10 Greatest Coach Meltdowns
Coaches on just about any athletic level have it rough. They’ve got to use all their athletic and psychological expertise to manage their team to victory week after week. One simple slip-up could send their record barreling towards defeat and their career to the unemployment line where they couldn’t get a job managing a Denny’s in Lufkin, Texas.
So it’s no wonder that some coaches lose their cool in the middle of a game, practice or press conference and throw a baseball bat into the stands or rip a goal post clean out of the ground with nothing but their Hulk-like anger strength. The only upside is that someone almost always catches those moments on tape for the world to enjoy.
#10) Huntingdon College’s Matt Mahanic
Golf may not look like the kind of sport that causes coaches to punch walls and spew more obscenities than a longshoreman dropping a bowling ball on his scrotum. The student athletes of Huntingdon College, however, would beg to differ. Their now-former head coach tore into his players on a bus ride following a tough tournament loss that could make Bobby Knight tell him to take a “chill pill.”
#9) Mississippi Braves’ Phil Wellman
Watching baseball managers turn into a screaming mess right in front of an umpire’s face are some of the most exciting moments in baseball because most games are so slow that they are literally the only exciting moments. This AA baseball coach, however, pitched a fit on the field over a blown call that could make Lou Piniella question his own sanity. He doesn’t just get in the ump’s face and kick dirt over his normally pristine home plate: he put on a show for the fans that made it well worth the price of admission.
#8) Arizona Cardinals’ Dennis Green
To a coach, the only thing worse than a loss is losing a game that you should have won. The Cardinals learned that interesting bit of sports trivia in 2006 when they gave up a game to the Chicago Bears by letting them score 24 points in the second half after decimating the team 20-0 by halftime. Naturally, Green was a little upset.
#7) Lamar University’s Pat Knight
This son of legendary coach Bobby Knight may not have the steaming temper that his father so famously wielded like a Klingon Bat’leth sword but that doesn’t mean he didn’t do his share of ranting. His voice didn’t reach the volume levels that could cause microphones to pop but the strong words he used to criticized his players to their faces couldn’t make you cringe more if he was shouting them in your face with the strength of a Category 4 hurricane.
#6) Indianapolis Colts’ Jim Mora
Passion can be one of a coach’s greatest assets but it can also backfire when times are tough. No one exhibits that trait better than former NFL coach Jim Mora. He let his passion for winning get the better of him on more than one occasion like when he found himself facing unemployment for refusing to fire his defensive coordinator and special teams coach in 2001. He broke down so hard at a press conference that the reporters started passing out umbrellas to shield themselves from the onslaught of tears.
#5) University of Michigan’s Kevin Borseth
Women’s basketball often gets a bad rap because they don’t have the over-the-top, showboating moves of men’s basketball. That doesn’t mean that their coaches have to dial it back as well. The Lady Wolverines’ head coach went on a tear during a post game press conference in 2008 over a lack of offensive rebounds by launching into an offensive bounding of his own.
#4) University of Texas’ Augie Garrido
Sports are a religion in Texas (mostly because it’s the only way Jerry Jones will get another tax exemption for his mediocre team). UT’s legendary baseball coach rarely loses his temper but when he does, it’s like sailing into a perfect storm of s#*$. Fortunately, filmmaker Richard Linklater was shooting a documentary about the team and they caught one of his greatest post-game meltdowns on camera.
#3) Kansas City Royals’ Hal McRae
Baseball coaches seem to have a propensity towards hotter tempers because it’s full of close calls and without it, baseball would be completely unwatchable. The Kansas City Royals’ coach blew his stack with some reporters and actually did a lot more than just yell at them and hurt their feelings. He knocked over chairs, threw phones at the wall and even bloodied the face of one of them in the process.
#2) OSU Football’s Mike Grundy
The coach in question actually had a good game before he popped a blood vessel in his forehead and sprayed a team of reporters with anger spittle. That’s because the cause of his most famous tirade had to do with one of the reporters in the room. Oklahoman sports columnist Jenni Carlson wrote an unflattering portrayal of the team’s ex-quarterback as a nervous, coddled momma’s boy and Grundy fired back by going on a tear iin which he called the reporter and her editor “garbage” and reminded the reporters (in case they were wondering) that he’s “a man” and “40.”
#1) Indiana University’s Bobby Knight
Failing to include Bobby Knight’s most famous moment on a basketball court on a list of the greatest coaching hissy-fits is like failing to include the ’47 Cheval Blanc on a list of history’s greatest wines. They are both biting, unrestrained and just get better every time you enjoy them. The infamous moment happened in 1985 during a game between Indiana and Purdue at IU’s Assembly Hall. Knight earns a technical foul for arguing with the refs and Knight chunks a chair across the floor earning himself an expulsion in the process.