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9 Coaches With Trademark Fashions

by: Howard Cosmell On  Thursday, June 9, 2011

At most sporting events, there is little opportunity for the principals to really flex much muscle in the arena of fashion because, quite simply, all the players are wearing uniforms. Well, the coaches don’t have to. Except in baseball. And baseball managers look ridiculous in uniforms.

In the more advanced sports, coaches don’t have to dress like they’re going to step out onto the field and play any minute, which allows them some room for flair and some signature accessories. (I realize I sound like a JC Penney catalog right now.) Here are nine examples of coaches who wore their trademarks till the bitter end.

9. Bruce Pearl – Blazer

Bruce Pearl was so enthusiastic about coaching the University of Tennessee men’s basketball team that he wore a truly hideous day-glo orange blazer that sort of matched the teams colors, but looked more like a construction vest. His enthusiasm for the team also led him to commit several recruiting violations that ended with his termination from the job. The good news is that prisons share the same shade of orange in their jumpsuits.

8. Jim Tressel – Sweater Vest

The Ohio State sweater vest might be on permanent hiatus after the um..how do I put this delicately.r..ampant cheating that Tressel at best turned a blind eye to and at worst orchestrated. He really owned the “academic geek” look. Now that he’s gotten in all this trouble, he’ll have to shake that image and get a new one. May I suggest something from the Ice-T collection? He could pull off Ed Hardy, too.

7. Tom Landry – Hat

Tom Landry carried himself like the product of a bygone era. His 29 year run saw his “Mad Men” sensibilities carry all the way into the late 80’s. His gentlemanly hat and wardrobe were indicative of a soft tone that simply doesn’t exist these days in any sports, let alone football. You would never catch Landry in an outburst that would make those Coors Light “Press Conference” commercials. Though it would be pretty funny if they managed to shoehorn him in there.

6. Mike Ditka – Sweater

Ditka developed a style in Chicago that can best be described as “brusque” with his pushbroom mustache, tinted glasses, and sweater that looked like it was printed out by an Atari machine. This guy would have made the best cop. He looks like what a polish sausage would look like if it became human. I mean that in the absolutely most respectful way possible.

5. Bill Belichick – Ghetto-Ass Sweatshirt

This is what crazy people wear. Nothing says “I really don’t give a f$#% about anything but football” than a hoodie that has the sleeves crudely chopped off for reasons indeterminate. I think the hoodie is a metaphor for all the contempt he has for everything, ever. It might as well be a giant sandwich board that says “I don’t give a sh*t.”

4. Pat Riley – Hair

You know what “Showtime” really was? It was seven gallons of hair gel and an Armani suit. Pat Riley embodied 1980’s Los Angeles like no other celebrity could. The only way he could have been more LA is if he wore Wayfarers and had a constant nosebleed. He’s kept the look over time, but it really suited him best in LA. Phil Jackson is a great coach, but he’s always seemed a little more Chicago than LA. Pat should really give him the number of his stylist.

3. Jimmy Johnson – Hair

While the phrase “big Texas hair” generally refers to women’s coifs, it’s safe to say that Jimmy Johnson epitomized the look for males. With the hairspray and the rigid shape, he looked like a tan bible salesman.

His hair was such a part of his image that after the Cowboys won the Super Bowl in 1992, the first thing the players did was mess up the hair. Partially because they were excited, and partially because they knew that only after a Super Bowl high could they reach to upset Jimmy’s hair and not pull back a bloody stump.

2. Arsene Wenger – Coat

More often than not, trademark accessories or fashion elements are trademarks because they’re awful, not because they’re stylish and cool. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger’s coat certainly doesn’t defy that logic. It looks like something someone in New Hampshire would have worn skiing in 1978. Which is funny, because it gets cold in London, but not nearly as arctic as Mr. Wenger would have you believe. If he wants to really embrace the mountaineering look, he should get a ski cap and some furry Uggs. To show that he’s in on the joke.

1. Joe Paterno – Sunglasses

The oldest coach in the history of both old people and sports has probably the hippest sunglasses in fashion right now. Joe Paterno: The original hipster. Underneath those Blu-blockers is a font of football knowledge. And over that font is a windbreaker, a sweater vest, and a tie. He’s got a lot of layers, that Paterno. Like a parfait. Nah. More like phyllo dough.




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