10 Coaches Who Were Rehired By Their Former Teams
The coaching carousel goes ’round and ’round, and where it stops… is sometimes in a familiar place. The Cleveland Cavaliers re-hired Mike Brown on Wednesday, welcoming back the coach who steered the team to its first NBA Finals in 2007. Here’s a look at 10 guys who got a chance to guide a team a second time.
After taking a sabbatical from coaching in 2004, Phil Jackson returned to the Los Angeles Lakers less than a year later. In his first stint with the Lakers, Jackson won three titles. He took home additional championships in 2009 and 2010, before retiring for good the next year.
During his first stint with the Redskins, Joe Gibbs won four NFC championships and three Super Bowls. Unfortunately, his second time around didn’t go as well: the team made the playoffs twice from 2004 to 2008, but didn’t match his earlier success.
As hard as it is to believe now, Bobby Cox didn’t get the Atlanta Braves on track right away from 1978 to 1981; the team finished above .500 just once. Cox left for Toronto for a few years before finding his way back to Atlanta. In Cox’s second term, the Braves won 14 straight N.L. East titles and a World Series championship in 1995. Cox hung up his uniform in 2010 as one of the all-time managerial greats.
Lenny Wilkens’ coaching career started as a player/coach for the Seattle SuperSonics in 1969. Wilkens was so beloved by the organization that they brought him back as the full-time coach in 1977. Wilkens won his only NBA title with the team in 1979.
In John Robinson’s first seven seasons with USC, he compiled an .827 winning percentage and won the national championship in 1978 before moving to the NFL to coach the Los Angeles Rams. Robinson returned to USC in 1993 and remained there through 1997, going 36-21-2 in his second stay at the school.
George Steinbrenner couldn’t get enough of Billy Martin, then he couldn’t stand him, then he got him back again, and so on. This dance with the Yankees went on for over a decade, with Martin coming and going five different times. When Martin died in 1990, he was reportedly preparing to manage the Yankees for a sixth time .
Art Shell coached the Los Angeles Raiders from 1989 to 1994. The Hall of Fame Raiders’ tackle was rehired in 2006, but the team won just two games during the campaign and Shell was canned after the season.
From 1968 to 1982, Earl Weaver ‘s Baltimore Orioles were one of the American League’s best teams. They took home the 1970 World Series title, and won three other A.L. titles. Weaver came out of retirement in 1985 for another shot with the O’s, but he retired for good after one season.
Cito Gaston helped transform the Toronto Blue Jays into a force in the American League in the early 1990s and led them to two World Series’ titles. As the team struggled in 2008, they brought back Gaston, who was unable to return the team to the playoffs. He retired for good in 2010.
Mike Brown was named NBA Coach of the Year in 2009 for helping the Cleveland Cavaliers to an impressive 66-16 record, but he was never able to win an NBA title with LeBron James. Cavs management let Brown go in 2010. Wednesday, the Cavs announced they we]re bringing Brown back. How he’ll fare in his second showing is anyone’s guess. Stay tuned.