The Big Ten has a diverse set of 14 head coaches.

It has long-tenured coaches who took over for their mentors years ago and have delivered big-time successes. It has former NBA assistants who have made big splashes immediately at their alma maters. It has inexperienced head coaches who have energized their programs, hoping that bigger wins are ahead.

Taking a completely subjective look at all 14, let’s rank the Big Ten bosses:

14. Ben Johnson, Minnesota

In his 1st season in Minneapolis, Ben Johnson energized a program that was in need of a boost, having plateaued under former coach Richard Pitino. After a great non-conference run, although against lesser competition, Minnesota saw challenges during Big Ten play. Now in Year 2, Johnson will see if he can start to build a program that can once again compete day in and day out.

13. Fred Hoiberg, Nebraska

The moment of truth is probably near for Fred Hoiberg, who enters his 4th season in Lincoln with very little to show. He needs to win now. In his 1st 3 years as the head coach of the Cornhuskers, Nebraska has won only 26.4 percent of its games, including an even more woeful 9-50 mark in the Big Ten. It’s been a bizarrely meh tenure, considering how much success Hoiberg had as the head man at Iowa State from 2010-15, when he took the Cyclones to 4 straight NCAA Tournaments.

12. Chris Collins, Northwestern

Chris Collins had his moment in Evanston, when he took the Wildcats to the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament in Northwestern’s 1st-ever appearance in the Big Dance. But that was 6 years ago. In the seasons since, Collins has a 26-71 record in the Big Ten, as Northwestern has finished no better than 10th in the conference standings. He had a talented team last season, yet it was only 7-13 in the league, then saw a couple of its best players transfer to big-time programs. Not a good look.

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11. Micah Shrewsberry, Penn State

Last season, in Micah Shrewsberry’s 1st season as the head coach of the Nittany Lions, it seems very few opponents wanted anything to do with Penn State, knowing it was a sneaky-good team that could score an upset. Shrewsberry’s teams play hard, as one might expect from a disciple of Brad Stevens and Matt Painter. Once more talent starts to arrive in Happy Valley, Shrewsberry’s team could be one that does more than ring up the occasional upset.

10. Kevin Willard, Maryland

Kevin Willard enters his debut season at Maryland after a highly success tenure at Seton Hall, where he took the Pirates to the NCAA Tournament in 5 of his last 6 seasons. He’s a builder too, which will serve him well with the Terrapins; it wasn’t until his 6th season at Seton Hall that it saw sustained success, with only 1 20-win season from 2010-2015. Will he be afforded such time at Maryland? Will he need it?

9. Mike Woodson, Indiana

Indiana might finally have found an answer with Mike Woodson as its head coach. The former Hoosiers player and longtime NBA assistant brought instant credibility to the IU program, proving to be a coach who can get his team prepared to play and one who can recruit at a high level. In Year 1, he got the Hoosiers back to the NCAA Tournament after a 4-year absence. Now, IU is the favorite to win the Big Ten.

8. Steve Pikiell, Rutgers

By Year 4, Steve Pikiell had transformed Rutgers from an after-thought in the Big Ten to a feared opponent and an NCAA Tournament team. Now, no one wants to have to play in Jersey Mike’s Arena (formerly the RAC) because the Scarlet Knights play like a caged animal there. Now, Pikiell, who seems to make the most out of the talent on his roster by having them play intense, fundamentally-sound defensive basketball, will try to build upon the program’s 1st-ever back-to-back NCAA appearances.

7. Fran McCaffery, Iowa

Fran McCaffery has built Iowa into a perennial NCAA Tournament qualifier, having taken the Hawkeyes to the Dance in 6 of the past 8 seasons. Success there has been fleeting, however, as Iowa hasn’t advanced into the 2nd weekend under McCaffery, losing in the Round of 32 in 4 seasons, the First Four once and in the Round of 64 last season, when No. 5-seed Iowa was beaten by 12-seed Richmond in the opener.

6. Greg Gard, Wisconsin

Greg Gard has won a Big Ten Championship in 2 of the past 3 seasons, and done so without having the most talented teams in the conference. In his 7 seasons as the Badgers’ head coach, he’s squeezed the most potential out of his teams, having finished at least 4th in the conference standings 5 times. In 5 of his seasons, the Badgers have gone to the NCAA Tournament, with the most success coming in Gard’s 1st 2 seasons when Wisconsin went to the Sweet 16 in back-to-back years.

5. Brad Underwood, Illinois

In back-to-back seasons, Brad Underwood has helped the Fighting Illini get back to the NCAA Tournament, where they’ve won a game before losing in the 2nd round. And in that time, Illinois has won 31 of its 40 Big Ten games, with a 2nd-place league finish and then a conference title. It’s been a great 2-year run, to say the least. Underwood is a proven recruiter too, both from the high school ranks and more recently out of the transfer portal.

4. Chris Holtmann, Ohio State

In his 8 seasons as the head coach at Butler and now Ohio State, Chris Holtmann guided the programs to 7 NCAA Tournaments (an 8th trip was negated by the cancelation of the 2020 postseason). That kind of sustained success is hard to accomplish, yet Holtmann’s teams are solid year-in and year-out. But his 4 Ohio State NCAA Tournament teams have not advanced into the 2nd weekend, having seen their trips end in the Round of 32 on 3 occasions.

3. Juwan Howard, Michigan

The former Michigan and NBA star has made an excellent transition to being the head coach at his alma mater, making Elite Eight and Sweet 16 runs in the NCAA Tournament the past 2 seasons. Since he’d been only an assistant in the NBA prior to Michigan, there was some question about how he’d be as an in-game tactician, but he’s done well in 3 seasons at UM, which has a 61.4 winning percentage in the B1G.

2. Matt Painter, Purdue

Matt Painter’s Purdue teams have reached the NCAA Tournament in 7 consecutive seasons, with 4 Sweet 16 trips in the last 5, including an Elite Eight. And the Elite Eight squad, in 2018-19, came within tenths of a second of a coveted trip to the Final Four. Add in that Purdue has 3 regular-season Big Ten titles and a conference tourney crown during Painter’s 17 seasons at his alma mater, and it’s been a consistent show of success.

1. Tom Izzo, Michigan State

Although he might be entering the twilight of his career, it’s impossible to argue with Tom Izzo’s results at Michigan State. In 27 years at MSU, he has a 666-267 record (.714), including 322-152 (.679) in conference play. During his tenure, Izzo has led the Spartans to 8 Final Fours, including the championship in 2000, the Big Ten’s last national title. He has won 10 B1G regular-season titles, plus 6 conference tourney titles. He’s hard to top.