The world wasn’t ready for Joe Maddon with a Mohawk. It probably still isn’t.
ESPN’s renowned baseball insider Tim Kurkijan reported that after the Los Angeles Angels’ 12th straight loss, in an attempt to lighten the mood, Maddon, 68 years old, got a Mohawk.
He got fired by Angels General Manager Perry Minasian before Maddon Mohawk could be seen by the baseball universe. The Angels replaced Maddon with Phil Nevin and the losing streak hit 14. The Angels have now lost 18 of their last 19 games.
Maddon’s dalliance with the hair clippers is either admirable or ridiculous. The baseball season is long and there are always slumps. Maddon was hoping to change his team’s fortunes by changing his look, but all that changed was his resume.
How would Maddon’s Mad-fro have compared to the other legendary follicularly-blessed coaches in the sports world? Here are the best looks ever by a coach, and there’s lots of L.A. love here.
Pat Riley, Miami Heat President
Can you do a list of legendary coaches and their legendary hair without Riley? No, dear reader.
Famous for his slicked-back do and Armani suits, Riley was a sight on the Lakers (and Heat and Knicks) sidelines. Here’s the thing about Riles hair, it wasn’t always that way. When it was thicker, Riley wore a basic side part, even when he was the coach of the Lakers 1980 NBA championship team, his hair was poofy, not pompadour.
Now 77, Riley has embraced the look for over four decades. It’s worked. He has nine NBA titles as a coach or executive.
Jimmy Johnson, NFL analyst
You know your hair is a big deal when after your team wins a Super Bowl, they immediately start to rumple it. That’s just what happened in 1993 after Johnson led the Dallas Cowboys to the title.
Johnson never met a can of hair spray he didn’t like, or seemingly empty. From the Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field to the windswept plains of Texas, Johnson’s hair was immovable, like Nate Newton at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Johnson was also a great coach, the first coach to win a national title in college (with Miami) and a Super Bowl.
Rob Ryan, NFL assistant coach
He’s not the Ryan brother with the foot fetish, that would be Rex. This is Rex’ twin brother, they are the sons of famous Bears defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan. Rob has some serious flow going, a nifty salt-and-pepper mane that hangs past his shoulders.
Rob Ryan has never been an NFL head coach. He has shown off his hair on staff with the (deep breath) Cardinals, Patriots, Raiders, Browns, Cowboys, Saints, Bills, Redskins and Ravens.
The 59-year-old still has the look and is signed up to work on staff with the Raiders (again) in 2022.
David Yost, college football coach
Just do yourself a favor and google Yost. His hair has a Thor-like quality (or maybe like wrestling legend Lex Luger), long and blond. And he has a direct connection to Los Angeles. He was the quarterbacks coach at Oregon when current L.A. Chargers star quarterback Justin Herbert was there.
Yost worked as offensive coordinator at Texas Tech and Utah State. He just joined the staff at Florida International where his hair is sure to shine.
Bobby Cremins, retired college basketball coach
You could look at Cremins and know with his fair skin and cream-colored shaggy mane he was Irish. Georgia Tech students used to don blond/silver wigs to honor Cremins’ buff look.
Cremins was a success as a coach too, leading Georgia Tech to 11 NCAA Tournaments and one Final Four. He was part of the coaching staff for Dream Team II in 1996 which won an Olympic gold medal. He retired in 2012 after a stint at the College of Charleston, but his silver streak isn’t forgotten.
Barry Melrose, NHL analyst
It’s just perfect isn’t it? The Melrose Mullet has made him a star on television. In his playing days, his hair was black all the way across…and back, now Melrose is silver on the sides and darker in the back which makes him look like a silver wolf or silver fox.
Hair aside – but why would we ever do that? – Melrose was a gritty NHL defenseman who played in 300 games and as a coach he took the Los Angeles Kings to the Stanley Cup finals in 1993. Of course, the Kings had a guy named Wayne Gretzky that year.
Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State football coach
He calls it the “Arkansas Waterfall.” Gundy has The mullet for the 21st Century, a true all-business in the front and a frat party in the back. It’s too bad that Gundy never seems to have much of a sense of humor about himself.