Countdown: Top 10 NY coaches and managers of all time
Newsday's Mark Herrmann counts down the 10 greatest New York coaches and managers.
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10. VINCE LOMBARDI
Assistant coach, Giants, 1954-58
As the head of the offense for the Giants in the 1950s, he helped establish the prototype for the modern offensive coordinator and helped the NFL take root as the preeminent entity in American sports. The Brooklyn kid also paved the way for his own development as the greatest coach in U.S. pro sports history (.740 winning percentage, 9-1 career mark in postseason, five titles).
9. WEEB EWBANK
Coached one of the greatest, most portentous one-game upsets in sports history. Had enough Xs and Os and gumption to lead the Jets to a stunning win over the Colts in the game that sent the Super Bowl on its way to becoming a national holiday.
8. GIL HODGES
Miracles don’t just happen on their own. With the 1969 Mets, Hodges used encouragement, discipline (walking out to leftfield to replace Cleon Jones) and savvy (the shoe polish episode) to turn the quintessential losing team instantly into a champion.
7. JOHN MCGRAW
His 2,763 wins are second-most in major-league history (behind only Connie Mack, who managed 50 years and also finished last 17 times). Was an early advocate of “small ball”—hit-and-run, sacrifice bunt. Won 10 pennants, three World Series.
6. RED HOLZMAN
In the 64-year history of the Knicks, the coaching scoreboard reads this way: Holzman?2 NBA championships, Everyone else?0 NBA championships. Fostered an emphasis on team play, passing and defense and was mentor to one of the great all-time NBA coaches, Phil Jackson (11 titles).
5. BILL PARCELLS
When it seemed like the venerable Giants franchise never would win a Super Bowl, Parcells led them to two titles with his strategy and bravado. Later, he revived the Jets and brought them within one game of the Super Bowl.
4. JOE TORRE
True, he had much talent to work with, but it?s not as if he just slid into a dynasty. To the contrary, he led the Yankees to their first world championship in 18 years, then won three more in the next four seasons. Brooklyn native will make the Hall of Fame as a manager.
3. AL ARBOUR
Islanders, 1973-86, 1988-94, 2007
Took over a hapless expansion team and within two years had it in the Stanley Cup semifinals and within seven years had begun a dynasty. Run of 19 consecutive playoff series victories (four Cups, a fifth Cup final) is a New York record likely never to be broken.
2. JOE MCCARTHY
Highest winning percentage in major-league history (.615), tied for first with seven World Series titles. Called a ?push-button? manager because he had so much talent on his teams, but on the other hand wasn?t overwhelmed by the egos of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio. First manager to win four World Series in a row, first to win a pennant in each league.
1. CASEY STENGEL
Won more World Series games (37) than anyone else and is tied for first all-time with seven championships. Was baseball?s top manager when baseball was king. What?s more, he did it with pizzazz. Also gets points for having played for the Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers, and breathed life into the expansion Mets by force of his personality.