Cities Journal

21 Worst Coaches In NHL History


Wherever there’s the good, there’s also the bad following close by. This is probably to maintain some balance in the universe, for if everything was good, it would most likely be as dull as heck. Sports is no exception. When it comes to coaching, you have those individuals who are able to single-handedly win championships with their impressive leadership skills and unparalleled wits. And then you have the flubs – people who think coaching is relatively simple and that all you need to do is wave your hands around and shout at your team. This is absolutely not the case, so let’s see who the worst 21 NHL coaches of all time are.

1. Dick Umile

If there exists such a thing as being both the most successful and the worst coach of all time (simultaneously, mind you), Dick Umile would be the perfect example of such a phenomenon. He’s been the head coach of the men’s hockey team over at the University of New Hampshire for a whopping twenty-five seasons, he’s been named Hockey East Coach of the Year a total of six times (most ever) and he has guided the Wildcats to seventeen NCAA tournament appearances. Do you want to know how many of those tournaments Umile won? He has successfully led his team to the following trophies: none.

You can say what you will about Umile and defend him vigorously, but for a man that’s constantly ranked as one of the best in the country, making it to only four Frozen Fours and two national championship games doesn’t really make for a decent CV – especially since it’s a grand total over a twenty-five year span. There are fans who adore him and the school brass idolize him, but his .433 winning percentage in tournament games is well below what you would expect from a supposed legend.

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