Mike Shanahan and Jerry Sloan: Excellence in the Rockies

Brad JamesCorrespondent IDecember 12, 2008

Here in the mountain valleys of Utah, we have witnessed excellence that is virtually unprecedented in its sphere.

Between the Denver Broncos and Utah Jazz (although I cheer for the Mavericks primarily, but that's beyond the point,) fans in Utah who cheer for both have been around two of the greatest coaches professional sports has ever seen.

In 14 years as coach of the Broncos as of this present moment, Mike Shanahan has won 62 percent of his games in both the regular season and postseason.

Much of this is credited to the Elway era, but the Miami Dolphins and other teams have struggled in efforts to replace a Hall of Fame signal caller. So, with the Broncos having found Elway's heir apparent in Jay Cutler, the future and present are both bright in Denver.

Other impressive stats in the Shanahan era include two Super Bowl titles, 51 games over .500, and another division title this season would give him five in his tenure as the Broncos' coach.

Furthermore, in an NFL rife with parity and salary cap restraints, the Broncos have suffered only two losing seasons under the former coach of the Raiders.

With every passing year, Shanahan continues to manifest his hatred for all things silver and black, and that endears him to me all the more.

As for Jerry Sloan, he has been comparable in his sphere in Salt Lake City.

Since December of 1988, Sloan has been at the helm of the Utah Jazz and is thus the longest-tenured head coach in North American professional sports.

Other than the 2004-05 season, don't bother looking for losing records under Jerry Sloan, because you won't find them.

One losing record in 20 seasons is magnificent and much like Shanahan has found Marshall and Royal to replace McCaffrey and Smith, Sloan has found Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams to replace John Stockton and Karl Malone.

I can honestly say that it would be quite a shock to wake up one morning and find no Shanahan or Sloan coaching the Broncos or Jazz.

That's how we people in Mountain time prefer it; coaches who win consistently and usher in new eras in magnificence.