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July 29, 2009

Shula 5th greatest coach ever; plus Heat/Lamar Odom (with poll), D.Wade raps (with video), Phils trade puts heat on Marlins, & more

     [Join the rollicking bandwagon at Twitter.com/gregcote. By the way, I cry your pardon for being AWOL from the Wednesday live chat today. My fault, 100 percent. A pure mental hiccup by me after two weeks not doing it while on vacation. Anyway, we'll pick it back up next Wednesday, Aug. 5. Click on ChatCity to post questions at any time].

     [Michael Vick update: Voluminous email on my Wednesday column saying the Dolphins missed a big opportunity by saying no to Vick. Fairly evenly split, although people proposing either that I am an idiot or that Vick is the devil may be a slight majority thus far. Column link is here in case anybody wants to continue the palaver in this blogpost...]

1dons      Shula scores big in greatest-coaches poll: The Sporting News anoints Dolphins legend Don Shula the fifth greatest coach of all time in any sport, in a new survey of 118 Hall of Famers across all sports. Ahead of him: UCLA icon John Wooden, hat-wearing Packers great Vince Lombardi, hat-wearing Alabama god Bear Bryant, and Lakers Zen-master Phil Jackson. Hard to argue. I was half-expecting the list to diss Shula, but fifth seems fair. At least he rightly whupped the Pats' Bill Belichick, who is 20th. Other notables include Bobby Bowden 24th; Pat Riley 30th; and Bill Parcells 33rd. The complete Top 50 follows, with your impressions welome. Anything strike you as out of whack?

1. John Wooden, college basketball
2. Vince Lombardi, NFL
3. Bear Bryant, college football
4. Phil Jackson, NBA
5. Don Shula, NFL
6. Red Auerbach, NBA
7. Scotty Bowman, NHL
8. Dean Smith, college basketball
9. Casey Stengel, MLB
10. Knute Rockne, college football
11. Pat Summitt, women’s college basketball
12. Paul Brown, NFL
13. Joe Paterno, college football
14. George Halas, NFL
15. Chuck Noll, NFL
16. Bob Knight, college basketball
17. Joe Gibbs, NFL
18. Tom Landry, NFL
19. Mike Krzyzewski, college basketball
20. Bill Belichick, NFL
21. Adolph Rupp, college basketball
22. Joe McCarthy, MLB
23. Eddie Robinson, college football
24. Bobby Bowden, college football
25. John McGraw, MLB
26. Bill Walsh, NFL
27. Woody Hayes, college football
28. Connie Mack, MLB
29. Bud Wilkinson, college football
30. Pat Riley, NBA
31. Pete Newell, college basketball
32. Joe Torre, MLB
33. Bill Parcells, NFL
34. Tom Osborne, college football
35. Walter Alston, MLB
36. Bo Schembechler, college football
37. Toe Blake, NHL
38. Sparky Anderson, MLB
39. Al Arbour, NHL
40. Amos Alonzo Stagg, college football
41. Tony La Russa, MLB
42. Geno Auriemma, women’s college basketball
43. Dick Irvin, NHL
44. Ara Parseghian, college football
45. Chuck Daly, NBA
46. Bobby Cox, MLB
47. Hank Iba, college basketball
48. Tommy Lasorda, MLB
49. Gregg Popovich, NBA
50. Herb Brooks, NHL

     [Ranking postscript: Dolphin Chad Pennington is rated the 6th-best active quarterback in a "Great 8" list by the website Cold, Hard Football Facts, which admits that's a surprise. The Eight in order: Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Kurt Warner, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, The Chad, Drew Brees and Donovan McNabb].  

1odom      Heat's pursuit of Lamar Odom: Miami's 2009 free-agent pursuit seems to have focused on a Back to the Future reacquisition of former Heatnik Lamar Odom. What say ye? I like it. He's 6-10 and about as versatile as you could find.


1clifflee      Phils turn up heat on Marlins: The pressure is now squarely on the Marlins to make a significant deal by Friday's trade deadline, after division rival Philly on Wednesday worked a pending major deal to acquire Cleveland ace Cliff Lee (pictured), the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner. How will Florida counter? The Phillies may now be impossible to catch in the NL East, but a wild-card spot remains very much in play. What is the Marlins' biggest need? I still say a closer, although if they traded for Roy Halladay I suppose that'd be OK, too (!). Another big bat wouldn't hurt, either. Does reacquiring Josh Willingham excite anybody? Click here for my Marlins column, online now and in today's/Thursday's paper.

     Dwyane Wade raps! Sort of: Click here for a slow, mercifully brief a-capella rap by Dwyane Wade. No, seriously. 

1breesmina      Drew Brees' mother apparently loony: Bizarre story involving Mina Brees (pictured), the estranged mother of the Saints quarterback. Seems as if she was trying to extort money from Houston restaurants. Click here for the odd tale.

     Fantasy baseball kicking my a--: I would like to announce that I suck at fantasy baseball. I am the Manny Acta of fantasy managers. My Adler's Marlsox have fallen to 8th place in a 10-team league, and some of that is my own doing, such as when I started two players who were on the 15-day DL because I forgot to update my roster. Fantasy football: Simpler. Better.

     That'll do it for now. Check back. It says here I'll be adding more stuff.


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firssssssttttttt....... Anyway Pat Summit needs to be wayyyyyyyyy down that list, its only women basketball... (yawn) who cares...

Of course the list is only amount coaches in America, because I think of many more in the world scene. It's also only about the major team sports. The Romanian gym coach from the 70's should be econsidered, as well as at least a dozen soccer coaches.


Sounds like you're talking about Béla Károly, or is it Bela Lugosi? Not sure.

It's really hard to argue with those top 5 selections.

What Dave(no testicular fortitude) Wannstedt not on that list??

SADDA SAy on da Sinster sie


I read Cote's article about the Fins and others being scared to take marginal QB Vick... B.S. the responses I read were overwhelmingly anti Vick not even steven like he infers.

lamar odom would be a terrific pickup for the heat!!! I do suspect he is using other teams for his favorite all along (Lakers)to pay up.

Marlins need to make the move if they can. Philly has deeper pockets to spend more. Watched ESPN highlights yesterday and noticed no fans in the Marlins bleachers... Is building a new stadium going to fix the poor attendance?

lamar odom correction- meant to write that odom is using other teams as leverage in negotiating $ with Lakers.

Lombardi no doubt was a great coach. But Shula is only the winningest coach in NFL history. First, and I believe still the only, coach to direct his team to 3 straight Super Bowls. Add to that he coached the only undefeated team in NFL history. He adapted his coaching to fit his personnel. If the personnel (Czonka, Morris, & Kiick) was better suited for running the ball that's what he did. The same can be said if they were better suited for the passing game, (Unitas and Marino). Either way, all he did was win games. Has any other coach in the history of the NFL proved to as versatile?

Also, Bill Walsh is rated too low. His innovative style of offense still dominates the NFL today.

all time coaching list? seems reasonable.

Mike Krzyzewski 19th and Dean Smith 8th? They got them backwards. They even have Bob Knight ahead of Krzyzewski. What a freaking joke.

Joe Paterno 11 spots ahead of Bobby Bowden? I don't think so.

Why is Belicheat on the list? Cheating should be disqualifying.

Casey Stengel was good, but he only won with the talent rich Yankees. On the other hand, Tony La Russa has won every where he has been. Tony should have been the 1st MLB manager on the list.

How the hell did Ara Parseghian get on that list. Being a pussy and going for that tie against Michigan State should have been disqualifying.

Hello??? Jimmy Johnson should be on there! GREAT football mind. Led Miami to their second of 5 titles. Miami was a wrecking ball under Johnson. And we all know he led Dallas to back to back titles. Motivated SOB who didn't stand for mediocre play. Coached greats like Vinny, Walsh, Irvin, Jerome Brown, Russell Maryland, Kennedy, Bennie Blades, Troy Aikman, Emmitt, Nate Newton, Leon Lett, Darren Woodson....Go Canes, Phins, Marlins, and Heat. peace.

Dan Gable

Gable became head wrestling coach at the University of Iowa in 1976. He formed a dynasty matched by few. From 1978 to 1986, the Hawkeyes won the NCAA title each year, a record nine in succession. He continued to coach the team until a sabbatical after the 1997 season. His record in dual meets was 355-21-5 which included 15 NCAA titles and 21 straight Big Ten titles.

In 1997, the Hawkeyes were expected to lose to the favored Oklahoma State Cowboys. But Gable, who was by this time coaching on crutches after hip replacement surgery, led his team to its 17th NCAA team title and to an unprecedented NCAA-record 170 points.

In addition to his leadership at the college level, Gable was head coach of the United States Olympic team in freestyle wrestling in 1980, 1984, and 2000.


knute rockne,the bear and bud wilkinson yes; ara parseghian, BO SCHEMBECHLER (0 national titles), bobby bowden, and joe paterno are not mentionable in the same breath as john mckay- four national championships between 62-74, and coach of the greatest team of the last half of the 20th century, the 72 trojans. old dadgum and joe pa are coaching for the purpose of finishing number one in all-time wins and have some less than stellar seasons. mckay's worst after 1962 were back to back 6-4-1 seasons, including depriving ara of another national championship in the last regular season game of 1970 (also happened in 1964). john mckay was bear bryant's best friend and the two of them were the best coaches of the 60s and 70s, atleast till mckay left for tampa, where he found that he did't have the superior personnel to run student body right/left in the pros.

This is a coach...

Scotty Bowman won 1,244 regular season and 223 playoff games while coaching the St. Louis Blues, Montreal Canadiens, Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Detroit Red Wings. Bowman won 5 Stanley Cups with the Canadiens (1973, 1976-79), 1 Cup with the Penguins (1992), and 3 with the Red Wings (1997-98, 2002).

Julian didn't Bills go to four straight SB's losing all of them? I'm starting to think ginrai and Cote are the same guy. Cote maybe you should adopt Vick and take him home with you.

greatest team of the last half of the 20th century? the TROJANS? wow.. the correct answer would be:
the 2001 miami hurricanes, with more NFL starters and pro-bowlers than any OTHER team from the last half of the century! the numbers?
23 total players drafted, 16 first round draft picks, 18 combined Pro Bowls, 9 combined All-Pros, and my favorite stat: 13 offensive touchdowns allowed by the defense all year. ALL YEAR.
shadow, i love ya brother, but NO team, even the trojans, can compare with those stats..

david in LA is right shadow. That 2001 Miami team is far and away the best team in college football EVER.

Sandy Eggo Cane makes a very good case for Dan Gable being the alltime best coach of any sport. At the least, he should have been included somewhere on this list. Good catch Sandy.

As much respect as I have for what Belichick has accomplished, I think it's too early to annoint him that high. The great coaches have been successful over very long periods of time and succeeded with different players. Belichick did not succeed in Cleveland and has only found the level of success when he stumbled upon Tom Brady. Belichick's true ranking as an all time great coach will come once he has taken his team with different players to the same level he has taken the current Patriots team.

david in los angeles and Tom,

last i checked the year 2000 was the last yeqar in the 2oth century. i admit that the 2001 canes were loaded, but i don't count professional careers in evaluating college teams. consider that ther were more NFl teams in 2001 to have first round draft picks, and that the WFL was around to snare talent via their draft in the 70s. as great as UM's runners were, none were as good as sam cunningham, and kellen winslow was nowhere near charles young as a tight end-charles young BLOCKED!!. the 72 trojans played a michigan state team with FOUR all-pros-joe delamelliure, bill simpson, brad van pelt and billy joe dupree and defeated them 51-6. nobody that UM played that year had the talent of that spartan team. plus, mike rae/pat haden were a better tandem than ken dorsey and whoever his backup was, and i liked ken dorsey a lot. artimus parker, charles philips, richard wood, and many others played well in the NFL; the canes were good, but were made to look that way in the rose bowl by a nebraska team that didn't belong. they barely got by BC and FSU if memory serves- that trojan team had no close games and was never behind in the second half. start 21st century talk with the 2001 canes

One morning a blind bunny was hopping down the bunny trail and
tripped over a large snake and fell, kerplop right on his twitchy little

"Oh please excuse me," said the bunny. "I didn't mean to trip over you,
but I'm blind and can't see.."

"That's perfectly all right," replied the snake. "To be sure, it was my
fault. I didn't mean to trip you, but I'm blind too, and I didn't see you
coming. By the way, what kind of animal are you?"

"Well, I really don't know," said the bunny. "I'm blind, and I've never
seen myself. Maybe you could examine me and find out."

So the snake felt the bunny all over, and he said, "Well, you're soft,
and cuddly, and you have long silky ears, and a little fluffy tail and a
dear twitchy little nose. You must be a bunny rabbit!"

The bunny said, "I can't thank you enough. But by the way, what kind
of animal are you?"

The snake replied that he didn't know either, and the bunny agreed to
examine him, and when the bunny was finished, the snake asked,
"Well, what kind of an animal am I?"

The bunny had felt the snake all over, and he replied,

"You're cold, you're slippery, and you haven't got any balls....

You must be a politician."

I'm all for the Heaters trying to get Lamar Odom, in the end his going back to LALA land

as for the Phils turning up the heat on the Marlins, who cares, football is just around the corner.

personal observation....I think drew brees mother is related to Cote.

last, I think this all time coaches poll is a joke.....I don't see LARRY COKER"S name on it.
he should be hands down in the top three.

Camp opens in two days and Davis isn't signed. What the hell is the deal? No news? Why isn't this a topic of discussion?

Looking over this list in more detail, perhaps I would have placed Billy Martin in there over Tony La Russa. Overall, MLB seems well represented.

Where there is absolute absurdity is in the NBA category. Aside from Phil Jackson rightly placed above all other NBA coaches, the list is lacking or outright, wrong. Auerbach has NO business being that high. Not to mention and against coaches in other sports. Heck, he wasn't even the best Celtic coach (K.C. Jones actually had a higher winning percentage). And Chuck Daly!? Please. Chuck's name doesn't register in the top 10 list in winning percentage, overall wins, games played.

Where are the names of Billy Cunningham, Don Nelson, Lenny Wilkens, Larry Brown (who also did some nice coaching in college, btw)?

There are at least eight coaches I would place above Auerback.

Oh, but OC. He won all those championships. Yeah, so what. You place me or anyone else on here piloting the Enola gay, and see if you too don't win that battle.

good one shadow. i didn't see that twentieth century thing. that being said, I disagree with some of your comparisons. Portis and McGahee are both better than Cunningham and while I agree about Kellen Winslow Jr, the tight end for Miami that year was Jeremy Shockey and I think Shockey was at a minimum the equal of Charles Young.

gregg popovich, bill parcells, pat riley, and don shula should all be higher.

just because vince lombardi has the superbowl trophy named out of him and has a few witty philosophical lines doesnt mean he should be that high on the list.

Trojans are the best condoms.

Testing, Testing 1 2 3...

Yes the best condoms bar none.

What is with this blog? Sometimes your contributions just vanish, poof like so much smoke after hitting the POST button.

Best coach should go to Gene Hackman after leading backwards inbred group of highschool basketball players from Hickory--HICKory--Indiana to state championship. All this while enduring Barbara Hershey's "that time of the month" attitude and Dennis Hopper's BO and whiskey breath.

Dave in Va. I have asked Cote on here and emailed him to post the Fins draft picks & what their A. Contract status is B. Health status C. Competition status on team depth chart.
As you can see,,,, not a word.

Good joke, Shark74.

Here's what makes the best coaches: can you repeat your success. We all love Don Shula and can run off many of his accomplishments in Miami, but the real reason he is the greatest NFL coach of all time is that he did it in Baltimore as well. I live in Pittsburgh, where they love Chuck Noll, but Noll didn't really get a lot accomplished in the second half of his tenure. Shula succeeded in Baltimore, then came to Miami and turned a 3-11 squad into a 10-4 squad the next year! That is amazing.

Scotty Bowman won Cups with three different teams. Compare that to Glen Sather, who couldn't win a Cup after leaving the great Oilers teams.

Joe Torre led the Atlanta Braves to the playoffs, then the Yankees, then the Dodgers.

I'm saying all of this to point out that a) Bill Parcells is FAR too low on this list for a man who took five teams--five teams!--to the playoffs within two years of walking in the door. Three of those five were 1-15!

and b) Bill Belichick was a loser in Cleveland. He can't be rated that high when he's only done it one place and failed at the other.

OK I'll try again. As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted by this blogs incessant operational failure, Cote is still too focused on Micheal Vick to provide updates on actual Dolphin players.

Heat missing out on Odom should not be considered all that bad a thing. While, as a Laker fan, I'm happy the Lakers retained him, I'm saying it with mixed feelings. On the one hand, he is talented and presents match-up problems for most teams he faces. On the other, the dude's head, oftentimes, is up on the clouds (see playing poker with Buss).

Were it not for playing under Jackson, knowing the triangle, and coming off the bench, I'm certain that another team would not reap as much from him as would the Lakers.

Lamar not signing with the Heat is a good thing for the Heat.

Bruce: look at Cleveland's record for the 3 previous years Billichick coached them and the three years prior. Also, see that BB won 9 games with chicken s%$& and made the playoffs with Cleveland.

Perception in this case, my friends, is not reality.

BB is an excellent coach, motivator, preparer, gamer planner, systems implementor, negotiator (i.ei trading for draft picks) and can i.d.talent and put a winning team on the field if given the opportunity and right set of circumstances.

Not all coaches can do that.

By the way, Cote Sucks. He teies so hard to be with it, that he ends up comming across as lame.

Manny Ramirez, the biggest slob in baseball,and David Ortiz both tested positive for steroids in 2003 according to reports today. Figures the Red Sox would have to cheat to break the Curse of the Bambino. Seems Beantown has a reputation for cheating in all sports.

Huh? Whatta ya talking about? Cheating? You can puff on my cigar if you think you can prove that I instructed maintenance to stop up toilets in the visitor's quarters and have them overflowing or have the building's boilers stoked and steaming right before tip off and again at halftime.

Good point about Odom being used to maximum ability by LA. Regardless, he would have been an improvement to the Heat in talent and versatility.

Time to bury the Vick talk. That story has run it's course. No surprise he wasn't even considered by Fins GM & VP. Finally--front office that builds a team the right way-draft- and stop chasing everyone elses trash.

Know it is very early but I am predicting that new additions to Fins are going to come up big.
A. Sean Smith (CB), will win starting CB spot over Vontae Davis and Eric Green. Green may get cut and he was constantly burned in limited action so far.
B. Clemons (S), 5th rd pick is going to make an impact.
C. Pat White (QB), going to take the Wild Cat to another level and Fins are going to rack up some serious points on offense.

Kurt. As much as I hate BB, you have to give him his due. He has won Super Bowls and has great influence on his teams impressive & successful player management. That being said, can't wait to see Joey Porter knock Brady into next yr while Miami wins the AFC EAST again.

New Nordstrom tux, shoes, shirt, and tie taken back the day after my date = $0.00

Dinner for two at Hamersley's Bistro, placing my concealed live worm on my plate just before finishing = $0.00

Promising my date she can be a team cheerleader if only she would puff on my cigar = Priceless


A. jeremy shockey couldn't block either

B. john mckay stated publicly that sam cunningham was the best runner he ever ruined (read played him at FB, much like marcus allen his first two years). his junior year when all the tailbacks got hurt, sam playewd tailback and ran for like 7 yards a pop-at 6 foot four and 225- and broke many long runs. he also got hurt in that year. clinton portis is one of my very favorite college players, willis mcgahee was untacklable in his big year- is is a fine line in discussing these teams/players and the back-and-forth is appreciated. college football was a run-oriented game in the 70s, and one of miami's strengths in 2001/2002 was they had a QB who could think and not have to use his less than strong arm when he didn't get the right coverage.

I'm a fan of Shula, BUT, when you have "2 of the greatest quaterbacks in history" and you can't win the big one with either one!! Not good.

Well Unitas was OLD by SB III. Marino eh what can you say. What was Shula's SB record 2-3? Actually 2-4 counting Colts? Not great winning SB percentage. He did get them there five times which is admirable though it sucks to lose a SB.

How about the 46' Army football team? The Army beat everyones butts during WW2. Altime great indeed.

r.duke-What sucks is sharing a cab ride at 2 am with a hooker getting a BJ and reaching down there & realizing she is a he.

Crying Game.

shadow, Sam "Bam" Cunningham. I remember him. He was a fullback on Pats right? Marcus was destroyed for some odd reason by Al Davis alias Dr. Moreau.

We won't hold anything against Marcus Allen for being a Raider, but simply loved his accomplishments, versatility, durability and most of all, his running style.

What the Hell is Phil Jackson doing in this list????!!!!??!? Are you FN kidding??? The man has done nothing!!! A retarded chimp could have coached both those teams (Bulls and Lakers) to championships. Did phil coach those teams when they had no body? Or id he take over after the rebuilding process? Like I said Phil doesn't belong in this list!! Lets see this coach amk a bad team better first!!

MJ#1: Yeah, that's right. Phil wouldn't have won more than two games without me.

MJ#2: Heeeh-heee (moonwalk). yes, I agree, and I have a nose for such things...well, I did have a nose once.

time for a taco

r.duke, sam cunningham was a FB for NE who primarily blocked for craig james and don calhoun. he was a terrific passcatcher and devastating blocker who was used on short yardage situations when he did run the ball. great football player and great guy

No, Ampd, you can't say that. Shaq and Kobe were together for three years before Phil came along and turned them into champions. Michael Jordan was in the league for around 5 years and couldn't even reach a conference final until Phil came along. I disagree with the oft-heard phrase "It's as hard to win with too much talent as it is with no talent," but Phil deserves his spot here.

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