Kentucky’s Greatest Coaches of All Time

Sporting News just published its list of America’s greatest sports coaches of all time. It includes the usual suspects at the top — Wooden, Lombardi, Bryant — and no stunning surprises.

Such lists are just the type of exercise fans love to argue about. Let’s get one goin’, eh?

Soooooooooo, I got to thinking: What would a list like that look like for those who have coached in the commonwealth? I started making a list. One of the first things I realized when trying to include high school coaches is that such an endeavor should be left to Earl Cox. So I have. This group includes only those who have coached in college or the pros.

I post this without a whole lot of research. It’s totally subjective. It is based both on reputations, won/loss records, championships and the intangibles we like to see in coaches.

Here goes nothing:

1 — Bear Bryant

2 — Adolph Rupp

3 — Denny Crum

4 — Uncle Ed Diddle

5 — Hubie Brown

6 — Rick Pitino

7 — Howard Schnellenberger

8 — Dan McDonnell

9 — Bobby Petrino

10  — Peck Hickman

Also receiving votes (Okay, what I mean is: Other coaches whose names crossed my mind.): Uncle Charlie Moran, Frank Camp, Tubby Smith, Jeff Walz, Cawood Ledford (If you don’t think he coached, you never listened to him call a UK game.), Paul Sanderford, Blanton Collier, Jim Fregosi.

I’m so sure there are other worthy of mention, and even more sure you will let me know who they are. (Note to Cats fans: John Calipari has yet to coach a game for a Kentucky school.)

– Seedy K


  1. fred
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    I’d drop #1 to 3rd and move 2 & 3 up in order.

  2. Alan Zukof
    Posted July 31, 2009 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    A few more: John Dromo, Terry Hall, Joe B. Hall, Jimmy Feix, Johnny Oldham, Alex Groza, Paul McBrayer, Wayne Chapman, Shirley Duncan, Debbie Yow, Madeleine Naegele.

  3. Alan Zukof
    Posted July 31, 2009 at 2:19 am | Permalink

    Oops — forgot Bud Childers.

  4. CampT
    Posted July 31, 2009 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Roy Kidd?

  5. Ernie Muppet
    Posted July 31, 2009 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    One day my man Scotty Davenport will be on this sort of list.

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