WHEN SUPERSTARS OF Wayne Gretzky's caliber make the move to head coach or manager, their results on the bench don't usually measure up to their greatness on the field. Career records include playoffs.
LARRY BIRD ( NBA) In three years at the helm of the Pacers, the Hall of Famer led them to the Eastern Conference finals in 1997-98 (when he was named Coach of the Year) and to the NBA Finals in '99-2000. Career record: 178-85.
PHIL ESPOSITO ( NHL) As Rangers' coach in 1986-87, the NHL's fifth alltime scorer was 24-19 and lost in the playoffs. Two years later he coached New York to two regular-season losses and another playoff fall. Career record: 26-29.
PETE ROSE ( MLB) Baseball's hit leader guided Cincinnati in parts of six seasons without reaching the playoffs. Rose's lifetime ban from baseball (for gambling) ended his managerial career in 1989. Career record: 412-373.
BILL RUSSELL ( NBA) He won two titles, in 1967-68 and '68-69, as a Celtics player-coach and took Seattle to two playoffs in four years in the '70s. Then, in '86-87 he coached the Kings and went 17-41. Career record: 375-317.
TED WILLIAMS ( MLB) Teddy Ballgame took over a Senators team that was 65-96 in 1968 and went 86-76, earning manager-of-the-year honors. In three more years his teams never finished higher than fifth. Career record: 273-364.