The Best Coaches of All Time

  • Phil Jackson won 11 championships in the NBA
  • The Super Bowl is named after Packers' coach Vince Lombardi
  • Glen Mills coached the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt
best coaches of all time

It is a special talent to be able to motivate athletes. To support them when they need it, but also tell them their mistakes. The best coaches of all time all managed to create great teams that went on winning. But at the same time, they were also loved by their players and fans as well. 

Unfortunately, we don’t remember the names of the most famous coaches as much as we do with their players. Even though their work was essential to achieve such results. We tried to make a list of the best coaches of all time, who really were the best in their profession. From basketball to football, there are so many great coaches that this list is just a selection from them.

The best coaches of all time in the US

As in America, team sports are very famous and their leagues often are the best in the world. Let’s start with coaches from here. First, we have to mention one of the most successful basketball coaches. Phil Jackson, who won 11 championships in the NBA. Six with Chicago Bulls and five with Los Angeles Lakers. He wasn’t just very good at making up winning teams, but also invented a new triangle offense technique. Jackson also used a more philosophical approach based on Eastern philosophy.  He was given the name Zen Master for that. His old team, Los Angeles Lakers can win the title this season as well. They have the odds of 4.00 on Unibet.

Similarly successful was another basketball coach, John Wooden in college basketball. The Wizard of Westwood won 10 NCAA Championship between 1964 and 1975, a record which no one could break since.  His team also won 88 consecutive games, another record which seems impossible to reach now. Wooden himself was awarded the national coach of the year award a record seven times. He was loved by his players and the fans. He also had a wider impact on everyday life, as his message of Pyramid of Success was used later in business and other areas of life as well.

One of the best women’s coach

Staying with basketball, we have to mention Pat Summitt who is the most successful women’s college basketball coach. In her coaching career of almost 40 years, she never had a losing season, and she got an amazing 1098 – 208 record. Summitt also won a silver medal as a player in the 1976 Olympics, then gold in 1984 as the head coach of the American women’s basketball team. Sadly she died in 2016 in Alzheimer’s as online sportsbooks in the US were also reporting about it. 

More coaches from the US

best coaches of all time
Statue of Vince Lombardi – Image source: Jim Bowen / CC BY via Wikimedia Commons

In the NFL, Vince Lombardi’s name should come up first as a legendary coach. He won the first two Super Bowls in 1966 and 67 with Green Bay packers which he was the coach of for seven years. Before these victories, he also won six NFL Championships with the team, the old format of the sport. Lombardi had such a great impact on the game, that the Super Bowl trophy is named after him. He wasn’t just a great coach, but also a great man, he supported black and gay players, and demanded respect for all of his players.

In baseball, we find another emblematic coach, Casey Stengel, who was the coach of the New York Yankees. He won 9 championships with the club, two as a player and seven further as a manager. He loved jokes and humor and had great speaking skills which he used later as a manager of the New York Mets.  And even though he couldn’t repeat his former successes with his new team, he was one of the biggest characters in baseball. The Yankees are still on top now and are favorites to win the league on Unibet.

Great coaches from all over the world

Of course, we can find great coaches outside of the US as well. Strangely a German coach, Jurgen Grobler made British rowing really successful. He left East Germany after the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the reunion of Germany in 1991. Grobler coached crews to medals since 1972 and he continued at the same level in the UK. Steve Redgrave, Matthew Pinsent and many more belonged to his athletes, in total, they won 16 gold medals in the Olympic Games. 

Bela Karolyi was born in Romania and developed a training system in gymnastics there. He was also the coach of Nadia Comaneci who got the first perfect score in the sport’s history. Karolyi and his wife defected to the United States in 1981 after their confrontation with the Romanian regime. In the US, they worked as before and transformed American gymnastics. The pair became the head coach of the US women’s national gymnastics team and one of the best coaching teams in the world.

best coaches of all time
Bela Karolyi – Image source: Taty2007 / CC BY via Wikimedia Commons

Famous coaches from athletics and swimming

Jamaican sprinters have become one of the best and Usain Bolt is still the fastest man in the world. The man who coached him and the other great sprinters, is Glen Mills, the former Jamaica head coach. He also coached Yohan Blake, Kim Collins and Ray Stewart. During his 22-year career, he helped his athletes to 71 world champion and 33 Olympic medals. At the age of 70, he still works as a coach at the Racers Track Club in Kingston, a sprint training group for the world’s best sprinters. We shall see if his athletes can get medals in the Olympics, but he is one of the most dedicated coaches in the sport.

In swimming, American Gregg Troy has coached more than 75 Olympians as the head coach at the University of Florida, including 12-time Olympic medallist Ryan Lochte. He was appointed as the head coach of the US swimming team in the 2012 London Olympics, during which the team won 16 gold medals, and 31 medals in total. Online gambling sites in the US are hoping for similar successes in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo as well. With the new coaching team of Dave Durden and Greg Meehan, who is the coach of Katie Ledecky, they have every chance to do so.

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