No other Miami men’s basketball coach holds more wins than Jim Larrañaga.
The Hurricanes defeated Boston College on the road Wednesday night and Larrañaga earned his 221st victory as Miami’s head coach, becoming the program’s leader in coaching wins.
“I don’t get emotional about anything individually. My whole goal has always been about the team,” Larrañaga said. “Individual honors are nice—they recognize people—but the most important thing for a coach is for the team to do well, for the players to win and feel good about themselves.”
Larrañaga, now nine wins from his 700th all-time, surpassed the late Bruce Hale, UM’s coach from 1954–1967, in his 11th season with the Hurricanes. The Bronx, New York, native led the team to its first regular season and Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament titles in 2013, as the team advanced to the Sweet 16 twice in three seasons.
“One of the things when I left George Mason University, I was not only the winningest coach in George Mason history, but the winningest coach in the conference,” the two-time ACC Coach of the Year said. “One of the reasons is I stayed there for 14 years, and we had a lot of good players. I had a great staff, my coaches did a great job of recruiting and it put us in position to win a lot of games. The same is true here at Miami.
“I brought my coaches with me from George Mason to Miami 11 years ago, they’ve done a great job building the program. When you have good players and good coaches, you have the opportunity to win a lot of games. And so, we’ve been very, very fortunate,” Larrañaga continued.
As a former sixth-round NBA Draft selection and graduate of Providence in 1971, Larrañaga guided the Friars to a 20-8 record and an NIT berth as the team’s captain and fifth all-time leading scorer. Since 1991, his name has lied in the Providence College Hall of Fame.
Predicted to finish 12th in the conference’s preseason polls, Miami enters the upcoming ACC Tournament with a double-bye, in addition to its first 20-win season in four years. At 22-9, UM needs three more victories for Larrañaga’s fourth 25-win season with the Hurricanes, who are on the cusp of their fifth NCAA Tournament appearance under a coach always recognized as “Coach L.”