Here Are The 10 Worst Former Athletes Who Became Coaches
Most players see their coaches and probably think, “hell, I can do that.” Some players got a chance to prove they have the chops to coach. Some have succeeded and some have failed spectacularly. This post focuses on the latter.
The Worst NFL Coaches
Rich Kotite- After an unremarkable playing career, Kotite had a good start as the coach of he Eagles, but then went to the Jets and was considered one of the worst ever. He followed up a 3-13 season in 1995 with a 1-15 campaign in 1996. He never coached again.
Lane Kiffin- Oakland made him the youngest coach, 31, in team history and he went 4-12 in 2007. Late owner Al Davis tried to get Kiffin to resign but he would not. On September 30, 2008 Davis fired Kiffin over the phone and they went to court to settle on the salary. Davis won, baby.
Marty Mornhinweg- He played in the arena league and was eventually hired by the Detroit Lions in 2001. He lasted two seasons, going 2-14 and 3-13 during the Lions’ dark days. He hasn’t received a head coaching job since.
The Worst NBA Coaches
Isiah Thomas- One of the best point guards in history, Thomas was a really bad coach. He made the playoffs three times in as many seasons with Indiana, but the Pacers were built to win titles. Then he went to the Knicks. He was the general manager, made a slew of terrible trades, went 56-108 in two seasons, lost the Knicks a sexual harrassment lawsuit and is one of the most hated figures in New York sports history.
Dick Vitale- He’s a great college basketball analyst. But as an NBA coach? Awful, baby! He went 30-52 in his first season with the Pistons and then after starting the 1980-1981 season 4-8, late owner Bill Davidson went to Vitale’s house and fired him. At least Vitale has had a great career in broadcasting.
Elgin Baylor- Another Hall of Famer who was a bad coach and executive, Baylor coached the New Orleans Jazz for three years, compiling an 86-135 record. Then he was the GM of the Clippers for 22 years, and LA won one playoff series during that span.
The Worst MLB Managers
Alan Trammell- Once again, another great player who was an incredibly bad skipper. After playing with the Detroit Tigers for so long, they gave him a shot at manager. Bad choice. In three seasons, he went 186-300 including a 43-119 season in 2003.
Joe Quinn- Quinn played for St. Louis in the Union Association in 1884 and started managing in 1895. He went 11-28 with the St. Louis Browns in 1895 and then managed the Cleveland Spiders in 1899, who went a historically bad 12-104.
The Worst NHL Coaches
Wayne Gretzky- The greatest player of all time wasn’t so great as a coach. In fact, he was downright horrible. Between 2005 and 2009, the Phoenix Coyotes never finished better than fourth in its division under The Great One, and never hade more than 83 points in a season under Gretzky’s stewardship.
Barry Melrose- Like this year’s Los Angeles Kings, Melrose’s 1992-1993 version was a low seeded team that ended up making the Stanley Cup Finals. Of course, having Gretzky on your side certainly helps. After that season, things went downhill for The Mullet. LA only had 66 points the next season and Melrose was fired midway through the 1994-1995 campaign. Melrose went to ESPN until the Tampa Bay Lightning brought him back to the bench for the 2008-2009 season, only to fire him 16 games into the season.