Short and Sweet: Many Coaches Had Better One-Year Stints Than Underwood

Illinois-bound Brad Underwood is deemed an ascending star in the coaching profession after compiling a 20-13 record (.606) in his only season with Oklahoma State. But what a majority of media mavens fail to point out is there have been numerous "won-and-done" mentors posting even better winning percentages in "short-and-sweet" one-year stints since the generally recognized start of the modern era of college basketball in the early 1950s.

Fordham improved by 14 games in Digger Phelps' only season with the Rams in 1970-71, a mark that stood for one-year wonders until Chris Beard broke it last year with a 15-game improvement after UALR (30-5) went 13-18 in 2014-15. UNC Wilmington's Buzz Peterson, the only coach to win a national postseason championship in his only season at a school (Tulsa), is among the following "one-and-done" coaches who won more than 60% of their games in one-year tenures in the last 50-plus years:

Coach School Single Season W-L Pct. Reason for One-Year Stint
Lute Olson Long Beach State 1973-74 24-2 .923 Became coach at Iowa.
Digger Phelps Fordham 1970-71 26-3 .897 Became coach at Notre Dame.
Chris Beard UALR 2015-16 30-5 .857 Became coach at UNLV.
Carl Tacy Marshall 1971-72 23-4 .852 Became coach at Wake Forest.
Keno Davis Drake 2007-08 28-5 .848 Became coach at Providence.
Matt Painter Southern Illinois 2003-04 25-5 .833 Became coach at Purdue.
Stan Heath Kent State 2001-02 29-6 .829 Became coach at Arkansas.
Thad Matta Butler 2000-01 24-8 .750 Became coach at Xavier.
Bill Fitch Bowling Green 1967-68 18-7 .720 Became coach at Minnesota.
Jim Harding* La Salle 1967-68 20-8 .714 Forced out by administration.
Buzz Peterson Tulsa 2000-01 26-11 .703 Became coach at Tennessee.
Bob Vanatta Army 1953-54 15-7 .682 Became coach at Bradley.
Larry Shyatt Wyoming 1997-98 19-9 .679 Became coach at Clemson.
Rick Barnes George Mason 1987-88 20-10 .667 Became coach at Providence.
Ron Greene Mississippi State 1977-78 18-9 .667 Became coach at Murray State.
Art Tolis New Orleans 1987-88 21-11 .656 Forced out by administration.
Scott Drew Valparaiso 2002-03 20-11 .645 Became coach at Baylor.
Louis Orr Siena 2000-01 20-11 .645 Became coach at Seton Hall.
Bob Huggins Kansas State 2006-07 22-13 .629 Became coach at West Virginia.
Brad Underwood Oklahoma State 2016-17 20-13 .606 Became coach at Illinois.

*Harding became coach for Minnesota (ABA) for portion of 1968-69 season.