Best Sports Coaches
Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3745) 12 years ago



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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Kudos, Kyle. Kudos.

Best sports coaches? John Polich.
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Posted by Tom Masa (+2042) 12 years ago
How about Phil Jackson, Bobby Cox and Tommy Larsoda!
Francona doesn't fit in as a great coach by any means unless your a Redsuck Fan.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3745) 12 years ago
Francona did what no other Red Sox coach did for 88 years Tom - won a World Series title and did it again a few years later.
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Posted by Tom Masa (+2042) 12 years ago
A lot of other managers and coaches have won just as much and are not mentioned. Sparky Anderson for example. The others that are pictured with have a long history of winning. Two world series championships do not make you a great coach. I think you can take Torre out of the picture also.
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3745) 12 years ago
Really Tom?

So a guy who makes the post-season 13 straight years, winning FOUR World Series titles in the process, and a guy who does what no other coach could do in 86 years doesn't rise to a "Great Coach" in your mind?
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Posted by btme (+87) 12 years ago
I second Bobby Cox, and nominate Tony LaRussa, Mike Ditka, and Jimmy Johnson, maybe Bobby Knight.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Francona doesn't fit in as a great coach by any means unless your a Redsuck Fan.

What an enlightened response, Tom. I just love unsupported opinions laced with "witty" euphemisms. Great job, Champ!

Seriously though, I find it interesting that you're so quick to dismiss Terry Francona yet applaud Tommy Lasorda.

Both have two World Series titles. Lasorda won his over a span of 8 years (in a 21-year career). Francona's came in a four-year span (in a 10-year career). Lasorda was 1,599-1,439 (.536 win pct.). Francona's 819-751 (.522) record is comparable.

I don't think Lasorda would be remembered as fondly as he has been if he had a different personality. It's because he's thought of as "loveable" that people think of him as a coach on par with the game's true greats. His image outweighs his substance (not that his substance isn't ... um, substantial).

I'm not saying that Francona is - at this present point in time - a "true great" or is even better than Lasorda was. What I am saying is that if you consider Lasorda to be a great coach, you can't dismiss Francona so quickly.

I would argue that Lasorda was a very good coach. Not great, but very good. Francona may or may not be at Lasorda's level (I would argue that he is), but he has an outstanding chance of surpassing Lasorda by a wide margin.

In terms of current managers, Francona is at - or very near - the top of the list. His inclusion on this thread is not without merit.
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Posted by Tom Masa (+2042) 12 years ago
Ok toss Larsoda out but didn't he win the Olympic for the US. But Francona is out. Give him another 10 years, a couple more WS wins and then maybe.
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Posted by T Brown (+478) 12 years ago
The Thread says Best Sports Coaches...so is it safe to say.... Vince Lombardi? I know hes not a baseball coach, but.... one of the best Football coaches ever!!!
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3745) 12 years ago
I was going to put him on there but I forgot his name.

I'm surprised our resident Cheese-Head didn't mention him
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Posted by Bob Netherton (+1893) 12 years ago
Rick Pitino
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Posted by Slosh (+701) 12 years ago
No Don Shula???
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3745) 12 years ago
Petino was good but not great. I'd put Adolph Rupp, Dean Smith & John Wooden there however.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Rick Pitino

Smooth, Bob. Smooth.

Kyle - I didn't mention Lombardi because he's too obvious.

But I'll say it again (for the locals): John Polich.
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Posted by Bob Netherton (+1893) 12 years ago
WAS might be right, Kyle.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Pitino was apparently pretty smooth himself ... five years ago, the cad!
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Posted by T Brown (+478) 12 years ago
Brian....just cuz Lombardi is "too Obvious" does'nt mean he should'nt be mentioned!!!
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
True, T-Pain. But where's the fun in stating the obvious (unless it's done in a wry and witty way)?

It would be like asking, "What's a tough mountain to climb?"

Everyone COULD answer Mt. Everest or K-2, but those are the gimmes. It makes the conversation more interesting to discuss lesser-known suggestions. At least that's how I look at it.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9194) 12 years ago
Polich++
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Posted by Derf Bergman (+584) 12 years ago
I'm still learning Miles City history. Say more about John Polich.
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Posted by Stone (+1596) 12 years ago
Brian do you have some stats on JP. He has won so many track and field titles that I can not count them. Plus he is a HOF.
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Posted by T Brown (+478) 12 years ago
OK Brian...I give...I give.....
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Posted by Matt Schmitz (+402) 12 years ago
I thought Red Auerbach soured his legacy in his last few years. When questioned about the possibility that Phil Jackson might surpass his number of titles won, he always launched into a diatribe about how it was way tougher back in his day. The man could never accept that there may someday be a better basketball coach than himself. The only thing tougher in his day was travel. Coaches these days have to deal with so many more issues that were not even relevant back when. Give any mediocre coach the talent that those Celtic teams had, and they would have won perhaps as many titles as Red's teams did. He probably still belongs on this list, but some measure of humility would go a long way. And Red never had it.
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Posted by David Harasymczuk (+23) 12 years ago
Dan Gable. Plus he can kick all your coaches' candy a****. Including Polish's. And do it with a blown knee. (Insert "big grin emoticon- here.)
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Posted by Derf Bergman (+584) 12 years ago
What person over eighty (and wasn't Auerbach WAY over eighty?) hasn't launched into a diatribe about how it was "tougher back in his day?"

Do you think that all of those same Celtics players would have been Hall of Famers if they were coached by Fred Schaus and Butch van Breda Kolff and Joe Mullaney? Don't you think that Auerbach might have helped make them into better players?

Besides, anyone who could land Bird and McHale and Parish the way he did for next to nothing deserves a "10" for management as well as coaching.
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Posted by Bob Netherton (+1893) 12 years ago
I second John Polich.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Dan Gable. Plus he can kick all your coaches' candy a****. Including Polish's. And do it with a blown knee.

David - lemme guess, you were typing that one-handed? Need a moment to clean up, do you?

I'm still learning Miles City history. Say more about John Polich.

Sure! But you've got to promise not to argue with me, Derf.

Brian do you have some stats on JP. He has won so many track and field titles that I can not count them. Plus he is a HOF.

Of course I do, Stone.

Here you go:

Under Polich (since 1971), the CCDHS track and field program have won a combined 12 Class A championships and have finished in the top three 26 times.

The Cowgirls won state titles in 1976, 1977, 1980, 1985, 1986, 1990, 1996 and 2001. That's twice as many titles as the next closest Class A program (Belgrade - 4).

Unlike every other Class A team, the Cowgirls have won championships in each of the last four decades. Every other program with at least three titles has had a decided peak that can be attributed largely to an outstanding group of athletes (Butte Central - 1981-83; Billings Central - 1993-95; Colstrip 1997-99; Polson - 2003-04, '08; Belgrade - 2002, 2006-07, '09). Only the Cowgirls have been to the top of the Class 'A' ranks and stayed there over an extended period of time.

The Cowboys won championships in 1984, 1985, 1988 and 1994.

Twenty-six individual Cowgirls have won a total of 53 championships under Polich. Both totals are far and away the most among Class A programs. Seventy-three Cowgirls have placed a total of 260 times at the state meet under Polich. This is also easily the most of any Class A team.

Fourteen individual Cowboys have won a total of 35 championships under Polich. Sixty-three different Cowboys have placed at state a total of 156 times.

The Cowgirls have won 15 Eastern 'A' Divisional championships (1975, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1996, 2001) and have failed to finish in the top three at the divisional meet just five times in the 36 seasons since the girls' program started in 1974. Just for comparison purposes, Sidney has the second-most divisional titles over that span - with 6.

The Cowboys have won 5 Eastern 'A' titles (1978, 1984, 1985, 1988 and 2006) and have placed in the top three places 18 times.

Fifty-two Cowgirls have won a total of 139 divisional championships. This is easily the most among Eastern 'A' programs. Thirty-seven Cowboys have won a total of 83 divisional championships.

Name a track and field organization and JP is a member of its Hall of Fame.

But more importantly, JP is a truly decent human being who cares about each and every athlete who has ever come through his program. His primary goal for each athlete has been for that person to do the very best he or she could do.

Miles City has had more than its share of truly outstanding coaches who are - or have been - at the very top of their sports. There is none that I admire or respect more than JP. He's a great coach - one of the very best - and an even better person.

[This message has been edited by Brian A. Reed (8/13/2009)]
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Posted by Dave Golterman (+243) 12 years ago
I'd like to nominate my junior high football coach, Jack Raymond. He went on from Plentywood to coach the Miles City Cowboys wrestling team for a number of years.

I was also lucky to have Zoonie Mclean as a youngster and Robin Selvig of the Montana Lady Griz was my junior high PE teacher!
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
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Posted by David Harasymczuk (+23) 12 years ago
David - lemme guess, you were typing that one-handed? Need a moment to clean up, do you?

keep guessin and no, do you?
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Posted by ABE (+421) 12 years ago
All your guys picks VS. Mike Ditka, alone, with an injury.

Home 7 Ditka 24

Any Sport.....doesn't matter.

[This message has been edited by ABE (8/14/2009)]
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Posted by Bob Netherton (+1893) 12 years ago
Brian - Thanks for the JP history lesson. He was coaching when I was in school(the 70's) and he was still coaching when my kids were in school(late 90's-2000). Has he retired?
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
David - you just seemed a little ... enthusiastic about Gable, that's all.

ABE - Will there be a drafting event? I don't like Ditka's chances if there is.

Bob - No, he's still at CCDHS. I have a feeling he'll always be at CCDHS. It'll be a sad day when he's not, that's for sure.
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Posted by T Brown (+478) 12 years ago
Actually Brian...My daughter graduated High School this past year and she tells me that JP retired at the end of the school year.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago


That's what I get for not adding a "to the best of my knowledge" caveat to my statement. Thanks for the clarification, T.

Damn. That sucks.
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Posted by ABE (+421) 12 years ago
Oooops....That score only works if the game is not golf. I'm shocked nobody jumped on that one.


I did not grow up here but have always heard stories about CCHS coaches, every one of them had great runs at one time or another going way back. I think it pretty cool how a bunch of alumini will almost fight over which years had the best coach. It's like that in every town. Think of all the great coaches and motivators that have been,are now, and will be. Then think of giving them a raise.

Great coach = Great students = Better tomorrow

sorry if I am off topic, but any coach is a winner in my book.
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Posted by Patrick Nelson (+96) 12 years ago
If your going to talk about MT coaches you have to mention Donny Schillinger
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Posted by Bob Netherton (+1893) 12 years ago
Sonny Holland.
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Posted by a2010 (+7) 12 years ago
John Polich IS the best coach ever! thank you to whoever first said that im real sad that this is my last year getting coached by him and no he has not retired completely thank goodness! he's teaching 2 pe classes and then he's coaching track-again thank goodness! idk what id do w/out him!!!
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
So I'm not completely wrong? WooHoo!
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Posted by Kyle L. Varnell (+3745) 12 years ago
John who

Must be a Montana thing.
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Posted by Brian A. Reed (+6014) 12 years ago
Scroll up, Kyle.
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Posted by a2010 (+7) 12 years ago
oh and we cant forget mark bilden!!!
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Posted by Shu (+1794) 12 years ago
Glenn Hageman -

In 1980, he took the smallest Class B football team in the state of Montana and, with no assistant coaches to help him out, made state football champs out of the lot.

Granted, that team of Sacred Heart Shamrocks had some great athletes but it takes great coaching to make them not only believe they can beat anyone they play, but play like it, as well.
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Posted by Michael A. Preller (+64) 12 years ago
David,

How about your dad, John. Ran the AAU Wrestling program for years and then came over to Sacred Heart (along with you) and made a great impact on our program. I will never forget Mr. H and his never ending "well, here is a counter for that move". Hope you are doing well. I'm back in Miles and have a couple in the program. If you make it back, look me up. Would be great to see ya.

Mike Preller
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Posted by David Harasymczuk (+23) 12 years ago
Mike,
**How about your dad, John. Ran the AAU Wrestling program for years and then came over to Sacred Heart (along with you) and made a great impact on our program. I will never forget Mr. H and his never ending "well, here is a counter for that move". Hope you are doing well. I'm back in Miles and have a couple in the program. If you make it back, look me up. Would be great to see ya.

That got me thinkin about how many kids he coached and watched grow up into State, Regional and National Champions. From the sixties with all of his Champs in AAU to the late eighties, early nineties or whenever it was that Etchemendy, Turnquist, Hirsh, Miller and Cline were finishing there were a few hundred. Not to mention the tons of place winners along the way. All those four time State wrestling Champs did it before they even got into High School. With him.

Actually the ol' Coach deserves to be in the Montana Wrestling Hall of Fame.

A bit of history for you...
AAU wrestling in Montana was organized in Miles City about '64-'65 by David and Ella Rivenes, the ol' Coach, and Father Ron Haverland, along with tons of volunteers at Sacred Heart High School. Some of the greatest wrestlers in Mt competed there as kids. Within five years there were more kids wrestling in MT, per capita, than anywhere in the nation...

I am well and it sounds like you are too. Couple more Prellers... ataway to keep the faith. Don't know when I'll get back to the Cowtown, but I'll be sure to look you up and tip one or two.

You should stop out and see the ol' Coach, he'd love that.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+14950) 12 years ago
Shu:

Hear, hear I second your nomination.
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Posted by Shu (+1794) 12 years ago
Thanks, Richard!

You know what's interesting to me is that, as if on cue, I post the nomination for Coach Hageman a few entries above and who should post right after me but Michael Preller...a guy who played on that 1980 championship team and was a darn good wrestler in his own right!...and if memory serves, his son upset the Central A champion in his weight class at the State "A" tournament just a few months ago...small world!

As for you, Mr. David Harasymczuk - this is an excerpt I entered about your dad last year in a thread called: Inspirational Coaches and Teachers at SHHS:

"He never was officially listed as a Sacred Heart Coach. but Mr. John Harasymczuk volunteered as the high school wrestling coach for several years...I'm not positive about this, but I think he was an unpaid volunteer. He was a GREAT coach: made the wrestlers work hard and was kind-of the strong, silent type who also gave good, positive encouragement. A good-hearted person, Coach H. never asked what was in it for him. I have the feeling that one of his proudest moments was having the pleasure of coaching 98-pound Tony Cline to a state championship in 1986 before the high school closed. Tony was one of only 3 individual state champs the high school ever had...his brother Pat won 3rd place at state the year before at 112. John's son, Dave, also volunteered coaching the wrestlers a couple years...Dave was a funny guy and an interesting character, but made us work hard, too.

Before Mr. Harasymczuk (sorry if that's spelled wrong, by the way), the wrestlers had coach Jim Killen. I never had him as a teacher or coach myself but I know my late brother, Ben, liked him a lot. Coach Killen enjoyed joking that Ben looked like Al Pacino among other things. Mr. Killen was also kind enough to attend Ben's funeral after he passed in 1998...

And of course, how can we forget Coach Glenn Hageman: the only coach to ever bring the Shamrock football team to a state championship? He did this in 1980 and he did it with no assistant coaches. He was a pretty good teacher of civics and history, too. Thanks, coach!"


I hope BOTH of you fellas are doing well!

Shumon Pius
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