Dave Rose will walk into the Huntsman Center today with the same step, same haircut, same attitude as a year ago when the Cougars got a very rare victory over Utah there.

But it will be tough for BYU to repeat that act. They've had road woes. This is a season almost every MWC team is defending home courts with a vengeance. The Utes will be no different as both teams try to avoid losing two league games in a row.

Still, in his third season at the Cougar helm, Rose has definitely made his mark as he officially welcomes his counterpart in today's contest, Jim Boylen, to this emotional rivalry.

Rose has a little traction. Boylen is getting there.

While it is too early to tell what the Boylen era brings, early indications are that Dr. Chris Hill made a very good hire. Boylen's fire, competitive spirit and enthusiasm has made Utah a MWC contender in January.

Then there's Rose.

Of 18 coaches who began Division I head coaching careers in the 2005-06 season, Rose has earned the most wins and win percentage (57-23; .713) and is second in winning percent by .014 as of Jan. 15. Among coaches who started coaching jobs the same time as Rose, regardless of previous head coach experience at any level, he is second in wins to Tennessee's Bruce Pearl (60-20).

Not a bad place to be, head of his three-year old class (see graphic).

Boylen's class he could be measured against in a couple of years includes Brad Stevens, Butler (16-1) and Keno Davis (14-1) of Drake (see graphic).

Rose said his primary objective as a head coach is to make his team competitive and hungry to win.

"The most important thing is every day you come to practice and try to get players in the right frame of mind to compete at their highest level," said Rose. "I've been fortunate to get really high character guys who perform. So far, so good."

Rose is counting on this today as his team comes back from a disappointing and humiliating loss at UNLV. "One thing a competitor does after a loss like that is to get back on the floor and is anxious to play. We'll just prepare for this game and go up there and give them a chance to win."

Rose, say his players, is as consistent as they come. Win big, lose big, win by a little or get nipped at the buzzer, they say he has treated them the same and they appreciate the even hand.

"Coach Rose, it's weird to see this as a player when you talk about coaches because it's always asked about players getting better and how they've evolved, but I feel the same about him," said BYU junior Trent Plaisted.

"From his first year to now, he's more personable with his players, he's a great motivator and a guy who instills toughness in his team. But from top to bottom the communication level on his team is better."

Like Plaisted, Cummard has been on the Rose ride his entire college career.

"He's done a great job," said Cummard. "He came in from day one and kind of told what he expected of us and he's never wavered from that. He's implemented his system and been very successful."

Cummard said Rose has made him a better player because he's made him tougher and more motivated to win.

Today begins a new era for Rose as it is Rose versus Boylen. After today, we can start to file it in a folder. Who knows if it will ever evolve like the enclosure that is earmarked like Rick Majerus/Roger Reid; Jerry Pimm/Frank Arnold or Jack Gardner/Stan Watts.

Rose and Boylen come in a long line of coaches who've gone head-to-head through 245 games, the 10th longest in NCAA history for a rivalry series that started in 1909.

But game's on today, we write a new chapter.

It should be a dandy.


Jim Boylen coachng class - Year 1

Coach, . . . . . School . . . . . Record . . . . . Pct.

Brad Stevens . . . . . Butler . . . . . 16-1 . . . . . .941

Keno Davis . . . . . Drake . . . . . 14-1 . . . . . .933

Joe Pasternack . . . . . N. Orleans . . . . . 12-5 . . . . . .706

Mike Rice . . . . . Robert Morris . . . . . 12-6 . . . . . .667

Frank Martin . . . . . Kansas St. . . . . . 11-4 . . . . . .733

Jim Boylen . . . . . Utah, . . . . . 10-5 . . . . . .557

Donnie Jones . . . . . Marshall . . . . . 9-5 . . . . . .643

Marvin Menzies . . . . . N. M. State . . . . . 9-19 . . . . . .474

Kerry Keating . . . . . Santa Clara . . . . . 8-8 . . . . . .500

Bill Greer . . . . . San Diego, . . . . . 8-10 . . . . . .444

Brett Reed . . . . . Lehigh, . . . . . 7-8 . . . . . .467

Anthony Evans . . . . . Norfolk St. . . . . . 6-8 . . . . . .429

Bob Nash . . . . . Hawaii, . . . . . 6-10 . . . . . .375

Kevin Willard . . . . . Iona, . . . . . 6-10 . . . . . .333

Matt Brown . . . . . UMKC, . . . . . 6-12 . . . . . .333

Eugene Harris . . . . . Florida A&M . . . . . 5-10 . . . . . .333

Brad Greenberg . . . . . Radford . . . . . 5-12 . . . . . .294

Sydney Johnson . . . . . Princeton . . . . . 2-12 . . . . . .143

Meredith Smith . . . . . Md-East. Shore . . . . . 2-14 . . . . . .125

Dave Rose coaching class - Year 3

Coach . . . . . School . . . . . Record . . . . . Pct.

Dave Rose . . . . . BYU . . . . . 57-23 . . . . . .713

Andy Kennedy . . . . . Ole Miss* . . . . . 56-22 . . . . . .722

Jeff Neubauer . . . . . E. Kentucky . . . . . 42-37 . . . . . .532

Bob Jeter . . . . . Wis.-Mil. . . . . . 40-39 . . . . . .506

Doug Wojcik . . . . . Tulsa . . . . . 39-33 . . . . . .542

Dave Dickerson . . . . . Tulane . . . . . 39-36 . . . . . .520

Lewis Jackson . . . . . Alabama St. . . . . . 39-45 . . . . . .464

Tommy Dempsey . . . . . Rider . . . . . 35-40 . . . . . .467

Orlando Early . . . . . La.-Monroe . . . . . 34-43 . . . . . .442

Dane Fife . . . . . IPFW . . . . . 28-46 . . . . . .378

Charles Ramsey . . . . . E. Mich. . . . . . 25-49 . . . . . .338

Brian Nash . . . . . St. Francis (N.Y.) . . . . . 24-51 . . . . . .320

Cliff Warren . . . . . Jacksonville . . . . . 23-48 . . . . . .324

Rob Flaska . . . . . Centenary . . . . . 21-54 . . . . . .280

Gil Jackson . . . . . Howard . . . . . 20-56 . . . . . .263

George Nessman . . . . . San Jose St. . . . . . 19-58 . . . . . .247

*includes 1 season as interim head coach at Cincinnati


E-mail: [email protected]