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Youngest coaches to win an NCAA basketball championship

By Berry Tramel Modified: February 9, 2009 at 12:31 am •  Published: February 9, 2009

Youngest Champs

OU's Jeff Capel, who will turn 34 on Thursday, is building a reputation as one of the top young coaches in America.

Here's a list of coaches who made a mark early, the youngest ever to win an NCAA championship:

Coach, Team, Year, Age

1. Branch McCracken, Indiana, 1940, 31 years, 9 months, 21 days

In the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player, he also coached the Hoosiers to the '53 title.

2. Harold Foster, Wisconsin, 1941, 34 years, 9 months, 29 days

Basketball Hall of Fame member, Foster played and coached at Wisconsin.

3. Fred Taylor, Ohio State, 1960, 35 years, 3 months, 16 days

Buckeyes were runners-up under Taylor in '61 and '62, teams went 14-4 in NCAA play.

4. Bob Knight, Indiana, 1976, 35 years, 5 months, 4 days

The General followed with NCAA titles in '81 and '87 and may not be done yet.

5. Howard Dobson, Oregon, 1939, 35 years, 8 months, 23 days

Later led Yale to its first NCAA Tournament and was a president of the NABC.

6. Don Haskins, UTEP, 1966, 36 years, 0 months, 5 days

Enid native made history coaching the first championship team to start five black players.

7. Jim Valvano, N.C. State, 1983, 37 years, 0 months, 24 days

Jimmy V. launched a legend with his famous reaction after the Wolfpack's unlikely title win.


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