Rank ‘Em: UNC Basketball’s Coaches Since 1944

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#3 – Frank McGuire – Record: 164-58 .739 (1 National Championship)

McGuire did one of the best coaching jobs of all-time during the 1956-57 season. He led the North Carolina Tar Heels to their very first national championship. More importantly, they finished the season with an unblemished record of 32-0 which only three other schools have ever done in men’s basketball. Even more importantly they took out  Wilt Chamberlain and the Kansas Jayhawks in the national championship game, one of the biggest upsets in title game history. They defeated the Jayhawks 54-53 in triple overtime.

When McGuire left St. John’s for UNC it was not treated the way that move would be today. He spent five seasons there (1947-1952) and accomplished something very uncommon in college athletics. In 1949 he led the baseball team to the College World Series and in 1952 led the basketball team to the Final Four. It was surprising when he went from that program in St. John’s to North Carolina. As stated previously, at this time in college basketball history, North Carolina was anything but a destination job. It was a decent job at the time McGuire took over, but not nearly what it is today. They had gone 24-30 the previous two seasons and were not a perennial contender for the NCAA championshp. Some controversy at the end of his reign in Chapel Hill (rumors of point shaving by some UNC players as well as being found guilty of some major NCAA violations in 1961) takes away from his legacy. However, the last thing he did may have been the most important of his career: He recommended Dean Smith as his successor!