We cheer them, follow them, count their trophies, treat them as God, but today, let’s meet the person behind the scenes who made this possible.
This teacher’s day lets pay tribute to all those famous or not-so-famous but deserving coaches and mentor of famous sports personalities. After all a teacher’s job is not restricted to the classroom but they play a paramount role in shaping, motivating & nurturing the talents, even when they were not visible to rest of the world.
- Jose Mourinho
If there is a manager, which is highly regarded by most people (even gunner’s fan) if not all, it’s this man. He started his humble career as a translator and later went on to become assistant manager at FC Barcelona. He later accepted position as a coach in FC Porto where he won “Treble” following which he moved to Chelsea where he won two consecutive home titles. He left due to difference with Roman Abramovich and joined Inter where he again won “Treble”,first for Inter. Had a stint at Real Madrid before he returned again in 2013-14 season to Chelsea in which it finished third and then went on to finish top of the table in 2014-15, losing just three matches and Mourinho being named as Premier league manager of the season. Legendary Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has stated that Mourinho is the best manager he has ever worked for.
- O.M Nambiar
Famed Indian athlete coach and Dronacharya awardee, Nambiar is coach of Payyoli Express, nickname given to PT Usha who dominated Indian track and field in much of 1980s and 1990s winning four gold at Asian games in Seoul and 2 silver in Delhi. About Usha’s record-breaking win in the 200 meter at the Lucknow Senior Nationals, Nambiar said It was laudable as her effort came a decade after she set the earlier mark at the Asian Track and Field Meet under my guidance. A true idealist, he categorically opposes performance enhancing drugs in all forms in both national and international events.
- Nick Bollettieri
What does Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, Jim Courier, Tommy Haas, Maria Sharapova, Marcelo Rios, Jelena Jankovic had in common? They all went to the famous Nick Bollettieri’s tennis academy to train. Having coached over ten world number one players, it is safe to say that he is the most successful coach in the history of the game! Even at age of 80, he follows punishing regime of going to gym at 5 a.m. In Agassi’s autobiography, Open, Andre has often said that he hated the boot camp atmosphere at the academy yet he also credits Bollettieri with much of his success!
- Pullela Gopichand
He is the coach of current World No.1 shuttler in singles, Saina Nehwal. Apart from her, he has mentored all the remaining ace shuttlers of India you’d have likely heard of including P.V Sindhu, P. Kashyap, Srikanth Kidambi. Gold medalist in All England championship himself, he won both Arjuna and Dronacharya award!
Here’s what Srikant says about him after recovering from meningitis attack- “I was put in the ICU and hospitalised for a week. Still, Gopi sir displayed confidence in me to pick me for tournaments after I recovered. Steps like these helped restore my confidence.”
- Mir Ranjan Negi
Inspiration for Chak de India, he was goalkeeper for Indian national team which suffered the infamous 1-7 defeat which not just brought humiliation to Indian hockey but isolation for Negi who was labelled “traitor” by ignorant public. Negi didn’t just face it all but overcame it by helping India clinch gold in 1998 Asian game as goalkeeping coach. He again coached the Women’s Indian hockey team that won gold for India in 2002 Commonwealth games . He was also the assistant coach for the Women’s team when it won the Gold at the 2004 Hockey Asia championship.
- James Counsilman
James Counsilman was an Olympic and hall-of-fame coach from the United States who served as head coach for the USA’s swim teams to the 1964 and 1976 Olympics; and was inducted as an Honors Coach into the International Swimming hall of fame in 1976. Under him, US swimming team dominated the whole scene and won 13 Gold medals in 1964 and 1976 both, well ahead of second position that went to Australia with just 4 gold medals.
- John Wooden
The legendary basketball coach who won 10 NCAA Divisions and 12 NCAA regional tournament is highly revered coach of all time. Wooden’s streak of 7 consecutive NCAA Divisions is unprecedented and no other coach has gone above 2 consecutive championship. Wooden was six times national coach and his teams have won record 88 consecutive games. Most in the history. Wooden was renowned for his short, simple inspirational messages to his players, including his “Pyramid of Success”. Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar spoke highly of their mentor. Here’s what Bill said after he died- “Coach Wooden taught by example. He never asked or expected anyone to do anything that he hadn’t already done himself. He gave us the ability to learn how to learn, and to compete. His keen knowledge and foresight to always be about what’s next, always about the future, enabled him to lead an incredibly active, constructive, positive and contributing life.”