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D.C: Still the coaching graveyard


D.C.'s third- and second-longest tenured pro coaches.


Chatting at 11:30. Submit questions here. And don't ask me when Shanahan is getting hired. I don't know.

When Manny Acta was fired this summer, I posted some stats showing that D.C. had, by far, the shortest combined coaching tenure of any city with one team in the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB.

With Jim Zorn's firing, though, we've now gone to a new level of graveyardom. There are five pro teams in this town that I regularly write about; all but the Caps have hired a new head coach in the past eight months. We couldn't even get from the announcement that Curt Onalfo had been hired by D.C. United to Onalfo's introductory news conference without another coaching change. Some additional absurd facts about this predicament:

* Flip Saunders (hired April 22) is now Washington's second-longest tenured pro head coach. He's coached less than half of one season.

* Jim Riggleman (hired Nov. 11) now ranks third on that list. And he hasn't managed a single game without the interim in front of his title. Exclamation mark.

* Onalfo (hired Dec. 28) spent exactly one week as the least-tenured D.C. pro coach, before Zorn got the axe.

* Bruce Boudreau (hired Dec. 26, 2007, on a permanent basis) has been the Caps' coach for 741 days. That's more than twice the service time of Saunders, Riggleman, Onalfo, and Zorn's successor, combined. Boudreau is in the middle of his second full season, but he will have already seen three Redskins head coaches.

* Joe Gibbs spent something like 4,434 days as the Redskins coach the first time around. That means he spent more weeks as the Skins coach than Saunders, Riggleman, Onalfo and Zorn's successor have spent days as D.C. head coaches, combined.

* Before Gibbs resigned the first time, the head coaches of the Redskins, Wizards (Wes Unseld) and Caps (Terry Murray) all had been in place longer than any of D.C.'s current coaches.

* This isn't the first time we've seen such massive turnover. There were all sorts of changes from 2001-03, with the Caps hiring both Bruce Cassidy and Glen Hanlon, the Redskins hiring both Marty Schottenheimer and Steve Spurrier, the Wizards hiring both Doug Collins and Eddie Jordan, and United hiring Ray Hudson in that span.

* And yet 1994 may have been the most recent calendar year in which every D.C. pro team changed coaches. Jim Schoenfeld became the Caps coach on Jan. 27, Norv Turner became the Skins coach on Feb. 2, and Jim Lynam was hired by the Bullets on May 4. I'm sure the bloggers had a field day with that one.

* Daniel Snyder, January, 2008: "Joe [Gibbs has] done a great job of stabilizing a situation that became unstable before, quite frankly."

By Dan Steinberg  |  January 5, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Caps , D.C. United , Nats , Redskins , Wizards  
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Next: Joe Bugel and the birth of the Hogs

Comments

FYI, the Mystics cach has a full season under her belt here now. I know the WNBA doesn't count for much, just saying.

Posted by: EricS2 | January 5, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

"Onalfo (hired Dec. 28) spent exactly one week as the least-tenured D.C. pro coach, before Zorn got the axe."

I'm not sure you get out of the cellar until someone else is hiring. You got a scoop you're not sharing?

Posted by: WorstSeat | January 5, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Is this an observation you had in the shower or something? Seriously, how many cities (regions) have a NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB team...Boston/New England, New York, Dallas, Philly, Chicago...that's it right? And since you threw in Onalfo into your article, you can pull Philly out since they don't have an MLS team.

Worthless random neural firing on your part.

Posted by: mmcghee701 | January 5, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Talk about coaching graveyards?

How about Atlanta? or Houston?

These cities rarely in their history have ever been in the limelight for sports, and often have had teams that were just plain awful.

Since I have been following major league sports in 1971 as a kid, Atlanta has the 1995 Braves as the sole champion.

Houston doesn't have any.

San Diego doesn't have any.

Seattle has the 1979 Sonics.

Phoenix doesn't have any.

Miami has the Heat in 2006.

Then there are places like Minnesota (Twins in 1987 and 1991) or Philadelphia (76ers in 1983, Phillies in 1980/2008) that are like Washington, a few championships but then years of being in the wilderness.

Posted by: leopard09 | January 5, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

"And yet 1994 may have been the most recent calendar year in which every D.C. pro team changed coaches. Jim Schoenfeld became the Caps coach on Jan. 27, Norv Turner became the Skins coach on Feb. 2, and Jim Lynam was hired by the Bullets on May 4. I'm sure the bloggers had a field day with that one."

Were there really blogs in 1994?

Posted by: DKEAT | January 6, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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