Bill Cowher and Sports Coaches Who Like to Tease Us

Nathaniel UyFeatured ColumnistDecember 21, 2010

Bill Cowher and Sports Coaches Who Like to Tease Us

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    Making life-changing decisions is always a tough thing to go through. 

    Even in sports, we've seen many names go back and forth on some of the biggest commitments of their lives. 

    Sometimes it's about money, other times it's about passion or a simple love for the game that makes them so indecisive about returning to coaching, moving to a new team or making a comeback from retirement. 

    That's what some of the best coaches in the world go through when opportunities open up. 

    While they struggle with their decisions, it's us sports fans that are kept on our toes.  Will they stay, go or come back?  That's what most of us want to know.

    It's time you got to meet some coaches who like to tease us.  Here they are.

Honorable Mention: Pete Carroll

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    Carroll rebuilt the USC program during his tenure in Southern California.  In fact, it can be argued that he helped restore national respect for the Pac-10.

    As a result he became a highly touted head coach for NFL teams.  But despite plenty of lucrative deals and tempting offers, Carroll never jumped at the opportunity.

    Until last season, when he left for Seattle.  Which interestingly months before NCAA sanctions disqualified the program from playing in the postseason for the next two years.

Honorable Mention: Jim Harbaugh

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    The Stanford Cardinal are headed to a BCS bowl and are one of the best team's in college football.

    But this offseason should be interesting.  With Andrew Luck headed for the NFL draft, is coach Jim Harbaugh planning on sticking around?

    Based on speculation, there's plenty of people already considering Harbaugh a candidate to replace Rich Rodriquez at Michigan, if and when the job becomes available.

    A potential Harbaugh departure could potentially bolster an already competitive Big Ten conference.

    That's why many will be paying close attention.

Honorable Mention: Tony Dungy

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    He may have left the coaching ranks on top after winning the Super Bowl XLI with the Colts.  But Dungy continues to be still involved in the game.

    He's spent quite a bit of time mentoring athletes and as a commentator on television.

    Dungy still has the urge to help and mold young men.  Two big names he's helped nurture of late has been Michael Vick and Plaxico Burress.

    With a need to help and shape careers, Dungy may ultimately return to coaching.

Honorable Mention: Mike Krzyzewski

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    He's the face of college basketball, having been the head coach at Duke since 1980 and helping the program become a national powerhouse during hit tenure.

    For that reason he's always a much sought after coach that pro teams target to bring to the NBA.

    Coach K was once expected to move to Los Angeles to coach a new look Lakers team with a young Kobe Bryant under contract.  But he elected to stay in Durham.

    While Krzyzewski was pondering leaving Duke for Hollywood, many young fans and Duke supporters camped out near his property with signs begging him not to leave. 

    More recently, he was also a candidate to go to Cleveland, in order to convince LeBron to stay in his homestate.

    Krzyzewski still stayed with the Blue Devils. 

    With his success coaching some of the NBA biggest names, the time may finally come for him to leave Duke.

10. Joe Gibbs

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    Everyone who knows football, knows about Joe Gibbs.

    He's a legend and a Hall of Famer. 

    As the head coach for the Washington Redskins from 1981-1992, Gibbs suddenly retired from the game after failing to help the 'Skins defend their Super Bowl crown the previous season.

    After that season, Gibbs suddenly announced his retirement.  During his time with the team, Gibbs helped the Redskins win three Super Bowl titles. 

    Then in 2004, he suddenly came back.  To the surprise of many Washington fans.

    Gibbs spent four seasons coaching the Redskins but was only able to lead them as far as the NFC Division game once.  He missed the playoffs twice during his second stint.

    And no Super Bowl was delivered to the disappointment of the people in D.C.

9. Dick Vermeil

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    Before he was head coach of Super Bowl champion Rams, Vermeil was the Head Coach of the Year in 1980, helping lead the Eagles to the last game of the season.  Even though he didn't win a championship that year, Vermeil elected to leave the game.

    He took 15 years off before getting drawn back in. 

    In his second sting back, Dick came out on top.  After leading the St. Louis Rams to as Super Bowl win with Kurt Warner as his quarterback, Vermeil finally earned the championship that was missing from his resume in Super Bowl XXXIV.

    Was he done?  Apparently not.

    He came back one more time with the Kansas City Chiefs.  The ever indecisive Vermeil was just drawn to the game and couldn't leave it.

    Vermeil coached the Chiefs from 2001-2005 before leaving for good. 


8. Jimmy Johnson

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    The man who led the Dallas Cowboys to a pair of Super Bowl wins in the early 90s is a coaching legend, both in the NFL and in college football.

    But he also served as head coach of the Miami Dolphins, with Dan Marino as his star quarterback.

    He joined the team in 1996 but could not help the team's defense improve enough to help the team reach the Super Bowl.

    In 1999, coach Johnson announced his retirement.  But was immediately talked against it by Marino himself.

    Upon changing his mind, Johnson, Marino and the Dolphins had Super Bowl expectation that season and floundered.

    Johnson resigned after that horrible season and hasn't coached an NFL team since.

7. Nick Saban

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    You see Nick here, hasn't found a job he didn't like.

    Ok, maybe there's a little exaggeration there.

    But there should be some evidence. 

    He left LSU and game Dolphins fans hope by agreeing to become their head coach.

    Only two seasons into his job in Miami, Saban reneged on a long-term commitment to the team in order to jump back to the college ranks as coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide.

    What a tease!

6. Bill Cowher

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    See that glazed look in his eye?

    He's thinking about more Super Bowl championships.  That's probably what's on his mind.

    Since walking away from the Pittsburgh Steelers, a team he coached for 15 years, after winning the Super Bowl Cowher's starting to get the itch again.

    There are ESPN rumors, claiming that he has interest in at least three NFL head coaching positions.

    What is it Bill, are you in?  Or, are you out?

5. Pat Riley

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    Remember Stan Van Gundy and that Miami debacle?

    After realizing the Heat had to rebuild, Riley dropped the title of head coach, pegged Stan Van Gundy to take over and took a seat in the front office.

    In fact, Riley was the front office executive responsible for bringing Shaq over to the Heat.  He was able to rebuild on the fly with Shaq's acquisition, along with key free agent signings.

    But after some trials and tribulations during Van Gundy's tenure with a more talent-laden roster, Riley pulled the plug right away.  He couldn't resist the lure of coaching a championship caliber team.

    That's the reason he helped them win the NBA Title in 2006.  But the joy was short lived, as that team was slowed by injuries the following season and Riley promptly stepped down. 

    Now that the team has reloaded once again.  Who knows, he may just take over again and dump Spoelstra if things turn bad again in Miami. 

4. Bill Belichick

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    Belichick, also known as The Hoodie, will probably go down as one of the best football coaches around.

    We know him as a hooded football genius standing on the sidelines of New England Patriots games.

    But at one point, early in his head coaching career, Belichick was the head coach of the New York Jets.

    For one day.

    How soon we forget.  After Parcells left the Jets, Belichick was expected to take over.  However, during his press conference announced that he was stepping down as coach.

    Belichick jumped shipped to go to Boston and there was a lot of controversy surrounding his departure from New York.

    The Jets refuted he was still under contract and the Pats eventually had to send a 1st round draft pick for Belichik's hiring.

3. Urban Myer

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    Meet Brett Favre lite.

    Urban cited health concerns last season and told Gainesville he was leaving his position as head coach.

    But that resignation turned into a leave of absence and before we knew it, he was back to coaching the team.

    This year, he might be pulling a similar stunt.  Now saying he'd like to spend more time with the family, Meyer plans on leaving the rebuilding Gators for good.

    There's even a new head coach ready to take over soon.  But somehow it's hard to believe Urban's done with football.

2. Billy Donovan

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    Talk about changing your mind.  After agreeing to a multi-million dollar deal to leave the University of Florida for the NBA's Orlando Magic, Donovan had a change of heart.

    He asked out of his contract and wanted back in with the Gators.

    There was momentary excitement among Orlando fans because of the signing of a successful college coach and disappointment for Florida supporters as Donovan left the team and ultimately came back.

1. Joe Paterno

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    To retire, or not retire?

    When it comes to JoePa, the answer will likely be: Never!

    In the upcoming Outback Bowl, Paterno will be going up against a coach decades younger and on his way to retirement, Urban Meyer.

    Yet, Paterno still plans on coaching.  When will he stop?  Only he knows the answer.

    Chances are he'll be keeping all of us on our toes for many more years to come.