Commentary

Super six coaches in pro sports

Updated: May 14, 2012, 10:55 AM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

I recently had an interesting conversation with a big sports fan. I was sitting at The Broken Egg in Lakewood Ranch and he asked me a simple question.

"Who are the best coaches in pro sports today, Dickie V?"

I smiled and immediately rattled off a few names. Then I thought for another moment or two and decided on a couple of others.

The bottom line is, I opted for six coaches in the different sports. Here is my list and why:

[+] EnlargeBill Belichick
AP Photo/Mark HumphreyBill Belichick has won three Super Bowl rings as the head coach of the Patriots.

Bill Belichick, New England Patriots
He led the Patriots to three Super Bowl wins and almost got another this season.

Tom Coughlin, New York Giants
Led the Giants to the title this year, his second Super Bowl ring. Think about what he did with the Jaguars too!

Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs
His Spurs were the best in the West this season. He is a future Hall of Famer for sure.

Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay Rays
He has done an incredible job with the Rays. His teams are always in contention despite budgetary restrictions.

Mike Scioscia, Los Angeles Angels
Look at his track record on the field and with his coaches moving to bigger and better things.

John Tortorella, New York Rangers
He won a Stanley Cup with the Lightning and has the Rangers in the hunt this season.

Why do I like these six? Let's start with communication, motivation, getting the most from their talent, evaluating strengths and weaknesses of their athletes and the ability to mold them into a cohesive unit. That is what coaching is all about. It is not always easy to reach the modern-day athlete, but all six of these gentlemen understand what it takes to win and do it on a consistent basis.

If you think about it, this is a pretty impressive list. I am a sports fan and I admire what these six have done over the years. How about a salute for my super six pro coaches.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.