I recently came across a list entitled 50 greatest coaches of all-time, yet I was horrified to see that all of the "greatest coaches" were really just the most well-known and nationally-televised coaches of all time.
Now don't get me wrong, the coaches on this list are great...but to say that there isn't a great coach in the world of soccer, lacrosse, skiing, college ice hockey, track, or women's sports in general is absolutely ridiculous.
When you think of a great coach, what pops into your mind?
Is it their win-loss record?
Is it the number of championships that they've won?
The duration of their coaching tenure?
The number of players that they've had go on to the next level?
The school/team that they coach for?
All of these things play a role in spotlighting a coach, but I have a hard time believing that these factors apply only to coaches of televised sports.
There are countless "great" coaches all across the US of A, but the only ones that we, as fans, even hear about are those who are paid the big bucks...the ones whose teams light up the our 52-inch big screens (sadly I don't have one of those...but I'm just saying).
Let's talk about coaches that don't make a million dollars a year.
Coaches like Anson Dorrance, the women's soccer coach at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Dorrance has coached the team for 31 years, winning 20 national championships—including eight straight from 1986-1994. How many coaches have done that? He's also been inducted to the National Soccer Hall of Fame and sent countless women to the pros. But no, he's not a great coach. UNC women's soccer is rarely televised, so how could he be?
How about Kelly Amonte Hiller? The women's lacrosse coach at Northwestern. She has won five national championships in the eight years that the lacrosse program has existed. Not to mention she started the program, has had over two dozen All-Americans, and had a 23-game undefeated season in 2009.
Amonte-Hiller has also had over 100 victories in only 123 games. That's unbelievable. But, again, you'll never see her name mentioned among the ranks of "greatest coaches of all-time."
In the article that was put out by Sporting News, the sports and leagues in which the greatest coaches coached for broke down as follows.
College Football- 11
College Basketball- 7
Women's College Basketball- 2
Isn't it strange that this breakdown seems to mirror the amount of prime-time air time and viewers that each sport gets? There really aren't any top 50 soccer coaches? No GREAT college baseball coaches? Not a single phenomenal full-time Olympic coach?
The whole point is that the greatest coaches of all-time do not have to be the most well known or televised coaches of all time.
Who would you consider the greatest coach of all time?