The Brooklyn Nets announced probable Hall of Fame point guard Jason Kidd will be their new head coach. The NFL has had a plethora of stars-turned-NFL coaches. Adam Rank provides the list.
Ringo was selected to 10 Pro Bowls and was an All-NFL selection seven times for the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles. Ringo excelled as an offensive line coach for the Buffalo Bills, putting together the famed "Electric Company" line that paved the way for O.J. Simpson's record-breaking season in 1973. But Ringo struggled as the team's head coach in 1976, going 3-11.
LeBeau played in one of the most feared secondaries in NFL history, teaming with Dick "Night Train" Lane, Yale Lary and Lem Barney for the Detroit Lions. LeBeau struggled as head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, but his legacy will be as the innovator of the "zone blitz" and possibly the greatest defensive coordinator of all time.
McCormack was a long-time offensive lineman for the Cleveland Browns, helping pave the way for Browns' running back Jim Brown. McCormack was a successful assistant coach, and he got his chance to be the head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1973. He lasted three seasons, going 16-25-1. McCormack had a stint as coach of the Baltimore Colts, going 9-23 from 1980-81. Finally, McCormack coached the Seattle Seahawks during the strike season of 1982, taking over for Jack Patera to post a 4-3 record.
Norm Van Brocklin
Van Brocklin was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection for the Rams and Philadelphia Eagles, and he teamed up with Bob Waterfield in 1951 to lead Los Angeles to its first NFL championship. Van Brocklin thought that he was the heir apparent to retiring Eagles coach Buck Shaw, but instead he took over the expansion Minnesota Vikings in 1961. Van Brocklin went 29-51-4 as coach and famously feuded with quarterback Fran Tarkenton during that time. Van Brocklin would coach the Atlanta Falcons from 1968-1974 to post a record of 37-48-3.
Waterfield was the first rookie to win the NFL's MVP award with the Rams in 1945 and was known for his long bombs on the field and leading the team to two NFL titles (1945 and 1951). Waterfield did not fare as well as coach of the Los Angeles Rams, lasting three seasons with a record of 9-24-1.
Fears was the beneficiary of many of Bob Waterfield's passes, and he also was a part of the Cleveland Rams' championship team in 1951. Fears also struggled as coach of the New Orleans Saints from 1967 to 1970, posting a winning percentage of just .277. Fears also coached the Southern California Sun of the World Football League from 1974 to 1975.
Clyde "Bulldog" Turner
The Bulldog was the top center and linebacker of his era, playing 13 seasons for the Chicago Bears. And you know when the New York Jets play in those horrible Titans throwbacks? Turner was the coach of those New York Titans in 1962, posting a 5-9 record.
Christiansen's playing career did not intersect with Dick LeBeau, but he was a member of those famed Lions teams of the 1950s. Christiansen coached the San Francisco 49ers from 1963 to 1967, posting a 26-38-3 record. After that, he had a winning record at Stanford from 1972 to 1976 before returning to be an NFL assistant coach.
Starr was one of the NFL's all-time top winners. He led the Green Bay Packers to five NFL championships and was selected as the MVP of the first two Super Bowls. But his winning ways did not translate as an NFL coach. Starr guided the Packers from 1975 to 1983, and he went 52-76-3. He did lead the Packers to the playoffs in 1982 and even won a game in the expanded NFL playoff tournament that year, but he was dismissed in 1983 after going 8-8.
Some might argue that Graham is the greatest quarterback in NFL history. He is if you count championships -- Graham won seven professional championships as quarterback of the Cleveland Browns. Graham won four titles in the All-American Football Conference and three in the NFL. In six NFL seasons, he led the Browns to six title games. Graham coached the Washington Redskins from 1966 to 1968, but he could not recapture the same magic he had as a player. Graham went 17-22-3. He was replaced by Vince Lombardi.
Slingin' Sammy was one of the premier quarterbacks in NFL history, but he was so much more than just a signal-caller. Baugh set 13 NFL records in three player positions: quarterback, punter and defensive back. Baugh was the first coach of the New York Titans in 1961 and 1962. He also coached the Houston Oilers in 1964 and finished with a career winning percentage of .429.
Gregg was a teammate of Bart Starr with the Green Bay Packers, and he was chosen to replace him as coach in 1984. Gregg previously had served as head coach of the Cleveland Browns (1975 to 1977) and Cincinnati Bengals (1980 to 1983). Gregg helped lead the Bengals to their first Super Bowl appearance in 1981, but they lost to the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XVI, 26-21. Gregg had a lifetime winning percentage of .469.
Remember how disastrous Singletary's NFL coaching career was? Singletary's NFL coaching career started off with a bang when he sent Vernon Davis to the locker room during the middle of a San Francisco 49ers game. But the same intensity he showed as a player failed to make him a long-term success as a coach.
Late Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis once said that firing Shell as coach of the Raiders in 1994 was the biggest mistake he made. Well, his second biggest was hiring Shell, again, to coach the Raiders in 2006. Shell went 54-38 after taking over for Mike Shanahan in 1988. He lasted only one season in his reboot, struggling to a 2-14 mark. Still, he holds an impressive .519 career winning percentage.
Berry was so intent on being a good receiver, he once asked Baltimore Colts teammate Johnny Unitas to stay after practice and throw him some "bad balls." After Unitas declined, Berry instead had his wife throw him passes. Berry's top performance came in the 1958 NFL Championship Game when he had 12 receptions for 178 yards and a touchdown. Berry was a winner as a head coach too. Berry went 48-39 as coach of the New England Patriots (1984 to 1989) and led the team to the AFC championship in 1985, but they lost to the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XX.
Schmidt spent his entire playing and coaching career with the Detroit Lions. Schmidt was a member of the famed Lions teams of the 1950s and, when his playing career ended in 1965, he became the team's head coach in 1967. Schmidt retired from coaching after the 1972 season with a career mark of 43-35-7, a nice .558 record for the Lions.
After a Hall of Fame playing career that included stints with the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys, "Iron" Mike Ditka served as an assistant coach for Tom Landry and the Dallas Cowboys from 1973 to 1981. The Bears hired Ditka as coach in 1982, and a legend was born. Ditka led the Bears to six NFC Central titles, but the highlight of his coaching career came in the Bears' 46-10 drubbing of another Hall of Famer turned coach, Raymond Berry, in Super Bowl XX. Ditka's Bears went 106-62 during his tenure. His coaching record took a hit during an ill-advised three years as coach of the New Orleans Saints. Or maybe it was just the trade for Ricky Williams that was ill-advised. Still, he is our leader in the clubhouse for Hall of Fame players turned coaches.