Contact Us

10 Toughest Coaching Jobs in Sports

Elsa / Andy Lyons / Justin Sullivan / Abelimages, Getty Images

After recording the third-most all-time wins of any baseball manager — and his third World Series championship — Tony La Russa proved he is definitely smarter than most big league skippers by retiring instead of trying to top his own, great final act. Poor Mike Matheny must now somehow follow LaRussa in St. Louis, which means winning at least two titles and about 1,000 games or so. Good luck, Mike.

Fortunately for Matheny, managing in St. Louis is slightly more forgiving than having one of the following jobs. For the men who have one of the 10 toughest coaching jobs in sports, winning is the only acceptable result.


Elsa, Getty Images
Elsa, Getty Images
10

Manager, Boston Red Sox

 
 

After 86 years without a World Series title, Terry Francona guided the Red Sox to two championships in four years, yet they still declined his option after the team squandered a nine-game lead and missed the playoffs. Newly hired Bobby Valentine may need more than a fake mustache to hide behind if things don’t go well in Boston.

 
Christian Petersen, Getty Images
Christian Petersen, Getty Images
9

Head Coach, UCLA Basketball

 
 

The late John Wooden won 10 NCAA national championships in a 12-year span in Westwood. The Bruins have only managed one (1995) since. No one escapes the ghost of ‘The Wizard.’

 
Ronald Martinez, Getty images
Ronald Martinez, Getty images
8

Any Coach of a Cleveland Professional Sports Team

 
 

While the city of San Diego has waited a year longer, Cleveland hasn’t celebrated a title in 46 years and has had at least three pro sports teams for most of those years (to San Diego’s two).

 
Joe Robbins, Getty Images
Joe Robbins, Getty Images
7

Head Coach, Dallas Cowboys

 
 

The ghost of legendary Cowboys coach Tom Landry and the success of three-time Super Bowl champ Jimmy Johnson hangs over Cowboys Stadium. Head coach Jason Garrett has two Super Bowl rings from his time as Dallas’ back-up quarterback in the ’90s, but owner Jerry Jones won’t rest until Garrett brings a sixth Super Bowl trophy to Dallas. Jones didn’t build the world’s largest domed stadium to see other teams win inside it.

 
Phillip MacCallum, Getty Images
Phillip MacCallum, Getty Images
6

Head Coach, University of Alabama Football

 
 

A statue of current Alabama coach Nick Saban is outside the football stadium…which is named after the late Paul “Bear” Bryant, the Crimson Tide’s legendary coach whose teams had a home record of 72-2 while playing there.

 
Phillip MacCallum, Getty Images
Phillip MacCallum, Getty Images
5

Head Coach, Montreal Canadiens

 
 

Hockey is Canada’s national sport, and the Canadiens may be more popular than the national team. The franchise has a record 24 Stanley Cups and rarely lets a coach stay for long if they don’t drink from one.

 
Butch Dill, Getty Images
Butch Dill, Getty Images
4

Head Coach, Oakland Raiders

 
 

With the death of owner Al Davis earlier this year, Oakland’s entry may soon slide out of the top 10. The Raiders have had six head coaches since 2002. None have managed to get to the Super Bowl since Bill Callahan appeared with a team that was largely assembled by Jon Gruden, whose Tampa Bay Buccaneers thumped Oakland in 2003.

 
Andy Lyons, Getty Images
Andy Lyons, Getty Images
3

Head Coach, University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball

 
 

Seven national championship banners hanging at Rupp Arena – and blue-clad fans everywhere- remind coach John Calipari that he must get to the Final Four – and win – or else.

 
Frank Polich, Getty Images
Frank Polich, Getty Images
2

Head Coach, Notre Dame Football

 
 

Football is the denomination of Fighting Irish fans around the world, all of whom are waiting for coach Brian Kelly to add to the 11 national championships the school has won.

 
Abelimages, Getty Images
Abelimages, Getty Images
1

Manager, New York Yankees

 
 

While being the manager of the 27-time World Series champs may have been tougher under the eye of late owner George Steinbrenner in the 1970s and ’80s, it’s still no easy task for Joe Girardi, whose every move during a 162-game season is scrutinized in the media capital of the world.

 

Babes

Best of the Web

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://espn1420.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on SPORTS RADIO ESPN 1420 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Sign up for an account to comment, share your thoughts, and earn points to get great prizes.

Register on SPORTS RADIO ESPN 1420 quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!