ESPN ranked all NCAA tournament coaches as players… Where did Tinkle and Altman land?


It is a common habit for former players in any sport to take up coaching after their playing days are over.

When you look at the landscape of the NCAA basketball tournament that is going on, you can easily find many different names that were once playing basketball that are now trying their hand in coaching.

Michigan Wolverines Juwan Howard and Georgetown’s Patrick Ewing are names that might ring a bell.

But of course, there are many more names that are coaching right now.

ESPN created a list of rankings of the 68 2021 NCAA tournament coaches that were once players, and two familiar faces made the list.

Oregon Ducks head coach Dana Altman and Oregon State Beavers head coach Wayne Tinkle.

ESPN ranked Altman at #49, and had this to say about the former Eastern New Mexico University player.

Altman was a guard and captain at Fairbury Junior College in Nebraska (now known as Southeast Community College) from 1976 to 1978 before transferring to Division II Eastern New Mexico University. Altman has described himself as a "poor player" for the Greyhounds, but he did graduate magna cum laude from the school in 1980.

As for Tinkle, he ranked in the top 10 at the #8 spot.

Tinkle starred at Montana from 1986-89, earning All-Big Sky honors as a forward over his final three seasons in Missoula. He continues to rank in the Griz top 10 in points (1,500) and rebounds (836). Tinkle played professionally for 12 years, including time in the CBA and Europe, and went to training camp with the Seattle SuperSonics.

In the NCAA tournament, the Beavers will face Tennessee in the first round, while the Ducks will face VCU.