While I was scrolling through Twitter sometime Monday morning after it was revealed that Mike McCarthy would be the new coach of the Cowboys, I came across this eye-opening tweet from Dallas Morning News columnist Brad Townsend:
Coaches of DFW teams since Rick Carlisle became @dallasmavs' coach in 2008:
Cowboys: Wade Phillips, Jason Garrett, Mike McCarthy
Rangers: Ron Washington, Jeff Banister, Chris Woodward
Stars: Dave Tippett, Marc Crawford, Lindy Ruff, Ken Hitchcock, Jim Montgomery, Rick Bowness.
— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) January 6, 2020
A lot of different coaches/managers have made their way through DFW in the nearly 12 years since Rick Carlisle was hired in the spring of 2008. This inspired me to think about how would each of these guys stack up if we awarded them with points based on the team’s results while they were here? I landed on scoring the following way:
1 point for a winning season because that is an accomplishment to be recognized, but no points for simply completing a season or having a losing record in it
2 points for making the playoffs in a season because this is a notable accomplishment as well, but it doesn’t ultimately mean a ton if you’re quickly disposed of in the first round.
3 points for winning a playoff round because this is a tough feat that simply hasn’t been done that much over the last several years in DFW. You can be awarded 3 points for EACH round you win in a postseason, not just once and that’s it. For example, Avery Johnson would get 9 points for coaching the Mavs through three playoff round victories during their 2006 run to the Finals. Speaking of making the Finals…
5 points for making the Finals/Championship game because teams get a banner for their conference championships.
10 points for winning the championship because it needs to be much more valuable than any other accomplishment and it will ultimately put our rightful champion well ahead of anyone else in this contest.
A few qualifiers:
- This is going to include seasons dating back to the year 2000. I didn’t want to just go back to Carlisle being hired in 2008 because then the sample size of coaches would be a lot smaller. When I say the year 2000, the starting seasons for the basketball and hockey coaches will be the 2000-2001 campaigns and not 1999-2000. This will take away a championship round appearance from formers Stars coach Ken Hitchcock. Sorry, Ken. Starting at 2000 also means that any coach that carried over from the 90s won’t have their 90s accomplishments rewarded in this exercise. So sorry to Hitchcock and his 1999 Stanley Cup run or Johnny Oates and his 1999 AL West title with the Rangers.
- The last season included for the Mavs and Stars was the 2018-2019 seasons since they are complete. Both the Rangers and Cowboys have finished their 2019 seasons so they are included.
I’ll explain any other tricky situations as we go. Yes, this is flawed, I know. Do your own list if you want to do it your way! With that outburst out of the way, let’s start with the guys who have a nice and clean goose egg point total and then work our way up.
Chris Woodward – 0
Rangers manager 2019-present. 78-84 in first season.
Jerry Narron – 0
Rangers manager 2001-2002. 134-162 in two losing seasons.
Johnny Oates – 0
Rangers manager from 1995-2001. 506-476 overall, 71-91 in 2000 and only managed 28 games in 2001 before resigning.
Sorry, Johnny. Your number is retired by the team, but you get 0 points on this list.
Dave Campo – 0
Cowboys coach 2000-2002. 15-33 overall
So, so, so spare.
Glen Gulutzan – 1
Stars coach 2011-2013. 64-57-9.
Not shut out via leading the Stars to a 43-35-5 record in 2011-2012 that was not good enough for the playoffs.
Buck Showalter – 1
Rangers manager 2003-2006. 319-329 overall.
He was the manager for the insanely lovable 2004 Rangers that went 89-73 somehow after trading Alez Rodriguez weeks before the start of Spring Training and competed for the postseason all the way until the last week of the season. That campaign won him American League Manager of the Year, but the other three years in his tenure were incredibly mediocre.
Marc Crawford -2
Stars coach 2019-2011. 79-60-25 overall.
Part of the incredibly forgettable years in Dallas land between Dave Tippett and Lindy Ruff. Marc Crawford gets points for two winning seasons but the Stars were unable to crack the postseason in either one.
Jim Montgomery – 6
Stars coach 2018-2019. 60-43-10 overall.
This is the most efficient scoring on this list. Montgomery lasted less than a season and a half due to his unexpected firing back in December, but his first season on the Stars bench was very successful as the team had a winning record, made the playoffs, won a series against the Nashville Predators and came one inch away from clinching a second round series with a win over the Blues in game seven of their series last May.
Jeff Banister – 6
Rangers manager 2015-2018. 325-313 overall.
Banny started his tenure off hot with two AL West titles in first two seasons along with an AL Manager of the Year nod in 2015, but quick playoff exit both years and very underwhelming 2017 and 2018 campaigns led to the Rangers firing Banister with two weeks left in the 2018 season.
Bill Parcells – 7
Cowboys coach 2003-2006. 34-30 overall.
The Big Tuna had a couple winning seasons and a couple playoff appearances, but having Quincy Carter as his QB in 2003 and the Romo botched hold held him back from getting anywhere in the postseason during his time in Dallas.
Ken Hitchcock – 8
Stars coach from 1996-2002, 2017-2018
Obviously Hitch would shoot way up on this list if we included his accomplishments with the team from his arrival in 1996, but those aren’t the rules! Sorry, Hitch. Recency bias also docks him points for his odd one year second stint in Dallas in 2017-2018 where the team had a late season collapse to miss the playoffs.
Wade Phillips – 10
Cowboys coach from 2007-2010. 319-186-80 overall.
Highest point yielding season: 2009 – 6 points (winning record, playoffs, Wild Card round win)
Lindy Ruff – 10
Stars coach 2013-2017. 165-122-41 overall.
Highest point yielding season: 2015-2016 – 6 points (winning record, playoffs, first round win)
Fired just one year after coaching the Stars to the league’s best regular season record. Life comes at you fast.
Jason Garrett – 16
Cowboys coach 2010-2019. 77-59 overall.
Two six point seasons in 2014 and 2018 with Wild Card round wins.
Longevity allows Garrett to boost his numbers a bit. Just four winning seasons in nine full years as the coach of the Dallas Cowboys is unacceptable and let’s just say, DFW is pleased he is no longer with the organization.
Avery Johnson – 21
Mavericks coach 2005-2008. 194-70 overall.
Highest point yielding season: 2005-2006 – 12 points (winning record, playoffs, three playoff round victories, Finals appearance)
Avery just gets 3 points for winning a playoff round in the 2005 playoffs after taking over late in the season for Don Nelson. Two gut-wrenching playoff losses in 2006 and 2007 paired with a disappointing 2007-2008 left the Mavericks with the need for a new voice.
Don Nelson – 25
Mavericks coach 1997-2005. 339-251 overall.
Highest point yielding season: 2002-2003 – 9 points (winning record, playoffs, two playoff round victories)
Nellie only gets points for what he accomplished with Dallas starting with the 2000-2001 season through his departure in March 2005. He’ll get credit for a winning season in 2004-2005 and the 2 points for the Mavs playoff appearance since he coached the vast majority of the games that season. Avery was awarded the three points for the first round playoff victory over the Rockets that spring.
Dave Tippett – 25
Stars coach 2002-2009. 271-156-65 overall.
Highest point yielding season: 2007-2008 – 9 points (winning record, playoffs, two playoff round victories)
Dave and his mustache are underappreciated for the consistency he guided the Stars through in the decade after their Stanley Cup win. Basically all winning seasons, mostly all in the playoffs and then a run to the Western Conference Finals in 2008.
Ron Washington – 27
Rangers manager 2007-2014. 664-611 overall.
Highest point yielding season: 11 points in 2010 and 2011 (winning record, playoffs, two playoff round victories, two World Series appearances)
Another great mustache! Wash is the most lovable coaching figure in recent DFW sports history with his imperfections on and off the field. While the Rangers weren’t able to finish the deal in either 2010 or 2011, Washington still racked up major points with those playoff runs.
Rick Carlisle – 43
Mavericks coach 2008-present. 493-430 overall.
Highest point yielding season: 2010-2011 – 27 points (winning record, playoffs, three round victories, Finals, championship rewarded 10 in lieu of fourth 3 point round victory)
The Mavericks coach stands far above the rest thanks to his 2011 championship. Hopefully he’s fixing to have some seasons with nice point totals following three consecutive 0 point losing seasons as the team has rebuilt into the playoff contender it in 2019-2020.
Again, this is a flawed system, I know. I did have fun, however, just discovering how some of the coaches did in this system. Jason Garrett, seen as a coach who led mediocre teams, had a mediocre finish in this exercise. Far from the bottom, but certainly far from the top. Will new coach Mike McCarthy have a three or four year tenure like the Cowboys coaches that preceded Garrett? Or will the laughs and good chemistry present at the funny introductory press conference on Wednesday lead to the Joneses trusting McCarthy through thick and thin like their previous favorite long-lost son?