Sports fans love talking about their favorite players. But favorite coaches? Considering how integral a head coach or manager can be to a team’s success, fans rarely discuss who their most beloved coaches are. In this week’s special edition of the DC Sports roundtable, we continue the theme of Coaches Week and ask, “Who is your favorite coach of all time?” Any era, any sport, and not necessarily one who won a ton of games. Here’s what the staff had to say:
Neil Simmons, Campus Correspondent
I absolutely love Jim Harbaugh. This man man is crazy. He eats, sleeps, lives and breathes football and would probably cease to exist without it. Every week there’s at least one moment where he looks just about ready to yell at a ref or jump onto the field in the mid-game and start tackling guys. He’s a great coach, evident by the fact that he rebuilt Stanford, the 49ers and Michigan, but he can’t help but start drama with other coaches. He’s the absolute polar opposite of Bill Belichick and that’s why he’s my favorite coach.
Luke Swanson, Staff Writer
Out of 130 head coaches in college football, only a few of them qualify as people you’d like to sit down and have a beer with, not total maniacs who live, breathe, eat and sleep football. Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy falls on that short list. He has an amazing mullet, he hunts rattlesnakes and posts about it on Twitter, he takes his shirt off and flexes in front of a pep rally crowd while convincing his starting QB to do the same, he beats Texas a lot and he seems like a decent, funny person to hang around.
Gundy was part of one of the first viral sports moments I can remember: His famous “I’m a man, I’m 40” tirade that swept the nation in 2007 and put Oklahoma State football on the map, but it seems like he’s evolved past that as a person (it was actually horrendous PR for his program at the time), and turned into a much more mellow individual. He also happens to be a really good football coach who has made Oklahoma State into perennial Big 12 contenders, but that’s just icing on the cake.
Matt Barresi, Staff Writer
Before his son was heading up the UConn Men’s Basketball program, I had long been enamored with the aura of Bob Hurley Sr. and his success at St. Anthony’s High School in Jersey City, New Jersey. There’s both a great book and multiple documentaries out there if you are uninformed, but I’ve already consumed them and they had me hooked. Hurley is great at player development, both on and off the court. He is a firebrand, extremely demanding and has a swagger to himself that is really powerful. He is a winner, through and through, with over 1,000 wins, 26 state championships and four national championships. He stayed in the same place, a fledgling inner city parochial school where he turned boys into men while keeping the doors open when they are on the brink of closing. He has won for so long at such a high level, doing it in an assertive style that I admire and his off the court work is incredibly noble.
Danny Barletta, Campus Correspondent
Since this is a UConn paper, I have to give the UConn GOAT some love. Geno Auriemma is not only the greatest women’s basketball coach of all time, but he is also an awesome guy. He wins with class, he loses with class and he has just the right balance of sarcasm and seriousness when being interviewed. I have watched multiple of his interviews, and his approach to coaching is second-to-none. If you haven’t heard him talk, let me tell you, there’s a reason why UConn women’s basketball is the class of the entire nation. He knows how to be hard on his players to get the most out of them, but he also loves and supports every single one of them from the time they are freshmen until long after they leave. He is one of the most charismatic people in sports, and he’s definitely my favorite coach of all time.