July 29, 2009
STORRS, Conn. -
UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma is No. 42 on Sporting News' list of sports' 50 greatest coaches of all-time, as selected by a panel of 118 Hall of Famers, championship coaches and other experts. The 14-page feature is part of the new Sporting News Magazine, which hits newsstands this week.
Auriemma, who has led the Huskies to six national championships, received the eighth-most votes among college basketball coaches. On the women's side, only Pat Summitt ranked higher.
UCLA's John Wooden was a runaway No. 1 choice, picking up 57 first-place votes from SN's panel, which includes seven World Series-winning managers, four Super Bowl champion coaches and the winningest coaches in the NBA, NHL and college basketball. Panelists included: Scotty Bowman, Larry Brown, Whitey Herzog, Tommy Lasorda, Marv Levy, Tom Osborne, Don Shula, Steve Spurrier, Bob Stoops, Pat Summitt, Barry Switzer, Lenny Wilkens and Roy Williams. The full voting panel is below.
Wooden, 98, won a record 10 Division I men's basketball championships in 12 years. "When I think of Coach Wooden, the first word that comes to mind is execution," Gail Goodrich, an All-American guard on Wooden's Bruins teams, writes in the new issue of SN. "We never worried about the opponent, only about how we were going to play."
Green Bay Packers great Vince Lombardi came in second place in SN's rankings, picking up 20 first-place votes. Hall of Famer Bart Starr vividly remembers Lombardi's first speech to the team upon being hired in 1959. Writes Starr in SN: "(He said), `Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it because in the process we will catch excellence.' He paused for a moment, got up even closer to those of us sitting up front, looked us in the eye and added, `I am not remotely interested in being just good.' Wow."
Rounding out the top 10 of SN's list: 3. Bear Bryant (college football), 4. Phil Jackson (NBA), 5. Don Shula (NFL), 6. Red Auerbach (NBA), 7. Scotty Bowman (NHL), 8. Dean Smith (college basketball), 9. Casey Stengel (MLB) and 10. Knute Rockne (college football).
Nos. 11-20: 11. Pat Summitt (women's college basketball), 12. Paul Brown (NFL), 13. Joe Paterno (college football), 14. George Halas (NFL), 15. Chuck Noll (NFL), 16. Bob Knight (college basketball), 17. Joe Gibbs (NFL), 18. Tom Landry (NFL), 19. Mike Krzyzewski (college basketball) and 20. Bill Belichick (NFL).
In addition to current and former coaches, SN's panel includes a Super Bowl-winning owner (the Steelers' Dan Rooney), commissioners (the NCAA's Myles Brand, MLB's Fay Vincent, the NHL's John Ziegler) and award-winning broadcasters (Brent Musburger, Ernie Harwell, Marty Brennaman), The complete panel is below.
SN turned to former players of the top 20 coaches on the list, asking each to relive a moment that best defined their greatness. Among the guest contributors: Hall of Famers Dwight Stephenson (on Bryant), Paul Warfield (on Shula), Tommy Heinsohn (on Auerbach), Luc Robitaille (on Bowman), Ara Parseghian (on Rockne), Mike McCormack (on Brown), Gale Sayers (on Halas), Lynn Swann (on Noll), Isiah Thomas (on Knight) and Roger Staubach (on Landry).
SPORTING NEWS' TOP 50 COACHES
1. John Wooden, college basketball
2. Vince Lombardi, NFL
3. Bear Bryant, college football
4. Phil Jackson, NBA
5. Don Shula, NFL
6. Red Auerbach, NBA
7. Scotty Bowman, NHL
8. Dean Smith, college basketball
9. Casey Stengel, MLB
10. Knute Rockne, college football
11. Pat Summitt, women's college basketball
12. Paul Brown, NFL
13. Joe Paterno, college football
14. George Halas, NFL
15. Chuck Noll, NFL
16. Bob Knight, college basketball
17. Joe Gibbs, NFL
18. Tom Landry, NFL
19. Mike Krzyzewski, college basketball
20. Bill Belichick, NFL
21. Adolph Rupp, college basketball
22. Joe McCarthy, MLB
23. Eddie Robinson, college football
24. Bobby Bowden, college football
25. John McGraw, MLB
26. Bill Walsh, NFL
27. Woody Hayes, college football
28. Connie Mack, MLB
29. Bud Wilkinson, college football
30. Pat Riley, NBA
31. Pete Newell, college basketball
32. Joe Torre, MLB
33. Bill Parcells, NFL
34. Tom Osborne, college football
35. Walter Alston, MLB
36. Bo Schembechler, college football
37. Toe Blake, NHL
38. Sparky Anderson, MLB
39. Al Arbour, NHL
40. Amos Alonzo Stagg, college football
41. Tony La Russa, MLB
42. Geno Auriemma, women's college basketball
43. Dick Irvin, NHL
44. Ara Parseghian, college football
45. Chuck Daly, NBA
46. Bobby Cox, MLB
47. Hank Iba, college basketball
48. Tommy Lasorda, MLB
49. Gregg Popovich, NBA
50. Herb Brooks, NHL
SPORTING NEWS' PANEL
Jim L. Mora