Strange Coaching Hires
Following a rocky tenure with the New York Knicks, Isiah Thomas is getting back into the coaching ranks, this time as the head coach of Florida International University. Here are some other coaches who came to the helm in unlikely circumstances.
After firing Dave Bristol in 1977, team owner Ted Turner hired himself as the Braves manager for a game to try to get the Braves out of a 16-game funk. He failed.
Two years after Stengel was unceremoniously retired from the Yankees, the Bronx Bombers' crosstown rivals picked up the 72-year-old to head the Mets in 1962. Despite his success with the Yankees in his earlier gig, he had a dismal .302 winning percentage with the Mets.
A national hero in Argentina during his playing days, Maradona publicly battled obesity and drug and alcohol addictions after he left the game. His takeover of the national team in 2008 was surprising to critics skeptical if he was healthy enough to guide the team.
In Steinbrennerland, the best choice to bring in to manage the Yankees might have not been the most conventional: Billy Martin was fired and then deemed qualified again -- five times.
Perhaps stranger than the hiring was the firing. George O'Leary was hired by Notre Dame ... only to lose the job five days later after it was found he doctored his resume.
After being out of coaching for 13 years, Barry Melrose was lured out of the broadcast booth and back into coaching by the Tampa Bay Lightning. He was fired after 16 games.
Less than a year after an aborted attempt at a comeback as a player, Lakers legend Magic Johnson was hired as his old team's head coach in 1994. He quit at season's end, blaming the attitudes of some of his players.
After Jessie Evans took a leave of absence in 2007, the University of San Francisco tapped legendary coach Eddie Sutton to take over for the remainder of the season. It was speculated he was only there to get into the 800 win club -- a mark he was two victories away from when he went to USF.
Months after leaving UNLV in a mess of NCAA violations, Jerry Tarkanian took a job as the head coach of the San Antonio Spurs in 1992. He was fired after 20 games.<br><br>Who would you add to the list? Send comments to email@example.com
After resigning under murky circumstances from the University of Detroit, the now-ESPN legend was hired by the Detroit Pistons. He lasted less than two seasons.
When he was five years removed from his career as a college coach, Barry Switzer was tapped as the next coach of the Dallas Cowboys in 1994. He lasted for a stormy four seasons.
At a school where football coaches come in with long resumes, the Irish faithful were shocked when successful high school coach Gerry Faust was hired to take over the team in 1981.
After being penalized by the NCAA for making illegal recruiting calls, Kelvin Sampson was named the new coach at one of college basketball's most historic programs. When he resigned in 2008, he left the Hoosiers under the worst NCAA sanctions in school history.