Giants Pat Shurmur, Jets Todd Bowles are worst coaches in NY
With 2018 winding down, it’s time for most New York City-area franchises to take a long, hard look in the mirror at the men tasked to lead their teams.
It hasn’t necessarily been a fruitful time in the area. Over the past two calendar years, only the Yankees and Rangers have made the playoffs. This year, only the Bronx Bombers appeared in a postseason.
In a city that never sleeps, the speculation of change doesn’t necessarily stop, either. You need more than two hands to count the number of times you’ve read a newspaper or gone online only to see the future of your favorite team’s head coach being questioned.
The NYC-area is on the verge of seeing at least one more coach fired before 2019 in New York Jets boss Todd Bowles, but where does he stand among the rest?
Metro New York ranks the eight head coaches of New York City’s “Big 4″ sports franchises:
1. Barry Trotz, New York Islanders
1st season: 13-9-3 career record with Islanders
As silly as this sounds, Trotz is the best coach in New York. He’s coming off a Stanley Cup championship with the Washington Capitals and has the small-market Islanders exceeding all expectations early on this season. He’s also brought legitimacy to a franchise that has been a laughing stock for much of the past 20 years due to broken leadership, tone-deaf general managers and inexperienced coaches.
2. David Fizdale, New York Knicks
1st season: 8-16 career record with Knicks
The fiery head coach has brought a passion and excitement back to Madison Square Garden that hasn’t been seen in years. The record isn’t pretty but he’s getting the most out of his players, most notably Emmanuel Mudiay, who is resurrecting his young career in the Big Apple. Just wait until the Knicks spend some money over the summer and bring in big-time talent. Fizdale is about to flourish.
3. David Quinn, New York Rangers
1st season: 13-12-3 career record with Rangers
Much like Trotz, Quinn is exceeding all expectations with his Rangers so far in 2018. The first-year head coach is not only taking a rebuilding franchise and finding ways to win games, but he’s also doing so with no prior NHL head-coaching experience. The 52-year-old is only going to grow as the Rangers build their way back into serious contention.
4. Aaron Boone, New York Yankees
1 season: 100-62 career record with Yankees
Coming off a first year in which he put up 100 wins, one would think Boone would be much higher on this list. However, the former ESPN analyst had plenty of growing pains when it came to decision-making and the handling of his bullpen down the stretch, especially in the ALDS against the Boston Red Sox. Almost anyone can put up a ton of wins in the regular season with the Yankees roster, a good manager needs to know how to take that next step and get to a World Series.
5. Mickey Callaway, New York Mets
1 season: 77-85 career record with Mets
The former pitching coach took his lumps with the Mets in yet another disappointing season for the franchise. He didn’t necessarily help with his patronizing responses to the media after finding ways to lose games. It’s worth noting though that he lived up to the billing of working well with pitchers. He managed Jacob deGrom to a Cy Young Award and is overseeing the resurgence of Zack Wheeler. Now let’s see what he can do with a healthy, possibly upgraded offense.
6. Kenny Atkinson, Brooklyn Nets
3rd season: 56-132 career record with Nets
Atkinson has had the difficult task of trying to navigate the Nets through the tail-end of the organization’s dark times that was brought about by the fateful trade for Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry. Now in his third year, there was a belief that an improved Nets team could make a legitimate push for the playoffs in the weak Eastern Conference. Instead, he’s 8-16 through 24 games this year. The losing has to stop or he’ll be gone by season’s end.
7. Pat Shurmur, New York Giants
1st season: 4-8 career record with Giants
The past two weeks have shown that Shurmur is unfit to coach the New York Giants. After blowing a 19-3 lead in a last-second loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 12, Shurmur’s Giants blew a 10-point lead in the final two minutes against the Chicago Bears on Sunday before pulling out an overtime win. His playcalling has been inconsistent and questionable while he’s had issues giving star rookie running back Saquon Barkley the ball enough times. Even though the Giants are 3-1 in their last four, those wins have come against bad or shorthanded teams and shouldn’t mean much to the incompetent coach.
8. Todd Bowles, New York Jets
4th season: 23-37 career record with Jets
Remaining the head coach of the Jets with each passing week is like an escape act for Bowles. The franchise’s weak coaching staff is the main reason why the fourth-year head coach still has a job, though. An unmotivated mess of a team is one of the least-disciplined when it comes down to crunch time, as seen with their four penalties committed when allowing the Tennessee Titans to drive down for the game-winning touchdown on Sunday. He’s counterintuitive when it comes to the development of rookie quarterback Sam Darnold and will only continue to handcuff the franchise during the final weeks of his stint in New York.