Coaches across the four major North American sports have had a rough go in the last couple of weeks. Given the issues some organizations are having, be thankful for the head coaches in Pittsburgh.
Being a coach of a professional team is not easy. Their decisions are publicly scrutinized in the bad times, and they typically do not get enough credit in the good times. No matter the situation they are on display, and someone always has something to say about them.
For some teams and coaches in the last couple of weeks, the scrutiny has come to a climax. In the NHL, we are seeing allegations of player abuse and other inappropriate conduct by coaches. In the MLB we have seen cheating allegations against the Astros, and some former coaches. In the NHL and NFL we have seen coaches relieved of their duties after poor performances.
The NHL scandals include Mike Babcock, Bill Peters, and Marc Crawford for actions such as verbal abuse, racist comments, and kicking players.
In more traditional coaching downfalls, we have seen Ron Rivera (Carolina Panthers) and John Hynes (New Jersey Devils) be fired after their teams failed to meet expectations.
While chaos ensues for some teams and coaches, let’s reflect on the coaches we have been fortunate enough to watch in Pittsburgh.
The Pirates have just introduced new manager Derek Shelton, so he cannot really be included here, but looking at Clint Hurdle’s nine seasons, we can be thankful for the only playoff appearances (and wins) in the last two decades.
As for the Steelers, Mike Tomlin has been at the helm since 2007, and, although Steelers fans seem pretty divided on the job he’s done, let’s remember that under his guidance the Steelers have played for two Super Bowls, winning one.
To put it in perspective, 23 NFL franchises have Super Bowl droughts that date back beyond the Steelers winning Super Bowl XLIII. With a regular season record of 132-71-1 to go with that, we should be thankful for the success and consistency from Tomlin and the Steelers.
Finally, Mike Sullivan and the Penguins have given us plenty to appreciate throughout his tenure. A continuation of the team’s playoff streak, as well as consecutive Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017 are plenty to be excited about.
Sullivan’s 189-101-38 record shows tremendous regular season success as well, and his accomplishments with the Penguins should be appreciated in Pittsburgh.
Fans will not always see eye to eye with those that coach their favorite teams, and that’s OK, but look around the sports landscape before you get too excited about kicking them to the curb.
Who will replace them? What other changes come with a coaching change? There is a lot to consider when it comes to coaches, and, thankfully, we have had steady, successful leaders in Pittsburgh.
What is your opinion of the current coaching drama? What are your thoughts on the coaches in Pittsburgh? Leave your comments below!