The Best Coaches in the History of Sport
In light of the passing of the great John Wooden, the topic of greatest coach of all time has been thrown around quite frequently, and with great reason.
Without further adieu, here are the greatest coaches in all of sports.
10. Joe Paterno
How many coaches have coached a single team for 60 straight years?
One, Joe Paterno.
He's been on the Penn State sideline since he became an assistant in 1950. He became the head football coach in 1966 and since then has won 2 National Championships and the Walter Camp Coach of the Year award on three separate occasions. This all while having a 394-129-3 career record and 24 bowl wins.
9. Pat Summitt
The winningest coach in the history of women's college basketball, Summitt has lead the Lady Vol's to eight National Championships, giving her the second most National Championships in NCAA history (men and women).
She was named NCAA Coach of the Year seven times, and the Naismith Coach of the 20th Century. With a 1035-196 career record, Pat Summitt makes number nine on the list.
8. Scotty Bowman
Scotty Bowman is easily the best coach in the history of the National Hockey League. He has the most Stanley Cup victories, 11, in NHL history, the most wins, 1,244, in NHL history, and the most playoff wins, 223, in NHL history.
Finally, during his 34 year coaching career, Bowman led his teams to 28 playoff appearances and winning followed him everywhere he went.
7. Dean Smith
During his 36 year coaching career at the University of North Carolina, Dean Smith led the Tarheels to 11 Final Fours. Unfortunately, he was only able to win two National Championships out of all of those Final Four trips.
He was named National Coach of the Year four times and his 879 wins are the second of all time.
6. Don Shula
During his coaching career, Don Shula was able to lead two different teams to NFL greatness. He lead the 1968 Baltimore Colts to the NFL Championship and the Miami Dolphins to two Super Bowl victories in five appearances. He also coached the only team to complete a perfect season when the 1972 Dolphins went 17-0, including post-season, and won the Super Bowl.
He was named NFL Coach of the Year four times and his 328 regular season wins are the most of all time.
5. Red Auerbach
Unfortunately, B/R did not have any pictures of the great Red Auerbach, but the Celtics uniforms and the hardwood at the Boston Garden would not mean what they do if it weren't for Red. His nine NBA Championships are the second most in NBA history and his .662 winning percentage is fifth all time.
Although he only won the award once, partially because it came into existence only five years before his retirement, the Red Auerbach Trophy is given to the Coach of the Year in his honor.
4. Bear Bryant
Famed for his plaid blazers and hats, Paul "Bear" Bryant coached seven National Championship teams, his first at the University of Kentucky and his final six at the University of Alabama.
He was awarded the AFCA Coach of the Year award three times and the SEC Coach of the Year award an astounding 12 times. He finished his career with a 323-85-17 overall record.
3. Vince Lombardi
In only nine years as a coach, Lombardi was able to win two Super Bowls and five NFL Championships.
He defined winning, and if it were not for the short length of his career, could have ended up as the greatest coach ever.
Unfortunately, after the 1969 NFL season he developed cancer and died in 1970. The Lombardi trophy, given to the winner of the Super Bowl, is named in his honor.
2. Phil Jackson
After winning two NBA Championships as a player, Phil Jackson decided to try out coaching and did so with great success. He lead Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls to six NBA Championships and then Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal and the Los Angeles Lakers to four more NBA Championships, putting his total at 10.
If his Lakers beat the Boston Celtics in this year's NBA Finals, Jackson could claim his 11th NBA Championship, putting him two ahead of the second place Auerbach.
1. John Wooden
While the placement of all of the other coaches on this list is debatable, anyone with any knowledge of sport will agree that the greatest coach of all time was the late, great John Wooden.
Commonly referred to as a "teacher, coach, and icon," Wooden lead the UCLA Bruins to 10 NCAA Championships during his tenure. He also lead his 1971-1974 teams to a record 88 consecutive wins. He was known not only for his great coaching but also his greatness as a human being. He inspired everyone he came in contact with and was said to be a great coach but an even better human being.