes won his first 10 as Clemson’s coach in 1995.

Consecutive Wins To Start League Career By Current ACC Head Coaches
(Asterisk Indicates Ongoing Streak)
25 Jim Boeheim Syracuse 2014
6 Roy Williams North Carolina 2004
5* Jeff Capel Pittsburgh 2019
5 Kevin Keatts NC State 2018
4 Jim Larranaga Miami 2012
3* Chris Mack Pittsburgh 2019
3 Brad Brownell Clemson 2011
3 Leonard Hamilton Florida State 2003
2 Mike Krzyzewski Duke 1981
2 Mike Brey Notre Dame 2014
2 Buzz Williams Virginia Tech 2015
2 Danny Manning Wake Forest 2015
2 Josh Pastner Georgia Tech 2017
1 Tony Bennett Virginia 2010
1 Jim Christian Boston College 2015

Most Consecutive Wins, All-Time To Start ACC Coaching Career
(School ACC Member At Time Of Debut)

Starting Wins Coach, School Starting Season
25 Jim Boeheim, SU 2014
17 Bill Guthridge, NC 1998
11 Rick Pitino, UL 2015
10 Jamie Dixon, PU 2014
10 Rick Barnes, C 1995
6 Roy Williams, NC 2004
6 Bucky Waters, D 1970
5* Jeff Capel, UP 2019
5 Sidney Lowe, NCS 2007
5 Herb Sendek, NCS 1997
5 Kevin Keatts, NCS 2018
4 Jim Larranaga, UM 2012
4 Steve Robinson, FSU 1998
4 Dino Gaudio, WF 2008
4 Skip Prosser, WF 2002
4 David Padgett, UL 2018

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