Coaches Gone Wild: The 10 Best in-Game Coach Meltdowns of the Last Decade
Everyone loves a good coach meltdown every now and then. Sure, we are used to seeing coaches flip out on the media after games. But it's much more fun to watch coaches flip their lids while the game is going on, or right after it ends.
Because of the nature of the sport, baseball coaches have the reputation of flipping out more than any other coach. Perhaps it's because storming out of the dugout and berating an umpire is as much a part of the game as anything.
Of course, coaches of all sports lose their tempers at one point or another. This list looks at the 10 best in-game meltdowns by coaches of the last decade.
To make the list, the meltdown had to be during a game, during a halftime interview or immediately after the game finished.
Coaches That Almost Made It
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10: ECHL Coach Nick Vitucci Litters the Ice
In this video from 2012, Nick Vitucci, a coach with the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL, is obviously unhappy with one of his players getting a penalty for fighting. Hey, if you're going to get a game misconduct, you might as well do it in style.
Vitucci decides that yelling at the ref is not good enough. Instead, he decides to litter the ice with water bottles and sticks.
9: Asheville Tourists Manager Joe Mikulik Steals Third Base
Joe Mikulik, no stranger to in-game rants, gave us this great display of displeasure during the 2012 baseball season. Apparently, during his argument with the umpire, Mikulik decides that a fan sitting close to the field would like to take a cool souvenir home.
8: Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz Have a Postgame Meeting
Who could forget this 2011 midfield meeting between San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz? Harbaugh, excited after the big win, gave a handshake that was a bit too aggressive for Schwartz's liking.
The exchange that followed definitely belongs on this list.
7: Minor League Manager Leaves His Mark on the Game
Sure, we've seen baseball coaches taking a base from the game before, but this one was a first. State College Spikes (Pittsburgh affiliate) manager Gary Robinson decided that just taking the base and handing it to a fan wasn't good enough.
Robinson added a personal touch before giving the base away and heading to the clubhouse.
6: Bobby Bowden Flips out at Halftime
Could anyone make the word "dagum" sound funnier than Bobby Bowden? Listen to him describe his frustration to Erin Andrews as he heads to the locker room at halftime of a 2008 game against NC State. Bowden lets everyone know how upset he is about all the holding penalties being called against his team.
This one is not really a major meltdown, but it's great, considering Bowden's age. Plus, the accent helps, too. Listen for Erin Andrews' laugh after the interview; she sure did enjoy it.
5. John L. Smith Upset at His Coaches After Blocked Field Goal
In 2005, then-Michigan State coach John L. Smith had this classic halftime meltdown during a game at Ohio State. Smith was upset after a blocked field goal and blamed the mistakes his team made on coaching. The ABC on-field reporter catches up with Smith just in time to get the rant on camera.
Flipping out on live TV is always funny.
4. UNLV Coach Won't Leave After a Loss
This incident took place in 2006 after a game between UNLV and Iowa State. UNLV coach Mike Sanford storms down from above and demands that his team stay on the field. Sanford disagreed with a call at the end of the game. His team caught a touchdown as time expired, but the player was ruled out of bounds.
During his rant, Sanford trips going back onto the field. That just adds to the enjoyment level of this one.
3. AHL Hockey Coach Goes Ballistic
Jim Playfair, who was coaching the Abbotsford Heat of the AHL back in 2010, had this classic flip-out after disagreeing with the referee. However, rather than take his anger out on the official, he decided to take two separate sticks and smash them into pieces.
The best part may be when he tears off his jacket, letting you know for sure that he's not messing around.
2. Joe Mikulik Proves He's the Master of the Meltdown
Minor League Baseball coach Joe Mikulik makes his second appearance on this list. This time it's for a rant that has been shown over and over again since it occurred in 2006. It has already been established that yelling at an umpire, and even taking a base, is nothing new. However, Mikulik stands out because of his awesome head-first dive into second.
This one is tough to beat, and it certainly gives managers something to shoot for.
1. Phillip Wellman Gives Us the Best Meltdown Ever
A former manager in the Atlanta Braves' farm system, Phillip Wellman grabs the top spot among coaches who have gone crazy. This 2007 classic video never gets old and still tops many people's list as their favorite coach meltdown. Wellman set the bar high with his antics that include an army crawl and a grenade toss.
This one is the best ever, and we will likely not see another one as hilarious video. Though you've probably seen it hundreds of times, sit back and enjoy it once more.