We rank 'em. You react. That's how the Daily List rolls.
10/01/2007 02:12:00 PM
The Worst Coaches in Sports
Norv Turner has Chargers fans clamoring for Marty Schottenheimer.
Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
By Lang Whitaker, SI.com
By definition, a coach is there to mold his players into winners, to put them in position to make plays. This may be easier than it sounds, or it may not. Plenty of coaches struggle, reaching the big time and then suddenly forgetting what got them there. Today we look at the five worst coaches in sports...
1. Norv Turner: Much of the blame for the Chargers failings this season has found its way to San Diego GM A.J. Smith, but at the end of the day, particularly after yesterday's home loss to the Chiefs, the Chargers are 1-3 and Norv is the man standing there holding the clipboard and calling the wrong plays.
2. Willie Randolph: It's rare that the coach of a second-place team can be considered among the worst coaches in sports, but if that second-place team was in first place with a seven-game lead with about two weeks to go, well...welcome to the show, Willie.
3. Charlie Weis: Notre Dame may be in a rebuilding mode, but they're Notre Dame -- they're not supposed to have to rebuild. To his credit, Weis has skillfully guided the Fighting Irish to an 0-5 record this season.
4. Greg Ryan: Not only did the coach of the US Women's National Soccer Team mishandle the departure of Brandi Chastain a few years back, but by starting the creaky Briana Scurry in goal last week against Brazil in the Women's World Cup, Ryan didn't do what a coach is supposed to do: He didn't give his team their best chance of winning.
5. Doc Rivers: I happen to like Doc Rivers, but you can't ignore that he managed only 24 wins from a team with enough talent to trade for Kevin Garnett.
Which coaches didn't make The List? Give us your nominees for worst coaches below...
Lang Whitaker is the executive editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com
How about putting Brad Childress in the top 5 worst. This guy is an idiot. He has now coahed the Vikings for 20 games and they have managed to get worse almost every game. Yesterday, he has a back (Adrian Peterson) that has 108 yards on 10 carries at half time and ends up with 12 carries total and standing on the sideline for a lot of the second half. Childress is an idiot and as a Viking fan, I'm saying already that he needs to go.
Marty Morningweig. Very good assistant with Philadelphia. Very lousy past Detroit Lion coach (albeit in a lousy organization). But who would elect to take the wind after winning the coin flip in an overtime game?
Brad Childress doesn't need to take a back seat to anyone! He inherited a 9-7 team, and added Steve Hutchinson. He's an impressive 3-11 in his last 14 games, and the Vikings may not win another game all season.
Here in Minnesota that's an easy one....Brad Childress. Only he can get the best pure RB talent in the draft (Adrian Peterson) and leave him ON THE SIDELINE in the 4th quarter! Not to mention the fact that he handles every bit of detail regarding the team like it's a Pentagon top secret folder.
i disagree with your reasoning on why kevin garnett was available to the celtics. he was availabe for young, inexpensive players as minnesota is trying a new approach after having garnett and his huge salary for so long. none of the players, even jefferson (the best of the lot) that the celtics traded for garnett have yet to perform at a high enough level for you to be able to label rivers a poor coach when they were with the celtics.
I can't believe, as a San Diego Padres fan, that I would say this, but I must. The Padres have good fielders aplenty, weak but sufficient hitting, and a great pitching staff. But, face it - Bud Black is very bad manager. Who else would expect a clearly tired Trevor Hoffman to defend a two-run lead in the bottom of the 13th inning in the game that really counts? Trevor has lost his fastball and has shown tendencies to really blow it. His save count this year is artificial - there were many games narrowly saved this year by superb fielding. He should be used early in the year, before hitters key on the ball that eventually comes into their wheelhouse. The playoff game was a travesty. Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory! Waiting too long to pull Peavy and horrors, bringing in Trevor Hoffman, so the whole world could see the end of a fading veteran. What on earth was wrong with letting a fresh Joe Thatcher, with pinpoint control, bring home the victory? Bud Black is like Bochy - showing control on the outside, but unable to make a good decision under pressure, and who relies excessively on tired veterans. Go away, Bud - the Padres need a real manager, not an unsmiling paper cutout.
You're going to tell me Charlie Weis makes the list but not Lloyd Carr?? Charlie starts the season with a weak team (and yes, even Notre Dame has to rebuild) that is the result of the loss last year’s senior class and the recruiting dip that happened when he took over. Notre Dame going 0-5 is honestly not that much of a surprise. Most pre-season polls barely had them cracking the top 40 (and that was generous). Are they worse than expected, or worse than they should be? Absolutely. But not because Weis is one of the five worst coaches in sports. I’d bet a small fortune that you couldn’t find a coach in the country that could have won a single game for that team by now. Michigan and Lloyd Carr on the other hand, started the season as contenders for the Big Ten and National Championship. One of the most talented teams in the country and they drop their first two to Appalachian State and Oregon. They lost to a I-AA team and suffered their most embarrassing loss in recent history to Oregon of all people. Carr couldn't find a way to win with two Heismen candidates in the backfield and a team that should have had a shot at the national title. Now I understand they’ve turned things around with three straight and a big win over Penn State. However, the first two losses and the manner in which they did it are inexcusable. Carr was given his most talented team in ten years, one last shot at a national championship, and they couldn’t even make it past their two butter-cutter teams before throwing away any chance they had for a BCS bid. His only chance to save face (he’s still done at the end of the year) this season is to win the weak Big Ten conference. But if we’re voting right now, Lloyd Car is one of the worst coaches in sports.
I know this list includes current coaches, but what about all-time? Rich Kotite of the Eagles/Jets in the mid-90s should be given serious consideration. After taking over for Buddy Ryan in 1991, he led the Eagles to records of 10-6, 11-5 (only playoff team), and 8-8 with mostly players left over from the Buddy Ryan era. In 1994, the team started 7-2, then lost their last 7 games. A year later in New York, Kotite guided a J-E-T-S team to a 3-13 record followed by a 1-15 mark in 1996. That's a 4-35 record in two plus years for those of you keeping score at home AND his teams got progressively worse. By comparison, despite starting out 0-26, the expansion Buccaneers coach John McKay, still managed to win 6 of his first 39 games. Has ANY head coach had a worse record over a span of 39 games than Kotite?
Jeff Reinbold hasn't really hit it big, but I would consider him among the worlds worst. He was the head coach for the Winnipeg Blue Mombers back in the Late 90s. He managed to lead the team to a 3-13 record, not winning a game until week 12. He has never had a Head Coach job since, and is now an assistant at the University of Hawaii
Cam Cameron He will not last more than one season with the Dolphins. His insistence on drafting Ted Ginn Jr. (along with GM Randy Mueller) and his decision to jettison Culpepper without giving him a chance and bringing in an aging and declining Trent Green shows that this man does not know what he is doing.
How about the most gutless, smarmy, biased, and obsequious people in the world...critics, especially sports critics. At least these guys are "in the arena" as T.Roosevelt once said. It's easy to point out the faults of others when there is no responsibility and accountability on your own back. There are innumerable factors that go into the failure or success of a sports team. To pin it on one guy and say he is the worst is either extremely arrogant or naive.
Kyle Whittingham - Utah Utes what a great job he has done since Urban Meyer left the Utes with a ton of talent on both sides of the ball. Now we are a fourth place team in a third rate conference. How do you beat the #11 ranked team in the nation 44 -6 then get shut out by the football juggernaut of UNLV?!!!!
Greg Davis-Offensive (Un)coordinator for Texas. No creativity or innovativeness. Sideline to sideline passes. No misdirection. He's been the worst for many years. Must have pics of Mack Brown with farm animals to keep this job.
Brad Childress. Brad Childress. Brad Childress. Can't blame the horrible offensive line on him, they were supposed to be good. The horrible quarterback play and playcalling? Both his responsibility. Once the defense gets tired of defending short fields for 40 minutes a game, things are going to get truly ugly.
It is often forgotten now, but what about Dusty Baker. He couldn't win with the Giants, then he went to the Cubs, where he proceeded to burn out his pitching staff while looking wise in the dugout. After his starter blew up, he would chew on his toothpick for until the game was lost, then amble out to the mound to take out the pitcher.
Randolph is a good coach who couldn't control a bunch of immature players, and who also may have a GM who is undermining his control. Thomas is a shmuck, but a good coach with this group, and has put together an interesting team with alot of potential and talent. Norv Turner is terrible and why any team hires him is beyond me. How long does he last with any team.
Herman Edwards. Runs the most predictable offense in the league, and counts on his average defenses to win games. Where would he be without Curtis Martin in NY and now Larry Johnson in KC? Nice move trying to fast-track Brodie Croyle too, he looks like a regular Rick Mirer. Trent Green aint great, but without him, Herm will be running this team into the ground (literally and figuratively) even quicker than expected. You can't be so predictable in this league, his play calling is horrendous. Chief fans, you've been warned, Herm will bring you nothing but pain and BS speeches.
MARVIN LEWIS...get this guy out of here! Defensive guru, my A$$. He's got Carson Palmer, TJ, & Chad and the Bengals are 6-11 in the last 17 games. We haven't given up this many points in three games since the dreaded Coslet era
Charlie Weis was handed a cuppboard so bare that even the mice are starving. He's being asked to make water into wine. Granted, as you say, they are Notre Dame and should not have allowed themselves to get in that situation. But it's not Weis fault. I don't think there is coach in the land who would be doing any better. Not so with Turner. He truly is wasting a great deal of talent.
It is pretty stupid to put Charlie Weis on this list at this time. When he came to Notre Dame he really elevated the play of the players that were there. If you watched them, they actually played much better than before he got there. While I don't think that he is blameless for the current mess, it is not all his coaching. To say that he has been proven to be one of the worst 5 coaches is just meaningless anti-hype. If ND plays like this in two years, you will certainly have a point. But at this time, your comments are without foundation.
Dave Wannstedt. 1)Took over a winning Bears team coached them into losing seasons. 2)Took over a playoff Dolphin team, coached them into losing seasons, and 3)Took over a BCS bowl Pittsburgh, coached them into a bottom dweller in the Big East and losing seasons. Enough said?
Herman Edwards....no success with the Jets and now a loser with the Chiefs (notwithstanding the Chargers collapse last Sunday). The Chiefs had the best offense in the NFL under Vermeil....now it is LJ and a cloud of dust!
Giving Weiss a pass and blaming Willingham is rediculous. This is year #3 for the offensive "genius" and the results are obvious. Nobody complained about Willingham's recruiting during Weiss' first two years (didn't Tyrone recruit Brady Quinn?). Ohio State's Jim Tressell won the national championship in his second year!
Kirk Ferentz. Granted, he brought Iowa back, but his tired, predictable schemes have worn out their welcome and led to seven straight big ten losses against the likes of Northwestern, Minnesota, and Indiana (twice).
Weis cant be considered for this considering he has only had two true recruiting classes cause of his late hiring, and that willinghams last two classes at ND were horrible. He's playing with 2 horrible upperclassman recruiting classes (except for a couple players ie Jon Carlson). That is why he not underfire and ND
You cannot leave out Coach "I know there is a buffet somewhere" Friedgen coach of the Maryland Terrapins football team. Coach Friedgen rode the coat tails of some spectacular recruiting by the former coach Van Derlin formerly of Northwestern and took all those great players and managed along with scheduling some pretty scrub second rate programs to bolster his win loss record to garner the invitations to the Orange Bowl and the Cotton Bowl. Coach what have you done for Maryland lately. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out!
Don't forget Norvs brother Ron. Won 2 games his last 2 years at Illinois and left behind one of the most talent depleted, underdeveloped BCS conference teams ever. Now, he's busy mismanaging Rex Grossmans development and bungling the Bears offense. Like brother, like brother.
MACK BROWN, head coach of the University of Texas football program, is byfar the most over-rated, over-paid and easily one of the WORST coaches ever! Great recruiter? Sure! But what good does it do to recruit the best classes year after year, when you know NOTHING about coaching the "X"s and the "O"s of football to them?!!
He and his staff consistently under-achieve and the only reason they even have a championship title to their credit, isn't due to Mack Brown's coaching, but Vince Young's refusal to lose! Take away the Vince Young years, under Mack Brown, and you have a steady history of trips to the Alamo Bowl, The Holiday Bowl or the less pretstigous Cotton Bowl. And this year will be no different. (That's IF they even win enough games to make it to a bowl game.) Mack Brown is the poorest excuse ever for a NCAA Division I football coach.
first, isaiah thomas is the only coach so bad he defuncted (not a real word; go with it) an entire league. anyone remember the CBA? the man bankrupted the thing in less than two years. go ahead, i dare you, any of you, to show me a coach that sucks as bad as that! having said that, rich kotite took over for a 9-7 pete carroll jets team and went 1-15. anyone remember ray handley?
Your own publication ranked Notre Dame's 2003 and 2004 recruiting classes (today's juniors and seniors) in the 40's and you wonder why Ty was fired (who record was 5-7 and 6-6 for those classes). Charlie Weis inherited a nightmare situation and is rebuilding a program that was left in a shambles by his predecessor.
I don't care about Dallas' fast start this year - Wade Phillips will turn out to be Wade Phillips. After ruining Denver and Buffalo, I'm more surprised he got another shot than I am that Norv did. Live it up for now, Cowboys fans - Wade will take this team off auto-pilot at some point, steer it himself, and crash it into the mountain.
Author...first of all, sweet name. Lang. Secondly, why does Notre Dame need to rebuild? Answer: Because all of the talent graduated and there was no athletes prepared to take over. Why were there no athletes prepared to take over? Because there are no good athletes in the classes of 08 and 09. All you need to do is a little research to figure out Ty Willingham (as great a guy as he is) couldn't recruit to save his life and now ND is playing true sophs and frosh at a majority of the skill positions on offense and in the defensive secondary (LB and CB/S). I am glad to take any abuse ND takes this year because success is not to far off. However, I wish the arguments and opinions formed by people paid to report on sports were informed. Maybe you don't get paid Lang, in which case makes your idiotic list all the more ignorable. Do you get paid Lang? I hope so, cause the ladies are gonna need a reason to get with a guy named Lang (also the name of my worst teacher ever...hence the hostility).
how about lovie smith, thank goodness for the Bears Defense, he can't manage a game and can't identyfy a big time quarterback, He was recently asked if the Bears needed an offensive consultant to help Turner with the offense, His response was a big bravado NO, need I say more
Can we include owners? See Bears, Chicago; Owners: McCaskey. Thanks to letting Ditka walk. Who has been there since? Jauron? Wannstaadt? Lovie? I like Lovie but for the love of God man, put Griese in during the Super Bowl. He couldn't have been any worse.
Everyone needs to stop wasting their time defending Charlie Weis. The guy is awful. His recruiting classes are slightly better than Ty's. His record is worse and Washington looks much better now than ND. Was just thinking about Mark Dantonio and Brian Kelly and the success these guys have had at UC, a depleted MSU and a formerly pathetic CMU team. If they can win with that garbage, Weis should be able to put something together. Come on, send Charlie and Romeo back to hide under Bellichick (sp).
Sounds insane but Andy Reid is terrible. Not making an adjustment when his overmatched left tackle was being abused and allowing his QB to be killed was as bad a coaching performance as i have ever seen.
Brad Childress is the worst coach ever. He inherited a 9-7 team from and had an open checkbook to make the team better and has done nothing. He got the 2nd best player in the draft (Adrian Peterson) and has constantly misused him. Finaly Brad Childress has such a terrible offense his "kickass offense" and is to blame completly for the Vikings offensive troubles. The defense was out scoring the offense through the first 2 games of the season. Childress needs to go he is not a coach that can get Zigi Wilf the stadium that Wilf wants. Please Zigi fire Childress and bring in someone who has some actual head coaching experiance.
Isiah Thomas. Who is buying this guy anymore? He's a fraud and keeps proving it. He's like a guy who can't pay his rent - he keeps selling his landlord on another month. He isn't going to pay. Cut your significant losses and fire the bum.
Joe Gibbs moonlighting as Redskins coach while maintaining unchanged status of financial interests in Joe Gibbs Racing. But then again, he works for an owner who, with his hollywood and theme parks interests is also a part-time owner.
BILL DOBA the head football coach of the Washington State Cougars... We were ranked for so long when Mike Price was our coach. but no, we had to get rid of him. bill doba is quite possibly the most horrific coach ever
love it when media members write these articles. how bout we write one about who is the worst journalist?
now as far as the worst coach thing goes im goin with Butch Davis. He couldnt win a championship with a team that had ken dorsey, andre johnson, clinton portis, willis mcgahee, jeremy shockey, bryant mckinnie, ed reed, sean taylor, phil buchanon, vince wilfork, damoine lewis, reggie wayne, santana moss, dan morgan, ect.
I know Dusty Baker had some success with the Giants, blah blah blah. When he sat on the bench in Wrigley Field, he was more concerned about his toothpick and the emotions Sosa, Alou and his stupid son than the welfare of the team. Got them within a few outs of the World Series, I know, but when push came to shove in '04 and '05 he was way to weak to pull the right trigger for his team.