How Oregon MBB's Dana Altman became one of the most successful coaches in collegiate basketball

Ashley Young
·3 min read

Dana Altman is on a very short list of successful coaches in men's collegiate basketball.

The Oregon Duck men's basketball head coach is part of an exclusive fraternity that includes Hall-of-Famers Mike Krzyzewski, Tom Izzo, Bill Self and Jim Boeheim and is one of only five active coaches in NCAA Division I with 23 consecutive winning seasons.

The 2013 National Jim Phelan Coach of the Year, 3x Pac-12 Coach of the Year (2013, 2015, 2016) and 2018 member of the Creighton Athletic Hall of Fame, has proven to the Pac-12 Conference that the Oregon Ducks will consistently be a challenge for any foe.

And ‘consistent' is the perfect word to describe the 19th head coach in the history of the University of Oregon.

Director of Operations Josh Jamieson, who has been by Altman's side for 14 seasons, is the latest guest on the Talkin' Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent.

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It boils down to consistency. We preach that, we're trying to communicate that, but it really doesn't work until you live it. I think coach [Altman] loves consistency. In practice, in film, in games, in his approach to things. - Josh Jamieson on Dana Altman

That approach has led the Ducks to deep NCAA tournament runs in the postseason.

He led Oregon to five straight NCAA Tournaments (2013-17) for the first time in school history, winning at least one game in each of those years. Included in those NCAA appearances are a Final Four (2017), two Elite Eights (2016, 2017) and three Sweet 16s (2013, 2016, 2017).

If you've ever watched an Oregon men's basketball game, you can always see or hear Altman on the sidelines, stomping his black leather dress shoe on the court to get the attention of his players and always sporting a plain white, long sleeve button up, black slacks and either a green or yellow tie. His consistency is found in his wardrobe too. 

All that expression and fiery coaching is the complete opposite of what you'll see in the postgame press conference. It's as if someone slipped Altman a shot of NyQuil PM: he is calm and answers all questions from the media in a respectful, insightful and his voice is soft-spoken.

And the answers always fall back to, "We got a lot more work to do."

If you look at a coach Altman press conference, a snapshot at virtually anytime of the year, you're going to hear fairly similar things. You never hear him go over the top about a performance that we've had because he understands that these performances tend to average out over the long run. - Josh Jamieson on Dana Altman

It's not that Altman doesn't acknowledge the positives from his team's performance, but he realizes that growth and success come from what improvements need to be made. It's this mindset and coaching philosophy that make Oregon a dangerous threat year after year. 

Altman signed a three-year contract extension in 2019 that makes him the head coach in Eugene, Oregon through April 2026.

Jamieson's duties as Director of Operations include scheduling, coordinating the team's travel, budgeting, academic support and equipment oversight. He also serves as the Director of Oregon Basketball Camps.

Listen to the full Talkin' Ducks Podcast here.

How Oregon MBB's Dana Altman became one of the most successful coaches in collegiate basketball originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest