fashion craze began in 1998, when former Wagner head coach Tim
Capstraw thought it would be fun to rate some of America's
most stylish coaches. Coaches and fans enjoyed the off-beat
approach, which concluded with former Hofstra coach Jay Wright
being crowned the Best-Dressed coach in America.
Due to popular response, Capstraw followed up with his second
feature on College Basketball's style mavens. Once again, Jay
Wright walked away with the title of America's best-dressed.
In 2000, Capstraw moved onto radio and television and the
feature was handed to CollegeInsider.com's Angela Lento who
renamed it "The Runway to the Fashionable Four."
Lento had periodic features throughout the season, culminating
in a 64-coach bracket in the same fashion as the NCAA
Tournament. Coaches and fans across the country immediately
took the concept, as fashionable coaches were paired off
against one another.
Former Lehigh head coach Sal Mentesana emerged from the
tournament as the best-dressed coach in America. Mentesana's
stroll on the catwalk was chronicled in John Feinstein's book,
"The Last Amateurs."
At the beginning of the 2001 season, Lento introduced the
Fashion Power Index or FPI, as a formula to rate the stylish
coaches throughout the season. The interest in the now
season-long feature reached another level, as countless
feature articles appeared in newspapers and periodicals across
That season also marked the first time that assistant coaches
would compete for the title of America's most stylish
understudy. Former Wofford assistant Mike Young (now the head
coach) was given the honor of most majestic assistant.
2001 head coach fashion finale saw former UMass head coach
Bruiser Flint (above) step off the runway as America's most
stylish. In December of 2001, in a pre-game ceremony, Flint
was presented with the award for being named the best-dressed
coach in the country.
By the start of the 2002 season, "The Runway to the
Fashionable Four" had become a favorite among coaches and fans
alike, with ESPN's Rece Davis, CBS SportsLine's Dan Wetzel and
NBA All-Star Jalen Rose being regular followers of the fashion
2002 also saw an FPI for assistant coaches, which was unveiled
throughout the season, which further increased its popularity,
as Lento was a guest on countless radio shows, including ESPN
Radio, with Rece Davis and Andy Katz.
At season's end, Rice head coach Willis Wilson was recognized
as the college basketball's most stylish, while Marist
assistant Steve Sauers (right) was victorious in the
2002 Fashionable Four (Head Coaches):
Bruiser Flint (Drexel), Bob McKillop (Davidson), Gary Waters
(Rutgers), Willis Wilson (Rice)
2002 Fashionable Four (Assistants):
Tony Jones (UW-Milwaukee), Jennifer Johnston (Oakland), Steve
Sauers (Marist), Steve Schuberth (UAB)
2002 Best-Dressed Head Coach: Willis Wilson (Rice)
2002 Best-Dressed Assistant: Steve Sauers (Marist)
2001 Fashionable Four (Head Coaches):
Bruiser Flint (Drexel), Bob Huggins (Cincinnati), Melvin
Watkins (Texas A&M), Willis Wilson (Rice)
2001 Fashionable Four (Assistants):
Steve Sauers (Marist), Tom Schuberth
(Southwest Missouri State), Ronny Thompson (Georgetown), Mike Young (Wofford)
2001 Best-Dressed Head Coach: Bruiser Flint (Drexel)
2001 Best-Dressed Assistant: Mike Young (Wofford)
2000 Fashionable Four (Head Coaches):
Sal Mentesana (Lehigh), Tubby Smith (Kentucky), Gary Waters
(Kent State), Jay Wright (Villanova)
2000 Best-Dressed Head Coach: Sal Mentesana (Lehigh)
1999 Fashionable Four (Head Coaches):
Steve Lavin (UCLA), Sal Mentesana (Lehigh), Willis Wilson
(Rice), Jay Wright (Hofstra)
1999 Best-Dressed Head Coach: Jay Wright (Hofstra)
1998 Fashionable Four (Head Coaches):
Sal Mentesana (Lehigh), Riley Wallace (Hawaii),
Willis Wilson (Rice), Jay Wright (Hofstra)
1998 Best-Dressed Head Coach: Jay Wright (Hofstra).