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Sartorial Sins: College basketball’s worst-dressed coaches

Yeah, that Bob Huggins yellow suit is in here somewhere.

AP/Stew Milne

When Russ first came to me to ask if I wanted to write a piece about the worst-dressed — okay I stopped him right there because I didn’t care what came after it. As the site’s self-appointed aesthetics expert, I jumped at the opportunity to, as I put it on Twitter, channel my guardian angel Joan Rivers.

So, once I found out that Russ was asking me to rank the fashion choices of collegiate head coaches, I became even more excited. After all, a lot of college coaches are old dudes with no discernible sense of style.

Their fashion crimes cannot go unpunished.

Sean Miller

It’s really never a good look for your shirt to look like a piece of paper that had a freshly-cooked piece of bacon rubbed all over it.

Now, okay, I get that Sean Miller can’t help how sweaty he gets during games. That’s just a biological thing that he has no control over. Still, sweaty dudes have been coaching since James Naismith first hung those peach baskets in a Kansas gymnasium that I can only imagine was a brisk 117 degrees Fahrenheit, and those same sweaty coaches know that they should either wear undershirts or strictly avoid clothing that becomes transparent when wet.

Rick Pitino

When it comes to being Al Pacino’s doppelgänger, no one comes closer than Louisville’s Rick Pitino. Pitino actually isn’t that bad of a dresser, although his fashion instincts go right out the window a few times a season when he decides to open up his closet and don that solid-white suit.

NCAA Basketball: Virginia at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Oh, and he also wore this ugly check suit once:

Porter Moser

The current Loyola Chicago coach finds his way onto this list per the request of our site’s Loyola expert, Gianna Marshall. As she wrote in our Slack channel when suggesting Moser for this piece, he “on average wears 2-3 prints that don't go together” while attaching the following photo:

Gianna has a point. That is a suit jacket that only Roy Williams is able to rock, and while I can’t tell what’s on that tie, I can tell that it certainly doesn’t match.

Bruce Pearl

Pitino AND Bruce Pearl being criticized for their fashion choices on the same list? Who wrote this piece? It could not be me, the Kentucky fan.

Anyway, I think the hatred for Tennessee orange is fairly widespread, and those of us in the south know of its ubiquitous presence in the Volunteer State. So, when he was still coaching Tennessee, his tendency to break out an orange suit jacket was maddening.

He has toned it down a bit since heading to Auburn, but I cannot forgive him. Nothing was worse than seeing Tennessee succeed while he patrolled the sidelines wearing that lurid jacket.

Mike Brey

I can’t state this more clearly: I hate turtlenecks. There’s no surer way to look like a Twin Peaks villain than to wear one underneath a suit jacket, and Mike Brey used to rock this look quite often.

Notre Dame v Cincinnati Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

I’ve also never seen this man wear a necktie. It’s a pretty alarming trend, and I wanted to get to the bottom of it. In doing my painstaking research for this piece, I discovered the following from an Indianapolis Star article from this year:

The only time Brey has worn a tie at Notre Dame was his introductory news conference in 2000. He wore a bowtie against St. John's on Feb. 25, 2012, a nod to Steve Lavin while raising awareness for prostate cancer, but the Irish lost and the tie was off by the time he got to the postgame news conference. He said he only wears them now to his players’ weddings and to funerals.

However, thanks to Brey’s daughter Callie giving him a “fashion intervention,” he no longer wears the turtlenecks.

Bless you, Callie.

Kind of.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - Notre Dame v West Virginia Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Greg Kampe

On the days that Greg Kampe chooses to rock the sweater vest, he is absolved of his sartorial sins. However, he doesn’t do that often enough, and nothing will ever be able to make up for the sweater that made it appear as if he was being impaled(?) by a reindeer.

But, I’m willing to forgive his fashion crimes because he was doing this as part of a fun theme. Therefore, it’s acceptable.

Bob Huggins

When we asked for suggestions about which college basketball coaches are the worst-dressed, the man who came up most often was none other than Bob Huggins.

West Virginia v Maryland Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Huggins’ fashion choices, namely his affinity for short-sleeved quarter-zips, are well-documented. While some people say he’s poorly dressed, I can’t fault him as much as other coaches found in this piece. After all, he’s choosing comfort over style. For every other coach here, the comfort level is static, but the style level is not.

Therefore, leave Huggins alone.

Okay, well maybe this little number wasn’t such a great choice:

Honorable mention so Russ Steinberg enjoys this post: Jim Boeheim

When you’ve coached for, like, 40 years, you’ve certainly seen fashion trends come and go. So for that, I can’t fault Boeheim. Still, I don’t know how this could have ever been considered en vogue.