Charlie Manuel and the 20 Greatest Coaches in Philadelphia Sports History
Philadelphia is one of the greatest sports cities in the United States. Each team that plays between Broad and Pattison has a rich history of its own.
Each franchise has had its share of successes and failures. The Phillies and 76ers are notoriously known for having one of the worst seasons in league history. The Eagles and Flyers are better known for their annual run to either the Super Bowl or the Stanley Cup.
Philadelphia is also home to the Big 5, the city's historic college basketball schools.
Philly has been home to some historic teams. We may be in the midst of one right now (2011 Phillies).
Behind every great team is a great leader, a great coach who knows how to get the most out of his players.
Here is a list of 20 of the top coaches in Philadelphia sports history.
20. Philadelphia Flyers: Fred Shero
Fred Shero was the leader of the Flyers during the 1970s. He coached them for seven seasons from 1971-1978.
Shero hired Mike Nykoluk as the first full-time assistant head coach in the NHL.
During his reign, the "Broad Street Bullies" went 308-151-95 and won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1974 and 1975.
19. Philadelphia 76ers: Doug Collins
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OK, this may be a little bit of a stretch here, but I had to give some sort of shout out to the current 76ers coach.
The 76ers are 23-27 so far in Collins' first season. After a 3-13 start, the Sixers have gone 20-13.
Collins was brought in to be a mainstay at head coach. They haven't had a consistent head coach since Larry Brown was here.
Collins is now that guy. He is leading a very young team right into the playoffs in just his first year. The Sixers right now are contending for a possible fifth or sixth seed in this year's playoffs after going 27-55 one year ago.
18. Philadelphia Phillies: Eddie Sawyer
Eddie Sawyer coached one of the most famous teams in Philadelphia Phillies history.
The manager of "The Whiz Kids" went 296-292 in five seasons.
In 1950, the team won the National League Pennant after going 91-63. They eventually lost to the Yankees in the World Series.
17. Philadelphia Eagles: Buck Shaw
Buck Shaw led the Eagles and the city of Philadelphia to its first national championship.
His 1960 team went 10-2 after only winning two games two years prior.
Shaw was instrumental in trading for legendary QB Norm Van Brocklin.
16. St. Joe's Hawks: Phil Martelli
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Martelli is one of the most famous coaches in Big 5 history. He has coached the Hawks since 1995.
He has since led the team to a 289-187 record with five NCAA Tournament appearances.
His most famous season was 2003-2004 when he led the team to a perfect season at 27-0. Having Jameer Nelson and Delonte West helped out too.
15. Philadelphia 76ers: Alex Hannum
Hannum led the 1967 team to the franchise's first championship as the modern-day Philadelphia 76ers.
The '67 Finals were the first Finals without the Boston Celtics. The 76ers beat them in the Divisional Round.
The Sixers were led by Wilt Chamberlain and Billy Cunningham.
14. Penn/Temple: Fran Dunphy
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Fran Dunphy is another legendary college basketball coach in Philadelphia. He is a combined 394-212 over 21 years of coaching at Penn and Temple.
He won 10 Ivy League Titles in 17 seasons with the Quakers.
He has led Temple to NCAA Tournament appearances the past three years.
13. Temple Owls: Harry Litwack
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Hall of Fame coach Harry Litwack coached the Owls from 1947-1973.
He went 373-193 and made two Final Four appearances during his tenure.
12. Philadelphia Eagles: Buddy Ryan
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Buddy Ryan, the father of Jets coach Rex Ryan, coached the Eagles to a 43-35-1 record over five seasons.
Ryan brought the Eagles back to the national level. He put together an outstanding defensive unit, along with drafting Randall Cunningham.
It was unfortunate that the Eagles had to play Dallas and the New York Giants in those years. Both teams had very successful runs during those years.
11. Philadelphia 76ers: Jack Ramsay
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Dr. Jack Ramsay has been labeled one of the NBA's top 10 coaches.
The only reason he wasn't higher on this Philly list is because of his mediocre record with the 76ers.
He only was 174-154 in four seasons and he traded away Wilt Chamberlain.
10. Philadelphia Flyers: Peter Laviolette
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One phrase will always stick with Peter Laviolette when you think of him as the Flyers head coach...Timeout.
It was the famous timeout last year that sparked the Flyers incredible come-from-behind victory in Game 7 against the Bruins on the road.
Laviolette eventually led the team to the Stanley Cup Finals where they lost to the Blackhawks.
9. Villanova Wildcats: Jay Wright
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Since Jay Wright has come to Philadelphia, Villanova has become a household name for college basketball powerhouses.
Wright is 203-98 in nine seasons with the Wildcats.
His best season came in 08-09 when the Wildcats won 30 games and went to the Final Four.
8. Philadelphia Phillies: Dallas Green
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Dallas Green coached the Phillies to their first-ever World Series title in 1980.
He went 169-130 in three seasons.
He is a member of the Phillies Wall of Fame.
7. Philadelphia University: Herb Magee
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Herb Magee, during his 43 years as Philadelphia University head coach, has become the all-time winningest coach in NCAA history with over 900 wins.
Magee may be the best coach in Philly history that mainstream media has not heard of.
6. Philadelphia Eagles: Dick Vermeil
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Dick Vermeil came to the Eagles in 1976 after they went 4-10 the previous season. In 1978, he took the Eagles to the playoffs for the first time in 18 seasons.
He hosted open tryouts for all Philadelphians in his first year. That is where Vince Papale came from.
He led the Eagles to Super Bowl XV.
5. Philadelphia 76ers: Larry Brown
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Larry Brown had some up-and-down years with the Sixers. He had losing seasons and he had some good ones. A 2001 NBA Finals appearance tops the list.
Brown, in five-plus seasons, was 255-205.
Brown put together a team in 2001 that included Allen Iverson...the rest, many people probably forget.
The starting lineup that year was Eric Snow, AI, George Lynch, Tyrone Hill and Dikembe Mutombo.
Brown somehow managed to get that team to play together and they won the Eastern Conference.
4. Philadelphia Eagles: Andy Reid
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Whether you like it or not, Andy Reid is one of the best coaches in Philadelphia Eagles history. He has no championships to bolster that argument, but he has plenty of other awards and trophies in his case.
In 12 seasons as head coach, Reid has gone 118-73, with only two losing seasons. He leads the Eagles in all-time wins as a head coach.
During his reign, he led the Eagles to five NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl appearance.
3. Temple: John Chaney
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John Chaney isn't just a legendary coach in Philadelphia. He is a legend across the nation when it comes to college basketball.
Chaney is 741-312 in 34 years at Cheyney State and Temple.
Most of his success came at Temple where he made a postseason appearance in all but one season there. He made the Elite 8 five different times.
Chaney was a very enthusiastic and outgoing coach who captured the hearts of Philadelphia sports fans. Sometimes he got a little out of control, though...you know the stories.
2. Philadelphia 76ers: Billy Cunningham
Cunningham had by far the best winning percentage of any of the major league sports coaches on this list.
From 1977-1985, he led the 76ers to a 454-196 record. The last 76ers championship was won by Cunningham and Dr. J.
1. Philadelphia Phillies: Charlie Manuel
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Charlie Manuel is not only at the top of this list because of his record. It is also because he has made his mark in Philadelphia as a man of the people. He is one of us.
Managerial-wise, Manuel developed a decent Phillies team into perhaps a dynasty.
He has led the Phillies to four straight division titles and two straight World Series appearances.
His 2008 World Series title brought the city back to life. It was the city's first major sports title since 1983. Charlie put the Phillies back on the map and looks to continue this season.