In the context of a long college basketball season, Virginia’s 73-66 win against Syracuse on Jan. 7 was just another game on the early ACC schedule.

It was far more significant for Tony Bennett and his Cavaliers.

The victory was the 327th earned by Bennett in his 14 seasons in Charlottesville, passing Terry Holland as the winningest coach in program history. His .730 winning percentage is also the best in UVA history.

Bennett is 1 of 6 current ACC coaches who hold their school’s record for career victories.

Clemson’s Brad Brownell (237-174), Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton (403-262), Miami’s Jim Larrañaga (248-146), Notre Dame’s Mike Brey (482-276) and Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim (*1,014-437) are the others.

The number will shrink to 5 next season after Brey steps down after 28 seasons with the Irish. That will leave 10 ACC coaches to chase the records at their respective schools.

Who, if any, are the most likely to join the club?

It’s a small list, considering the totals some around the league have amassed. And if it does eventually happen, it won’t be anytime soon.

But let’s crunch the numbers anyway.

Earl Grant, Boston College

Grant is in his 2nd season with the Eagles, early in the process of rebuilding a program that has fallen upon hard times since the questionable decision to dismiss Al Skinner in 2010. Skinner won 247 games and brought his team to 7 NCAA Tournaments in his 13 seasons at B – the last 5 of which were as members of the ACC.

Using his career average of 17 wins in his first 9 seasons at College of Charleston and BC, it would take Grant 13 full seasons just to match Skinner’s total.

Jon Scheyer, Duke

At just 35, Scheyer is the youngest coach in the ACC. That works in his favor. He’s also accomplished something his legendary predecessor Mike Krzyzewski didn’t by winning at least 20 games in his rookie season. Coach K only managed 17 in his debut.

But then Krzyzewski went on to win more games than anyone in the history of college basketball. Of his record 1,202 wins, 1,129 came while coaching the Blue Devils. Averaging 31 wins a season, it would only take Scheyer 36½ years to surpass his mentor.

Good luck, kid.

Josh Pastner, Georgia Tech

Bobby Cremins won 354 games and went to the NCAA Tournament 10 times in 19 seasons with the Yellow Jackets. Current coach Pastner, now in his 7th season in Atlanta, is sitting on 83 victories. Despite having won an ACC Tournament title just 2 seasons ago, Pastner will do well just to make it to next season, let alone the 13½ more it would take him to reach Cremins’ total, averaging 20 wins a year.

Kenny Payne, Louisville

At 4-23, rookie coach Payne is having trouble winning any games at his alma mater, let alone the 675 he needs to catch Hall of Famer Denny Crum. Even assuming that he’ll eventually turn things around, it’s not even worth doing the match on how long it would take for him to become the Cardinals’ all-time leader.

Hubert Davis, North Carolina

As is the case with Scheyer at Duke, Davis is off to a good start with the Tar Heels. But he also has his work cut out for him. Consider that the coach he succeeded, Roy Williams, won 485 games and 3 national championships in his 18 seasons with the Tar Heels. 

And that’s still 394 victories behind the school record of 879 set by Dean Smith. It would take Davis more than 3 decades at his current rate of 22.5 wins per season for him to threaten that number.

Kevin Keatts, NC State

Keatts is still a long way off from Everett Case’s 377 victories with the Wolfpack. But because his 111 wins in 6 seasons at State are the most of any ACC coach not already the career leader at his school, he stands the most reasonable chance of joining the club.

Especially now that a successful 2022-23 campaign has presumably extended his tenure.

Even so, it will take a little over 14 more seasons at his current average of 18.5 wins per year to replace Case atop the Wolfpack’s all-time list.

Jeff Capel, Pittsburgh

Of all the winningest coaches at schools currently in the ACC, the record for longevity goes to Dr. H.C. “Doc” Carlson at Pitt. His 367 wins came between 1922-53. Even with all those wins, his teams made only 1 NCAA Tournament appearance.


Because for the first 17 years of his tenure, there wasn’t any such thing as an NCAA Tournament. And even when it came into being, it had only an 8 team bracket until 1953. Current coach Capel is poised to take the Panthers for the Tournament for the 1st time in his 5 seasons next month. But with only 70 wins at Pitt, he still has a lot of catching up to do.

Mike Young, Virginia Tech

The school record is 213 wins, set by Charles Moir between 1977-87. That’s not an insurmountable number, especially since Young has already amassed 70 wins in his first 4 seasons with several games remaining this year.

But at age 59, Young is going to have to pick up the pace to have a shot at the longevity needed to make it to 214. Averaging 20 wins a year, it will take just under 11 more seasons for him to reach the goal.

Steve Forbes, Wake Forest

Another oldie but goodie. The Deacons’ record is held by Murray Greason, who earned 285 wins from 1934-57. It’s a number both Dave Odom and Carl Tacy made a serious run at before falling short. And Skip Prosser might have had a shot at it had he lived long enough.

As for current coach Steve Forbes, he has 48 victories in just under 2 seasons. That’s a great start. But like Young, his age – he’s 57 – might not give him enough time to get close.