This may surprise you: Bill Walsh was only a head coach for 10 seasons, all in San Francisco. And in that time, Walsh won three Super Bowls. But just as impressive is Walsh’s coaching tree.
Six of Walsh’s assistant coaches went on to be head coaches in either the NFL (Mike Holmgren, Jim Fassel, Sam Wyche, George Seifert, Dennis Green), or the NCAA (Paul Hackett). Those coaches went on to lead their own teams to seven Super Bowls and three Championships. And another 23 coaches, including Jon Gruden, Tony Dungy, Mike Tomlin, Jeff Fisher, Mike Shanahan, Andy Reid and John Fox, can trace their coaching ancestry back to Coach Walsh.
Now, 16 years later, Mike Scioscia is quietly building his own coaching tree in a sport where coaching trees are much less common.
The latest is Ron Roenicke, who was hired by the Brewers to be their manager this week. Roenicke had been Scioscia’s bench coach since 2006 after serving six seasons as the Angels’ third base coach.
Roenicke joins Bud Black and Joe Maddon as former Scioscia protegés now serving as big league managers. And if Roenicke is as successful as Black and Maddon, the Brewers made the correct decision.
Black is a favorite to win the NL Manager of the Year award. Despite missing the playoffs, Black led the second-lowest payroll in the big leagues to a 90-win season and weren’t eliminated from playoff contention until the final day of the season.
Meanwhile, Maddon led the Rays to third straight winning season (the only three in team history) and second division title in the last three years. That is one more division title than the Red Sox have in the last 15 years.
To take it a step further, Maddon’s bench coach Dave Martinez is now looked at as a future big league manager.
That is an impressive coaching tree for a manager that has only been at the helm for 11 years and really only has five assistants each season.