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Worst Coaches and Why They're Infamous
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AllTideUp Offline
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Worst Coaches and Why They're Infamous
Here's a nice offseason topic, I thought.

We like to talk about the best, but let's give a moment to the worst.

Who is your program's worst coach and why? Who are some of the worst coaches you remember observing and why?

Not intended to be smack talk either...just a reveling in mediocrity.

I'll go first. For Alabama, some might be tempted to say our worst coach in recent years was Mike Shula. Granted, he wasn't great, but Mike Price takes the cake.

The dude came from Washington State with some semblance of promise only to be dismissed a few months later after a crazy night with a stripper. BTW, he used a UA credit card to pay for "services" at the strip club. Not only that, the primary reason he was dismissed is because he had already been warned about carousing and other raunchy behavior. Couldn't control himself apparently.

The only game he coached was the A-Day Game. I was there that day and I was actually a little excited about the upcoming season. In fact, I had saved the newspaper from the day he was hired because I thought it was going to be the beginning of something pretty good.

Here's to you Mike Price, one of the biggest screwups this sport has ever seen.
05-31-2021 09:33 PM
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PlayBall! Offline
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RE: Worst Coaches and Why They're Infamous
Charlie Weis.

When being introduced as KU's new coach, he answered the question "Are you be moving here?" with "No." It was over before it started.
(This post was last modified: 05-31-2021 10:03 PM by PlayBall!.)
05-31-2021 10:02 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: Worst Coaches and Why They're Infamous
Football: Tom Holmoe
Basketball: Wyking Jones

The records speak for themselves.
06-01-2021 02:33 AM
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Wahoowa84 Offline
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RE: Worst Coaches and Why They're Infamous
Football: Dick Bestwick (6 seasons in late 70s & early 80s) - Overall winning percent of .250. Had one good year and wins over Georgia and Tennessee...gave false hope to fans. Otherwise only reliable wins were against FCS teams.

Basketball: Dave Leitao (4 seasons in late 00s) - Once the inherited players left, watching the team play seemed hopeless. The team was overmatched in conference play and there was no vision on how to improve.
06-01-2021 10:09 AM
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Frank the Tank Offline
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RE: Worst Coaches and Why They're Infamous
Tim Beckman for Illinois.

We've had quite a few coaches that haven't performed well when it comes to W/L records, but Beckman was fired for abusing players on top of it all. I actually think that he's a bad *person* and not merely a bad coach.
06-01-2021 10:31 AM
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GoldenWarrior11 Offline
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RE: Worst Coaches and Why They're Infamous
Bob Dukiet (RIP). 39-46 record at Marquette, while taking over for Rick Majerus and being replaced by Kevin O'Neill. Dukiet had several clashes with players, with several players transfer out and owned the only back-to-back losing seasons since the 60's. The graduation rate also took a hit. He was offered to serve as assistant AD to finish out his contract, but he declined. He developed the nickname "Piano Bob" as he spent much of his retirement playing the piano in restaurants, bars and other events in Florida. Quite the character.
06-01-2021 11:06 AM
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JRsec Offline
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RE: Worst Coaches and Why They're Infamous
Auburn: Doug Barfield- had James Brooks, Joe Cribbs, William Andrews, Byron Franklin and Neil O'Donoghue all on the same team and couldn't post a winning record. Now how many college coaches could have 5 Pro Bowlers on the same college team and post 3 and 5 win seasons with them?

And All Tide UP you should have mentioned Ears Whitworth for Alabama, but he was before your time.
06-01-2021 11:11 AM
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UpStreamRedTeam Offline
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RE: Worst Coaches and Why They're Infamous
(05-31-2021 10:02 PM)PlayBall! Wrote:  Charlie Weis.

When being introduced as KU's new coach, he answered the question "Are you be moving here?" with "No." It was over before it started.

At one point I believe he was being paid by Notre Dame, Florida and Kansas NOT to coach. He is also terrible on the radio.
06-01-2021 11:14 AM
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UpStreamRedTeam Offline
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RE: Worst Coaches and Why They're Infamous
It's a very competitive category but I am going to go with Chris Ash. Zero personality, zero ability to get the local HS coaches on his side, and his abilities as an X's and O's defensive coach could not make up for his other deficiencies.
06-01-2021 11:16 AM
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TerryD Offline
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RE: Worst Coaches and Why They're Infamous
My vote is for Ty Willingham, for what he did to both Washington and ND.

He loved to golf more than coach and recruit.

Washington went 0-12 in his final season there, I believe.
06-01-2021 12:17 PM
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Wedge Offline
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RE: Worst Coaches and Why They're Infamous
(06-01-2021 12:17 PM)TerryD Wrote:  My vote is for Ty Willingham, for what he did to both Washington and ND.

He loved to golf more than coach and recruit.

Washington went 0-12 in his final season there, I believe.

He was one of those coaches (not the only one) who got into coaching in an era when there were many coaches like that, and then was unable or unwilling to adjust to being outworked by coaches who work hard 12 months a year.
06-01-2021 12:29 PM
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johnintx Offline
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RE: Worst Coaches and Why They're Infamous
Oklahoma:

Howard Schnellenberger was a legend at Miami, Louisville, and Florida Atlantic, but was a horrible fit at Oklahoma. He finished 5-5-1 in 1995 before being forced to resign. At Oklahoma, he was best remembered for not allowing water breaks during August practices, and for two players subsequently being hospitalized for dehydration.

https://www.si.com/college/oklahoma/foot...t-oklahoma

The Schnellenberger tenure was eclipsed in ineptitude by his successor, John Blake. Blake was a popular former player recommended by Barry Switzer. It did not take long to see that he was in way over his head. He had a revolving door of assistant coaches and offensive coordinators, and had teams that did well to line up on offense without being called for a penalty. He was fired after three years in a televised board of regents meeting, and was accused of destroying recruiting records on his way out the door. However, he recruited some of the players that would win the 2000 national championship under Bob Stoops. He finished with a three year record of 12-22, with no winning seasons and no bowl games. He was later at the center of a recruiting scandal at North Carolina, which caused the Tar Heels to go on probation.

Ironically and coincidentally, both Schnellenberger and Blake have passed away in the last year. RIP.
(This post was last modified: 06-01-2021 01:06 PM by johnintx.)
06-01-2021 12:46 PM
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DFW HOYA Online
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RE: Worst Coaches and Why They're Infamous
"Worst" is more than record. Sure, Dave Leitao's record was horrible--his second tenure at DePaul was a combined 21-85 in Big East play (five straight last place finishes) but he wasn't considered a bad person or someone who didn't care.

Save "worst" for the man who that deserves the title: Dave Bliss.
(This post was last modified: 06-01-2021 01:12 PM by DFW HOYA.)
06-01-2021 01:10 PM
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Captain Bearcat Offline
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RE: Worst Coaches and Why They're Infamous
(06-01-2021 12:46 PM)johnintx Wrote:  Oklahoma:

Howard Schnellenberger was a legend at Miami, Louisville, and Florida Atlantic, but was a horrible fit at Oklahoma. He finished 5-5-1 in 1995 before being forced to resign. At Oklahoma, he was best remembered for not allowing water breaks during August practices, and for two players subsequently being hospitalized for dehydration.

https://www.si.com/college/oklahoma/foot...t-oklahoma

The Schnellenberger tenure was eclipsed in ineptitude by his successor, John Blake. Blake was a popular former player recommended by Barry Switzer. It did not take long to see that he was in way over his head. He had a revolving door of assistant coaches and offensive coordinators, and had teams that did well to line up on offense without being called for a penalty. He was fired after three years in a televised board of regents meeting, and was accused of destroying recruiting records on his way out the door. However, he recruited some of the players that would win the 2000 national championship under Bob Stoops. He finished with a three year record of 12-22, with no winning seasons and no bowl games. He was later at the center of a recruiting scandal at North Carolina, which caused the Tar Heels to go on probation.

Ironically and coincidentally, both Schnellenberger and Blake have passed away in the last year. RIP.

Looking it up, Blake was an odd choice. He had never been a coordinator on any level. He was the Dallas Cowboys' DL coach for 3 years before being hired as HC at Oklahoma.

He left Dallas under a cloud, too. He accused Troy Aikman of treating black teammates differently, which caused a whole lot of Cowboys players to publicly come to Aikman's defense.

A newspaper article I read put it this way, "Blake, who was such a cancer on the team he was allowed to leave last month to begin his job as coach at the University of Oklahoma, told (Cowboy's head coach) Switzer that Aikman was a racist."
06-01-2021 01:38 PM
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johnintx Offline
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RE: Worst Coaches and Why They're Infamous
(06-01-2021 01:38 PM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  
(06-01-2021 12:46 PM)johnintx Wrote:  Oklahoma:

Howard Schnellenberger was a legend at Miami, Louisville, and Florida Atlantic, but was a horrible fit at Oklahoma. He finished 5-5-1 in 1995 before being forced to resign. At Oklahoma, he was best remembered for not allowing water breaks during August practices, and for two players subsequently being hospitalized for dehydration.

https://www.si.com/college/oklahoma/foot...t-oklahoma

The Schnellenberger tenure was eclipsed in ineptitude by his successor, John Blake. Blake was a popular former player recommended by Barry Switzer. It did not take long to see that he was in way over his head. He had a revolving door of assistant coaches and offensive coordinators, and had teams that did well to line up on offense without being called for a penalty. He was fired after three years in a televised board of regents meeting, and was accused of destroying recruiting records on his way out the door. However, he recruited some of the players that would win the 2000 national championship under Bob Stoops. He finished with a three year record of 12-22, with no winning seasons and no bowl games. He was later at the center of a recruiting scandal at North Carolina, which caused the Tar Heels to go on probation.

Ironically and coincidentally, both Schnellenberger and Blake have passed away in the last year. RIP.

Looking it up, Blake was an odd choice. He had never been a coordinator on any level. He was the Dallas Cowboys' DL coach for 3 years before being hired as HC at Oklahoma.

He left Dallas under a cloud, too. He accused Troy Aikman of treating black teammates differently, which caused a whole lot of Cowboys players to publicly come to Aikman's defense.

A newspaper article I read put it this way, "Blake, who was such a cancer on the team he was allowed to leave last month to begin his job as coach at the University of Oklahoma, told (Cowboy's head coach) Switzer that Aikman was a racist."

All of that is true.

The conspiracy theory is that Switzer recommended him to OU so he wouldn't have to fire his former player from the Cowboys. Not sure how true that is, but I know Switzer wouldn't have wanted to fire him.

He was placed in a position to fail, and he failed miserably. He was in over his head. He promised to hire experienced coordinators and to let them do their jobs, but he then interfered with them. It was a three-year circus.

Oklahoma in the mid to late 90's was a dumpster fire of a program. I had lost hope that the program would ever be nationally relevant again. We were very fortunate that then-new athletic director Joe Castiglione made a great hire in Bob Stoops.
(This post was last modified: 06-01-2021 02:18 PM by johnintx.)
06-01-2021 02:14 PM
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RE: Worst Coaches and Why They're Infamous
(06-01-2021 12:17 PM)TerryD Wrote:  My vote is for Ty Willingham, for what he did to both Washington and ND.

He loved to golf more than coach and recruit.

Washington went 0-12 in his final season there, I believe.

Worse than Gerry Faust????
06-01-2021 02:26 PM
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bullet Offline
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RE: Worst Coaches and Why They're Infamous
At Texas its easy:

Football-Charlie Strong. 16-21. 3 losing seasons in a row for the 2nd time in program history and first time since the 30s. Worst record of any Texas football coach and one of only two to have a losing record at Texas. The other one died at Iwo Jima. Charlie had no such heroic positives. Charlie was one of the dumbest game day coaches in all of football. His in game decisions were mind-blowingly stupid.

Basketball-Bob Weltich 77-98. Took an exciting, regular SWC contender under Abe Lemons and turned them into boring losers. Tom Penders came in right after and won over 20 games 7 of the next 8 years and made it to the NCAA 8 of 10 seasons.
06-01-2021 02:36 PM
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TerryD Offline
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RE: Worst Coaches and Why They're Infamous
(06-01-2021 02:26 PM)bullet Wrote:  
(06-01-2021 12:17 PM)TerryD Wrote:  My vote is for Ty Willingham, for what he did to both Washington and ND.

He loved to golf more than coach and recruit.

Washington went 0-12 in his final season there, I believe.

Worse than Gerry Faust????

Sure, Gerry Faust wasn't lazy and actually recruited well.

His idea of coaching was to say a Hail Mary when things went wrong, but at least he worked hard at recruiting.

Ty Willingham was the laziest recruiter in America. He logged more time at ND's Warren Golf Course than the grounds crew.
06-01-2021 03:17 PM
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Love and Honor Offline
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RE: Worst Coaches and Why They're Infamous
Before 2011 Miami fans would tell you Tim Rose, who took over a program in 1983 that had only finished with a losing record twice and finished with one or zero loss records fourteen times since 1943. He won the MAC and beat #8 LSU in 1986 but finished under .500 in five of seven seasons (including a winless 1988). Shane Montgomery in the 2000s wasn't very good either but his failings can be put more on awful admin support. Both were before my time as a fan.

However the undisputed answer now is Don Treadwell. Took over a MAC champion (first team ever to go from double digit losses to double digit wins) with almost all key players returning, had a great resume (Miami alum, seemingly successful OC at a good Michigan State program). Went 4-8 his first two seasons on the back of a future NFL QB and previous recruits, then had a winless season (fired after five games) where we had one of the worst offenses in D1 history (averaged under 10 points per game). He believed that strength training made players slow so they did jumping jacks instead of any organized weight lifting plan. Going into the winless 2013 he randomly decided to go from a spread offense to triple option without any of the personnel to pull it off. It was ridiculous and depressing, though we've recovered under his successor (albeit slowly and with plenty of bumps).
(This post was last modified: 06-02-2021 03:12 PM by Love and Honor.)
06-01-2021 03:21 PM
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RE: Worst Coaches and Why They're Infamous
As a Vanderbilt fan, and if naming a VU coach, I would choose former Commodores men's basketball coach Keven Stallings. He was actually fairly skilled as an X's and O's man but his ability to motivate and communicate was horrendous. He would trash his players via the local media, and he was often very sour and surly. I was so thrilled when he left Nashville. I actually kind of felt badly for Pitt when it was reported Stallings had been hired to coach the Panther program. And we saw what a disaster that was.

Stallings has not landed a high-profile job since being dismissed at Pitt after the 2017-18 season. And I doubt he ever will.
06-01-2021 04:09 PM
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