Austin Claunch

Nicholls State University men's basketball coach Austin Claunch is one of the best "young" college basketball coaches in the country.

The Colonels coach made ESPN.com's 40 Under 40 list today, a list of the top 40 college basketball coaches under 40 years old.

Claunch, 30, is ranked No. 24 on the list.

He earned his place there after leading Nicholls to one of its best seasons in recent years - a 21-10 campaign with a 15-5 mark in Southland Conference play.

The Colonels were in strong contention to compete to win the Southland Conference and earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament, but the tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Claunch was an assistant coach under former Nicholls coach Richie Riley.

Riley, too, is on the list.

Riley, 37, comes in at No. 16 on the list. He is now at South Alabama. The Jaguars were the No. 2 seed in the Sun Belt this spring before the conference tournament was canceled.

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