No Playing Pedigree: Some Coaches Didn't Don Jerseys Before Sideline Suits
You don't need to be a great player to be a great coach. In fact, you don't need to play at all. More than 10 percent of the active NCAA Division I coaches graduated from major universities where they didn't compete for the institution in basketball. A dozen of them in this category coached in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
There is no textbook career path to becoming a coach. Just ask former All-American guards Mark Macon (Temple) and Isiah Thomas (Indiana) after they combined to win barely over one-fourth of their games the previous three seasons before being axed by Binghamton and Florida International, respectively.
Indiana's Branch McCracken is the only one of 46 All-Americans who became major-college mentors to compile a higher winning percentage as a coach than as a player (.588 as IU player from 1927-28 through 1929-30; .677 as Hoosiers coach in 24 seasons from 1938-39 to 1964-65). Proving you don't have to play to be successful as a bench boss, the following alphabetical list of active DI coaches -- including 11 of them with multiple schools - have guided teams to the NCAA playoffs despite not playing major-college basketball:
NOTE: Braun (Eastern Michigan and California), Carter (Texas-San Antonio), Crean (Marquette), Cronin (Murray State), Davis (Drake), DeChellis (East Tennessee State and Penn State), Ellis (South Alabama, Clemson and Auburn), Eustachy (Utah State, Iowa State and Southern Mississippi), Hunter (Ohio University), Kennedy (Southeastern Louisiana and Murray State), Majerus (Ball State and Utah), Marlin (Sam Houston State), Martin (Kansas State), Monson (Gonzaga and Minnesota), Weber (Southern Illinois and Illinois) and R. Williams (Kansas) coached other schools in the NCAA Tournament.