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Short Timers

Getting an ACC job isn’t easy. Keeping it is much harder.

Duke v University of North Carolina
Neill McGeachy wasn’t Duke’s coach for long but he stepped into a tough situation and never complained.
Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images

The news of Neill McGeachy’s death at age 75 reminded us of his membership in two remarkably select groups of ACC coaches.

Of course McGeachy was one of only six men who’ve coached at Duke since the ACC began play in basketball in 1953-54. Harold Bradley, Vic Bubas, Bucky Waters, Bill Foster and Mike Krzyzewski were the others.

Over that same span, among original members remaining in the ACC North Carolina has had five coaches, NC State and Virginia eight each, Clemson 10, Wake Forest 11.

McGeachy also belonged to an even smaller brotherhood -- those who had both the privilege and the curse of serving as an ACC head basketball coach for a single year.

A few men served for a fragment of a season, among them Mike Hopkins at Syracuse for nine games in 2016 while Jim Boeheim was being punished by the NCAA, and Pete Gaudet, in charge for 19 games in 1995 while Krzyzewski was sidelined by exhaustion and a back injury.

Of the three one-and-done coaches, McGeachy had the best record. Not that it improved his job security.

Coach, School Record Season
Walt Hamrick, SC 4-20 1959
Jack Murdock, WF 8-18 1966
Neill McGeachy, D 10-16 1974