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D.C. is America's Coaching Graveyard (Cont.)

D.C.'s two grizzled coaching veterans.

A little more than a month ago, I described the District as America's coaching graveyard, pointing out that the coaches of D.C.'s NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB franchises had the lowest combined tenure of any of the 10 cities with one (and only one) team in each sport.

In the interim, the Colorado Avalanche fired Coach Tony Granato, and Denver briefly took over the honors. The Dallas Stars also fired Dave Tippett, and Dallas drew closer.

But with this morning's word that Manny Acta has been let go by the Nationals, D.C. is back on top, and by a landslide. The Caps' Bruce Boudreau, who has completed all of one entire season, is now the senior member of Washington's pro sports quartet. All professional coaches are hired to be fired, but in this city, they barely get past the introductions before getting to their goodbyes.

D.C.'s four coaches now have a combined 1,200 days of service, not even four years. Atlanta Braves skipper Bobby Cox has more than five times that tenure, by himself. Denver's still in second place, but that city's four coaches have almost two years more combined tenure. Several cities are out in front by more than a half-decade.

Three of the D.C. teams in question--the Wizards, Caps and Nats--have canned coaches mid-season within the past two years. When Acta, former Wiz coach Eddie Jordan and former Caps coach Glen Hanlon were fired, each of their respective teams had the worst record in their conferences, with the Caps and Nats having the worst record in their entire leagues. That leaves the Redskins, who have gone through six coaches in the past nine seasons. Not exactly a pillar of stability.

(You'll notice that D.C. United is not included on this list. DCU Coach Tom Soehn was hired in December of 2006, after Acta but before Boudreau. I didn't count MLS here, because that would reduce the number of cities eligible, but beat writer Steve Goff points out that in its 14 seasons of existence, United has never had a coach last more than three years.)

(Someone asked about the Mystics? Eleven coaches in 12 years.)

Acta, with 972 days in charge, was easily our pro quartet's senior member, in terms of service. None of D.C.'s other Big Four head coaches has reached 600 days yet: there's Boudreau with 599 days, Jim Zorn with 519 and Flip Saunders with 82.

The other nine cities with one NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL franchise? Only two have a senior member with fewer than three years of service. (Miami, with Fredi Gonzalez and his 1,014 days, and Dallas, with Ron Washington and his 980 days.) Many have double Boudreau's tenure.

And so, while we don't quite have the longest combined title drought of city with all four major sports (Minnesota still has us beat), damned if we don't again have a complete lockdown on the "Graveyard of Coaches" title. Yay us.

(And I'd advise Zorn and Boudreau against any long-term property investments.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  July 13, 2009; 7:36 AM ET
Categories:  Caps , Nats , Redskins , Wizards  
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Yeah Yeah...We suck. We get it.

Posted by: pecdec8705 | July 13, 2009 8:13 AM | Report abuse

I get what you are saying, but I have a feeling Boudreau is in for the long haul.

Posted by: killercue00 | July 13, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Boudreau is easily the one who fans can have the most confidence in. Of course firing midseason is the norm for hockey though...

Posted by: sitruc | July 13, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Owner approach kills:
Money, no plan; plan, no cents.
Caps alone have both.

Posted by: HaikuMan | July 13, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

"America's Coaching Graveyard"? DC is "America's Coaching Murder Capital"!

Posted by: jimward21 | July 13, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Since Manny will have some time on his hands, maybe MASN will hire him to join Dibble and Carpenter in the announcers booth for Nats games the 2nd half. Would make for some interesting commentary.

Posted by: Wallpass | July 13, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

It's easy to say DC United also goes through coaches, but DC United is the only team around here that has a history of WINNING. Not all their past coaches were fired.

Ted and the Caps get it, now. The Nats and Lerner won't ever get it. Abe is, well, Abe and the Wiz don't get it. The Danny is a walking, talking football moron who will never get it.

At least DC United wins.

And if you are going to talk about all sports, how about the Wiz-ettes (mystics). I don't follow them, but haven't they burned and churned a few coaches in their tenure in this city?

The teams in this area have one thing in common. STUPID and there are truck loads of stupid around here. You would think the Government was managing these DC area teams they are so backwards and ill run.

Posted by: tzj20874 | July 13, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

On the plus side WJFK is back on air and they are gonna make it publick now.

Posted by: alex35332 | July 13, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Isn't that a bit misleading. You go back a couple of years with Gibbs and Eddie Jordan in place, DC was no where near the top of that list.

Posted by: poguesmahone | July 13, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Gosh, I love being an exclusively DC sports fan!!! Ugh... we are gluttons for pain and misery.

Posted by: mharman1 | July 13, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Each coach stands on his own two feet. To not fire somebody because others in this area have been fired is nonsense.

JZ will be here for a while. The Caps coach will be here for a while. The Wizards made a mistake firing Eddie Jordan, but thats what the Wizards do, make mistakes.

Very misleading article......
The Nationals had to fire Acta because he was a losing coach.... period.

Posted by: punchdaclock | July 13, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately for D.C. sports fans, we have also historically had either the cheapest (Abe Pollin) or the dumbest (Dan Snyder / Lerner family) ownership of all the major cities, too. I'm sorry, but if lil' ol' San Anton (San Antonio) can figure out how to win an NBA championship, then the Wizards ought to be able to. That's OK; once Pollin (finally) packs it in, and allows a guy with vision (namely Ted Leonsis) to run the Wizards, then we will have a chance. Until then, we're stuck with Ernie Dumfeld, and the Polinnettes, along with their lousy coach-for-a-year.

Posted by: guisher | July 13, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I am impressed that you know the name of the coach of the Wizards. I didn't know. Some of these teams are so bad that it doesn't really pay to learn the names of the coaches or the players, unless you are into obscure trivia

Posted by: woody2471 | July 13, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

DC Sports Bog 'Fail', jumps shark!

Posted by: | July 13, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Don't kid yourselves, by the way: 'JZ' as 'Dim' Zorn has affectionately been dubbed by some of you commentors here, will be gone fairly soon; don't get used to him - he should never have been hired, he clearly has 'No Clue' what he is doing, and Snyder is not known for his patience. Once the Skins post another 6 and 10 season, Zorn will be a goner.

Posted by: guisher | July 13, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

As Bum Phillips memorably said, "there are two kinds of coaches, those that are fired and those that are about to be fired." I'm sure his son Wade will remember that when Jones axes him.

Posted by: jbkulp | July 13, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Did you mean 1, and only 1, team of each?

"The other nine cities with one NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL franchise?"

Or did you mean at least 1 team?

Because I count more than that:

1. DC (Redskins, Caps, Wizards, Nats)
2. NYC (Take your pick)
3. PHI (Flyers, Sixers, Eagles, Phillies)
4. BOS (Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox, Bruins)
5. DET (Tigers, Lions, Pistons, Red Wings)
6. DAL (Stars, Cowboys, Rangers, Mavs)
7. ATL (Hawks, Thrashers, Falcons, Braves)
8. MIA (Heat, Dolphins, Marlins, Panthers)
9. DEN (Avalanche, Rockies, Broncos, Nuggets)
10. MN (Wild, Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves)
11. CHI (Bulls, Bears, Cubs/White Sox, Blackhawks)
12. PHO (Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Coyotes, Suns)

You could also make a case for SF (Giants, 49ers, Warriors) if you count the Sharks.

You could say that suburban teams disqualify a city (Rangers in Arlington, TX) but that would rule out the Redskins, too.

I should also note that even with 13 cities, we're still second to last.

Posted by: bryc3 | July 13, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

To bad the politicians don't follow the same dateline.

Posted by: affirmativeactionpresident | July 13, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, sorry, one and one only. Otherwise how would you measure total tenure? Seemed like this was the easiest way.

Posted by: DanSteinberg1 | July 13, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Let the record show that Manny was actually fired in early May but they needed to make it official with the trip to Houston.

Posted by: UrbanShocker | July 13, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

To be fair to the Wizards, Eddie Jordan was the longest tenured coach in the NBA's Eastern Conference when he was fired. And San Antonio's brilliant master plan for winning championships was to manage to get the number one pick in the year that Tim Duncan was available.

Posted by: bowiemd1 | July 13, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"Otherwise how would you measure total tenure? Seemed like this was the easiest way."

Compute the arithmetic mean of tenures. If you did this, you could even include MLS and WNBA figures and get a comparable statistic.

Posted by: reader013 | July 13, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

From 1999 to the present:

Wizards 8 coaches in 10 years.
Mystics 9 coaches in 10 years.
Redskins 6 coaches in 10 years.
Capitals 4 coaches in 10 years.
Expos/Nationals 4 managers in 10 years.
DC United: 5 coaches in 10 years.

Posted by: trav1 | July 13, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

DC United: 5 coaches in 10 years.

That is made more interesting when it is actually 5 coaches since the beginning of MLS and two of them left for the National Team while a third was fired, but went onto do some youth national team work again.

Posted by: sitruc | July 13, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I prefer to expand the pool to make it just that much more ghastly. I also think it's very fitting that we only just squeaked by the Twins, winning the Super Bowl six months after their World Series.

Of course, now that I've typed that Pecherov will lead the Timberwolves to a title.

Posted by: bryc3 | July 13, 2009 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Who cares about coaches...we need players!

Posted by: SA-Town | July 13, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Amen to that 'SA-Town'.

Lombardi, Auerbach, an Billy Martin are long gone, and we're not exactly going to get the pick of the litter here in 'Disfunction Junction' any time soon.

Players like of Riggins, Unseld, and Walter Johnson have been missing all the time we've been collectively wandering in the desert - and all that does is show how important good ownership and management are to the success of any team.

Get these teams some real players and you'll find the next Joe Gibbs.

Posted by: spqr2k | July 13, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Weak assesment.........

(I know you love the drive-bys)

Posted by: 4thFloor | July 13, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

While I don't disagree with the numbers, you have to put some of the numbers in perspective. In the NHL for instance, Boudreau is already in the upper half of seniority as a coach in only one and a half seasons. As far as the Redskins, can it really qualify toward coaching graveyard status when the previous coach chooses to retire like Gibbs did?

Posted by: thrh1 | July 13, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

I came across an online community for individual seeking interracial love. It is --Mixedmingle dot com--- All singles there are seeking interracial relationships and sports friends. Interracial is not a problem here, but a great merit to cherish!

Posted by: sallyworking2006 | July 13, 2009 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, I love being an exclusively DC sports fan!!! Ugh... we are gluttons for pain and misery.

Posted by: mharman1 | July 13, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Not if you're a DC United fan :)

Posted by: GoUnited | July 13, 2009 10:57 PM | Report abuse

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