1.Phil Jackson- The best coach in NBA history, won six championships with the Bulls and then four with the Lakers. Jackson has had a winning season every year as a coach. Granted he has the opportunity to coach both Jordan and Bryant, Jackson’s statistics are unlike any other coach. He is the only coach to win 10 championships in any of North America’s major professional sports. All-time coaching record of 1083-448 ( .707), with a 209 playoff wins.
2. Mike Krzyzewski- In 35 seasons, Coach K has 857 wins, 10 Final Four teams, 3 titles and 41 NBA draft picks. What most people don’t know about Duke is how bad the program was before Coach K got there. For example, in his first 3 seasons at Duke they were 38-47. Krzyzewski and Wooden are the only coaches in collegiate history to lead their team to the Final Four for five consecutive seasons. Also, Krzyzewski has the highest winning percentage in the NCAA tournament out of all currently active coaches. In addition to his collegiate accomplishments, Krzyzewski was the assistant coach of the “Dream Team”, and the head coach of 2008 Beijing team that won gold as well.
3. Bill Belichick- The only head coach in NFL history to win three Super Bowls in a span of four years. Belichick has won 116 games in his nine seasons as head coach of the Patriots, which is already more than any coach in NFL history through his first 10 seasons with a team. In total, he has 3 Super Bowl rings, 4 conference titles, and six division crowns. In 2007, he became the first head coach to guide his team to a perfect 16-0 season. From 2001-08, the Patriots won 75.8 percent of their regular-season games (97-31), recording the highest winning percentage of any major American professional sports team over that span. Belichick’s 15 career playoff wins rank fifth all-time.
4. Joe Torre- With 2,246 wins he ranks 5th all-time as a manager. Won 4 World Series titles, 6 American League pennants and 10 division titles. In 2009, he was named Sporting News Manager of the Decade. Torre has had 14 straight winning seasons dating from when he took over the Yankees. Has more postseason victories than any manager in Major League history. Not sure how much this helps his resume but he is 5-0-1 in the All-Star game as a manager.
5. Mack Brown- Like most of these coaches, his stats speak for himself. To start with, 20 consecutive winning seasons, 18 consecutive bowl game appearances, along with a national title in 2005. At Texas, Brown is 128-27 (.826), has won 7 of 9 bowl games and 3 BCS bowl victories. Before coming to Texas, the program was suffering from a 4-7 season, and 6 non-winning seasons in 12 years prior to his arrival. Brown’s philosophy is an attacking defense with a pro-style offense combined with a team-first family mindset. This past year the University of Texas decided to reward Brown of his efforts by making him the highest paid coach in collegiate athletics. ($5 million a season for life of his contract)
6. Geno Auriemma- As Connecticut broke its former record of 70 consecutive wins two nights ago, I thought I would pay a tribute to their coach. Many feel that he can only dominate women’s basketball, but nevertheless he is considered one of the best basketball coaches. He has an all-time record of 696-122 (.851), with six national championships, 10 Final Fours and three perfect seasons. Auriemma is a seven time National-Coach-of-the Year, and has the highest winning percentage among active collegiate coaches. Say what you want about the guy, but he has consistently produced throughout his 25 years at Connecticut.
7. Jerry Sloan- Probably the most underrated coach on this list is Sloan. Through 20 years of coaching he has accomplished fourth most wins all-time, seventh best winning percentage, two NBA finals appearances and six division titles. Had it not been for Michael Jordan he would have two rings to add to his resume. Sloan’s teams have made 17 trips to the NBA Playoffs and his 87 playoff wins are the sixth most in NBA history. Despite all of these achievements I think Sloan would agree that his biggest achievement came in 2003-04 when he was presented Sporting News NBA Coach of the Year. The best part about this was that his team went 42-40 that season.
8. Tony La Russa- La Russa currently ranks third on Major League Baseballs all-time managerial wins list with 2,461 and third in all-time games managed with 4,610. During his time with the Cardinals, La Russa has guided his teams to a franchise record 1,141 wins and has led the team to seven division titles, two National League Pennants and a 10th World Championship title in 2006. He has been rewarded with Manager of the Year accolades from the Sporting News, the Associated Press and the Baseball Writers Association of America. Has coached the infamous steroid user Mark McGwire and hopefully a clean future Hall-of-Famer in Albert Pujols.
9. Jim Tressel- The numbers on Jim Tressel are just as straightforward as the man himself. 218 career wins; nine national title game appearances; five Big Ten titles; eight bowl appearances; and national championships in 1991, 1993, 1994, 1997 and 2002. Add a .820 winning percentage with the Buckeyes, and you got one hell of football coach. Weird thing is that most Buckeye fans want the man gone. Not sure why that is, but I would sure miss his sweater vest on Saturday’s.
10. Greg Popovich- Has led the Spurs to four NBA Championships in his 13 seasons as the team’s head coach (1999, 2003, 2005 and 2007). Career winning percentage of .675 ranks third in NBA history. Not many coaches have won every time they were in the NBA Finals but that is what Popovich brings to the table. Popovich was a member of the U.S. Armed Forces before becoming the head coach at the University of Pomona. Fun fact, during his time at Pomona for one year he actually lived in a dorm with his family.
Honorable Mention: Tom Izzo, Ben Howland, Urban Meyer, Hank Haney