Archive for the ‘Coaches’ Category

I can’t say that I’m surprised by the firing of Mike Brown. I must admit though I didn’t think it would happen this soon. But I did think it would happen one day. Mike Brown just doesn’t have the “it” factor. Never has, probably never will.

There’s something about his demeanor, the way he carries himself, that’s always given me pause about his readiness to coach in the brightest spotlight. He’s never looked the part.

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Last summer Pat Summitt revealed that she is suffering from the early onset of Alzheimer’s and would not be coaching much longer. Despite the diagnosis, she coached the Lady Vols into yet another NCAA tournament this season, concluding with a spot in the Elite Eight – again. But success aside, it was clear to most observers, including Summitt herself, that another year of coaching would have required a miracle that only the Lord could provide. Which is why on Wednesday she announced her retirement.

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It was Memorial Day around the rest of the country but it likely seemed like Doomsday in central Ohio. The news that beloved, but beleaguered Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel was quitting under fire, hit Columbus and the sports world like the worst kind of natural disaster. If in fact any of the allegations against players and the apparent “cover up” by coach Tressel are true, then what this case really exposes is the need for players and dozens, if not hundreds of fans and supporters, to play misguided roles in athletic glory.

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Coach worship is a virtual religion in this country. It’s a key pillar in our understanding and enjoyment of sports. The best example of coach worship might be the reverence we hold for the Green Bay Packer’s legendary head coach Vince Lombardi, who is perhaps football’s greatest coaching icon, and deservedly so. The Super Bowl trophy is named for Lombardi.

But rarely if ever do I read, watch or hear about real coaching excellence or genius when it comes to the assessment of minority coaches.

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It was shocking to see McNabb on the sideline replaced by none other than Rex Grossman with less the two minutes to go in the game and the Redskins down by only six points to the lowly Detroit Lions.

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He leads one of the NFL’s best teams. But we barely know who he is. What does this brother have to do to get some love? His team remains undefeated which means he’s now 14 and 0 – the best record ever for a first-year NFL head coach. But all we seem to know is […]

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The other day I wrote about Joe Paterno, one of the great coaching icons who is still getting it done at Penn State at age 82. But another senior citizen coach is not faring nearly as well. Florida State’s Bobby Bowden is facing the inevitable end of his coaching career. Calls for his ouster are […]

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Joe Paterno: Old Steady

Posted: 3rd October 2009 by DavidBurnett in Coaches, College Football, NCAA
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I watched an old-fashioned Big Ten football game Saturday afternoon. Penn State against Illinois. It turned out to be an easy Penn State victory 35 to 17. I decided to sit through this relatively meaningless game as a way to honor the past. Years ago a game like this actually mattered but I also remember […]

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No Apology Necessary

Posted: 25th September 2009 by DavidBurnett in Basketball, Coaches, Racism
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University of Tennessee men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl is funnier than most coaches. But one of his recent jokes fell victim to political correctness. Resulting in a quick but perhaps unnecessary apology. The other day Pearl, with perfect comics timing, joked about how he deals with the various cultures of the players he coaches. “I’ve […]

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I might as well write this now, while Randy Shannon and his Miami Hurricanes are still undefeated. My first impression is that it appears he has a national championship caliber team. It is important that Shannon, the Hurricanes former defensive coordinator do well this season. I believe he has a chance to make a powerful […]

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The question touched a raw nerve.  Some argue that it was out of line and out of place at a basketball press conference.  Others are stunned that a non-journalist, activist, law school student did the asking.  How dare he?  Still more wonder why UConn basketball coach Jim Calhoun lost his cool and went ballistic. The […]

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A day before the big game, the nation’s biggest annual event, and this year there are very few words about the prospect of an African-American coach winning. This time it seems Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin is just another coach on the verge of leading his team to victory on the world’s largest sports stage. I suppose […]

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Following the AFC and NFC championship games yesterday there is one certainty: an African American head coach will win the upcoming Super Bowl. Let that sink in for a minute. For the first time in NFL history two black men will lead their teams in football’s biggest game. This is an extremely significant development for […]

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Martyball: More Than Wins and Losses

Posted: 18th January 2007 by David Burnett in Character, Coaches, NFL
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For the record I’m a longtime Marty Schottenheimer fan, so I am pleased that he did not take the fall for coaching yet another losing playoff game last weekend. Still, the outcry for his ouster has been loud and long. While I’m not Marty’s apologist, maybe I should be. There has been a lot of […]

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NFL Moving Toward Coaching Equality

Posted: 8th January 2007 by David Burnett in Black coaches, Coaches, NFL
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Forty one years ago the NBA became the first major sports league with an African American head coach when the Boston Celtics named Bill Russell to lead the team. At that time the question many people had was when would the next minority coach be named. NBA teams responded with honor. In four decades black […]

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