As Jay Spoonhour is set to offically be named that head coach of Eastern Illinois today, College Hoopedia looked at how effective junior college coaches are in Division I, and what they found is somewhat surprising. In short, there have been plenty of JUCO coaches who have succeeded at the Division I level, including 4 that went on to win NCAA Titles.
The one criticism I have of their analysis is while they discuss the coaches that have done well, there’s no mention of those who haven’t, or any mention of how common or rarely JUCO coaches have succeeded. Also, there’s no real analysis of how many steps were taken between being a JUCO coach and a head coach (i.e., were they an assistant at the Division I level, which I would assume is yes in many cases)
While I can pick apart the actual analysis, the one thing you can take away from this is that hiring a JUCO coach isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it could turn out to be an amazing hire, as some JUCO coaches in the past have turned out to be.