Coaches always necessary to winning teams

Joe Frye, IV Leader Columnist

There will always be people in your life that will say “Professional athletes do not need coaches, biggest excuse for a job nowadays.” With athletes today being at the top of their game and seem to know everything to do in any situation, you may simply agree with this fan and say coaches do not really coach, they supervise these grown men and women. Over time and in certain parts of the sports world it was exposed who needed a new coach, and fast. We will start in New Orleans.

The New Orleans Saints have had a rough year, with the story being released and being found true about the bounty gate system ran by former defensive coordinator Greg Williams. What is amazing about this story is the need the Saints had for head coach Sean Payton to come back. Payton was suspended for the entire year and his football team did so bad it showed how important he was to the team, and he instantly became the hottest coaching ticket on the market. After months of reassuring and finally saying he is returning to the bayou, Payton is now the highest paid coach in NFL history, and he didn’t even step foot on the field last year.

Next we move west to Los Angeles where of course we get to talk about the Lakers. With their second coach of the year on the ropes and possibly getting fired the Lakers are many games below .500, after being touted “the best team on paper” in recent years. After defensive specialist coach Mike Brown did not work after 5 games this season, the talk of the country was another Jordan-esque return for Zen master and head coach Phil Jackson, a legend in Los Angeles. Instead, the Lakers brought in Run and Gun enthusiast Mike D’Antoni. It has been said that LA hired D’Antoni because he was the “sexiest name” left in the coaching carousel.. Nonetheless, D’Antoni came into town and tried to run a college offense with a bunch of banged up 32-year olds that do not know how to play defense. It just goes to show you that not every coach’s system can work and sometimes, you don’t need an eye-popping hire in order to win. Now the Lakers are stuck playing whatever kind of basketball you can call it right now.

And finally. we cannot finish this column without talking about the importance of a certain coach on a popular team here in the Midwest. Tom Thibodeau could easily be up for another Coach of the Year award with the job he is doing with the Bulls in Chicago. With former MVP Derrick rose out until probably February and not a whole lot of life in the stands anymore, the Bulls are still contending in the eastern Conference and it is all because of Thibodeau. Thibs’s style is simple; we can score 2 points a game, as long as we only give up 1. He gets the most out of all of his role players and his stifling defensive work is top notch in the NBA. With Rose on the cusp of returning and the Bulls staying afloat in the East, Thibodeau has his guys right where he wants them, a plan built by him and executed perfectly.

Coaching in professional sports is a stressful job, and many believe it is overlooked. Even an athlete who has played a certain sport for 20+ years needs an authority figure to tell them what to do. Every team needs a coach, and sometimes the hardest thing in a franchise is to find one.