9 Coaches And Managers Who Walked Away
A lot of people dream of one day becoming professional coaches and managers. Thus, even though such a job comes with an extraordinary amount of pressure, it’s pretty rare to see somebody just up and resign rather than get fired. And yet that’s what Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg did on Friday. Saying he was tired of losing, the Baseball Hall of Famer just walked away from his dream job.
Sandberg’s not alone, though. Here’s a list that includes eight other pro sports coaches and managers who decided to spend more time with their families—or whatever it is people actually do when they quit their high-profile jobs.
Take a look.
As mentioned in the intro, Ryne Sandberg, former manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, decided on his own to step down from his position as team manager following his disappointing win-loss record after parts of three seasons with the team—his only full season was last year. Of course the writing was on the wall all along. Sandberg took over a crumbling team that was going to have to get blown up, and teams don't typically keep one coach throughout a rebuilding process. Sandberg just made it easy on the Phils. By resigning, they didn't have to fire a legend.
It's not always a losing record that motivates a manager to resign from his position. Lou Piniella, according to his public statement anyway, left his job as Chicago Cubs manager several months ahead of schedule to take care of his ailing mother.
Another high-profile sports resignation happened this year when Harry Redknapp resigned as Queens Park Rangers manager back in February. His reasons at the time included an impending knee surgery, but in the months since Redknapp has revealed more political reasons for his departure, saying "no longer knew who was on my side."
When it comes to carving out a great career for yourself post-retirement, the GOAT is probably John Madden. He was only 42 when he retired from coaching the Raiders in 1978, going on to have a cultural impact that is still going strong almost 40 years later.
John Wooden had an incredible record of 10 NCAA championships in just 12 years under his belt when he announced his retirement as UCLA's head basketball coach. Since then, the UCLA Bruins have won only one national championship.
Another great example of going out on top was demonstrated by Celtics coach Red Auerbach, who announced before the start of the 64-65 season that it would be his last—and then he took the team to his ninth championship before ending his career.
With a career record of 139-69, Tony Dungy had a legacy pretty much any coach would be proud of when he stepped down from his position as Indianapolis Colts head coach back in 2008.
Al McGuire's colorful on-court reputation as a coach at Marquette made his transition into broadcasting after retiring in 1977 a natural fit - which might have made his decision to walk away a little bit easier.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher has been retired since 2006, but even after 9 years in broadcasting he's still younger than a decent chunk of active NFL coaches now (eight, to be more precise).