10 Coaches Who Could Still Suit Up and Play

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2016

Miami Marlins hitting coach Barry Bonds  watches spring training baseball batting practice Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

Remember when you were a kid and parents typically served as the coach of your little league team? Yeah, that's not really the case for pro athletes, who have ex-athletes and/or Hall of Famers serving as their coaches.

And because some of those former players often maintain their competitive spirit and strict workout regimen, a few of them look as if they could still lace 'em up and play with some of these kids today—and, for some reason, I think they would actually perform pretty well.

10. Joey Porter

When former linebacker Joey Porter took a coaching job with the Pittsburgh Steelers before last season, he pledged to coach the same way he played—with lots of passion.

Seeing as how Porter was one of the best linebackers in his era, that would be bad news for opposing teams, as Porter's intensity and knowledge of the game would be a huge help to the Steelers defensively.

And if you needed proof of the guy's passion coming out from the sidelines, look no further than his little scuffle with Cincinnati Bengals players during last season's playoff game. Porter looked as if he were ready to put on a helmet and start bull-rushing Cincy's quarterback all by himself just to prove a point.

Porter was scary good during his playing days, so it's no shocker he carries that same fierce mindset with him as a coach.

9. Mike Matheny

Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

After retiring from the majors in 2006 at the age of 35 after a 13-year career, current St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny might get confused for an active player by anyone looking out on the field. The guy looks the exact same as he did back then.

Matheny might not be able to squat behind home plate for an entire 162-game season at 45 years old, but, thanks to staying in tip-top shape, he could probably still contribute to a team like some of these other coaches on this list could.

8. Edgar Martinez

Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

One of the best hitters in his generation, hopeful MLB Hall of Famer and former Seattle Mariners player Edgar Martinez is now the batting coach for the team, and he looks like he could still rake.

In addition to staying in shape, Edgar has brought his simple approach to hitting to his M's players, which the team has applauded in keeping things as positive as possible since Martinez took the helm before the 2014 campaign.

A career .312 hitter who played until he was 41 years old, is there any doubt in your mind that the now 53-year-old Martinez could still bat about .275 or so as a DH in the majors? There isn't in mine.

7. Todd Bowles

Bill Wippert/Associated Press

One look at New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles and you'll notice that the former NFL safety appears as if he could put a helmet and pads on right now and play in the defensive backfield for Gang Green.

Although he's 52 years old, Bowles' quiet intensity and internal competitiveness—as well as his staying in shape—would be a good addition to the Jets.

Imagine the coach playing alongside All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis and think about what type of damage the two could do to opposing receivers together. It's kind of tempting—even if it's a pipe dream. 

6. Byron Scott

Byron Scott and his Los Angeles Lakers have had a crummy past few seasons, but that doesn't mean that the head coach hasn't tried to remain positive about the future, hoping that young stars like D'Angelo Russell and Julius Randle help turn things around in the coming years.

And, based off the way Scott continues to train himself and maintain his body, the former NBA glue guy for 14 seasons looks as if he could still suit up and log some good minutes for his Lakers.

Of course, the 55-year-old wouldn't do that, but he probably wants to based off of how bad his teams have looked since taking the head coaching gig in 2014.

5. Patrick Roy

With 551 career wins—good enough for the second most by an NHL goaltender ever—and four Stanley Cup championships, Patrick Roy was a dominant figure between the pipes during his playing days.

And it looks like that burning competitive spirit hasn't left him since taking over the Colorado Avalanche's bench.

Putting on his old pads and taking his familiar spot in front of the net a couple times during practice with his Avs, Roy showed he still has what it takes to be one of the game's best—even if he is 50 years old and hasn't played since the 2002-03 season.

4. Mark McGwire

Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press

Mark McGwire was an absolute beast during his 16-year MLB career. At one point, he held the single-season record for most homers with 70 and had a reputation as one of the biggest boppers the game had ever seen.

The current batting coach for the San Diego Padres following stints with the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers, Big Mac still looks like he could dig into the box and blast 20-plus homers in a season, doesn't he?

As he showed a few seasons ago, he definitely still has the same intensity he played with, as he defended his players during a bench-clearing brawl against the Arizona Diamondbacks like a mad man.

3. Barry Bonds

Mar 3, 2016; Jupiter, FL, USA; Miami Marlins hitting coach Barry Bonds (25) signed an autograph baseball before a spring training game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Retiring as major league baseball's all-time home run king, former All-Star slugger Barry Bonds has always had a ton of pop in bat, so many truly believe the story about him beating some of his current Miami Marlins players in a home run derby during spring training. 

Of course, not wanting people to think his batting coach out-homered him, Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton quickly squashed the report by saying it didn't happen, but would any of us put it past Bonds from doing it?

The guy hasn't played since 2007 but actually looks even healthier and more toned today than he did back then.

2. Jason Kidd

ST. FRANCIS, WI - NOVEMBER 13:  Jason Kidd of the Milwaukee Bucks takes part during NBA Cares Hoops for Troops Week, military veterans attend the Milwaukee Bucks practice at the Milwaukee Bucks Orthopedic Hospital of Wisconsin Training Center on November
Gary Dineen/Getty Images

Given the fact that it was only a couple years ago that we actually saw former All-Star point guard Jason Kidd running around the basketball court as an active player, it shouldn't come as a surprise that he's on this list.

Still appearing to be in good shape and "just" 43 years old, J-Kidd could probably still run an offense pretty efficiently if he were to give it a go once again.

I mean, the dude did even challenge his former point guard on the Brooklyn Nets, Deron Williams, in practice a couple seasons ago while both were still with the team, so the fire is still there for Kidd to teach these current guys a lesson or two.

1. Steve Kerr

Steve Kerr had quite the first season as head coach of the Golden State Warriors in 2015, guiding them to an NBA-best 67 regular-season wins and finishing the year with a title.

As great of a coach as Kerr has proved to be, though, the former NBA vet has shown that he can still shoot the hell out of the ball. He even took on the best shooter many of us have ever seen, Stephen Curry, in multiple shooting contests.

Could Kerr still lace 'em up and give 25 minutes or so? Probably not. But with a stroke like he has from deep, he might be able to contribute.


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