It was while watching a Kings game with my Grandmother over Thanksgiving weekend and listening to her copious comments on how attractive Reggie Theus is that I was reminded of a fairly obvious – if not often observed – truth that coaching is a very unattractive profession. This isn’t necessarily surprising from a Football perspective. As Jared Lorenzen can attest only a select few football players are asked to be in great shape. And as any ex-jock, or my Dad, can tell you, somewhere around your mid-30’s muscle turns to fat pretty fast. Additionally, interminable hours in the film room paired with a culture not famous for its self control leads to obesity pretty easily.
But Basketball is a different animal. Most coaches are ex-players, meaning the bulk of them are tall and were, at one point or another in their lives, fairly athletic. And yet the Quin Snyders of the world are few and far between. This is especially true in college, where receding hairlines and cheap suits make every other coach look like a suburban Chicago used car salesman, an alcoholic 1970s investigative reporter, or Herb Tarlek. There are, however, some diamonds in the rough, and we’ve done you the invaluable service of finding and listing them. Because there’s nothing more boring or dubious than straight guys talking about how attractive other straight guys are, we’ve enlisted the services of a gay brother, straight sister, wife, and ex-girlfriend to provide some commentary.
Whoever Mrs. Wright, assuming there is a Mrs. Wright, is, one would think she’s pretty happy her husband’s coaching career hasn’t expanded too far beyond the mid-Atlantic. Nothing against the women of Villanova and Hofstra, but we’d imagine the temptation to stray may be a little stronger amongst the sexually laissez-faire ladies of the SEC, particularly given the novelty of Wright’s weathered Yankee look. We must remind ourselves often that Wright is, in fact, a flesh and blood person, and not the real world manifestation of a character from a David Mamet play.
* Gay Brother: “…has nice teeth and great skin tone but looks like he has a disability or just shit his pants. Plus the whole flat top hair style went out with brick cell phones.”
* Straight Sister: “I got the Tony Robbins thing which was hard for me to get over.”
* Ex-Girlfriend: “Why are you calling me?”
Ron Burgundy without the jazz flute, Clyde Frazier without Just for Men, Skinner oozes ABA after-hours charm. It’s impossible not to picture him conducting B.C. practices with a paisley smoking jacket and brandy snifter, while seated in front of a fireplace.
* Straight Sister: “The tall and slightly hulky thing is not for me but he’s got a little somethin somethin.”
* Gay Brother: “Skinner is nice looking for an older gentleman. Though in fairness, anyone looks good in when they tuck their mock turtleneck into their slacks.”
* Ex-Girlfriend: “Honestly if this isn’t about returning my Evanescence CD I don’t want to hear it.”
The Duke Assistants
The Duke assistants all have that antagonist-in-a-late-80’s spring break boner comedy look. When not shopping at Tommy Bahama or telling ethnic jokes while Johnny Dawkins isn’t around, they’re goosing the waitresses at Ruth’s Chris and creating elaborate nicknames for women’s unmentionables. Easy to hate, but harder still not to love, if they get around your girlfriend, forget it.
* Straight Sister (on Steve Wojciechowski): “Cute. He is the guy who has a drinking problem in college and after because he’s Irish and from Chicago or something like that. His girlfriend (and then wife) is always trying to watch his drinking as he is an angry drunk or a way too happy drunk who sings karaoke when there’s no mike. However, when he’s not drinking, he is like a Kennedy without the pedigree.
* Wife (on Johnny Dawkins): “I didn’t know Leonard Nimoy was a coach.”
* Ex-Girlfriend: “Ok, if you’re going to keep this up, I’d fuck all of these guys before I’d ever let you near me again. Even the old guy in the middle who looks like Ichabod Crane. Don’t ask me how I know who Ichabod Crane is you condescending prick. A lot of smart people are Communications majors in college, we can’t all study English and watch 5 years of New Yorker ambitions devolve into this crap. West Coast John Cheever my ass”
On the basis of namesake alone Bennett could look like Rick Majerus and probably still make the countdown thanks to secondhand smoothness. Thankfully for Bennett, while the name helps, nothing else hurts. Bennett, not nearly as young as he looks, is still young enough to be considered young in an old man’s profession. That, along with the well coiffed hair, the preference for suits sans ties and the basketball build, makes him the easy frontrunner for “coach most likely to have an affair with Erin Andrews” candidacy. Bennett resembles that professor in your Postmodernism class secretly screwing your artsy but hot study partner who won’t be specific about why she won’t go out with you. You’ll come upon the two of them drunk off margaritas at Chili’s, where upon she’ll excuse herself to the bathroom and he’ll shoot you this grin…
And you’ll acknowledge it’s in your best interest to just let it go.
* Straight Sister: “He is the guy who has the same girlfriend all through college and marries her, never giving you a chance to date him. He is the unattainable, super cutey and super nice guy as well. I likey him best so far.”
* Gay Brother: “I picture him as the silent assassin, a black mamba of men. He also has a bit younger Bill Henrickson thing going on. Had to make sure I had at least one Big Love reference in here or I’d lose all gay credibility.”
* Ex-Girlfriend: “And I’d definitely fuck him. Just think, this is the kind of guy I was missing out on while wasting my time on you.”
If Tony Bennett is the coach most likely to have an affair with Erin Andrews, Bill Self is the coach most likely to have an affair with Stacey Dales. That’s no knock on Dales either, who really doesn’t get nearly the pub she deserves. Though Dales is actually younger than Andrews by a year Dales, thanks to her height, previous marriage and years in the spotlight, seems a better fit for Self. Though if Self’s tournament performances are indicative of other off court performances, Dales may leave him for Ben Howland before too long.
* Gay Brother: “Bill Self is a fitting name. He looks like a car salesman or a pusher for a 20/30 singles swingers club.”
* Straight Sister: “Ok, now we are getting somewhere with #4 and #5. This guy is SO cute and sexy without trying to be. This is the guy that you always have a crush on in the office and fantasize about dating and then find out that he has a serious girlfriend for the past 5 years who you’ve never met.”
* Ex-Girlfriend: “Did you know my mother’s birthday was a week ago and you still haven’t said anything? Don’t give me the not enough time excuse. You had enough time to google image the blonde amazon.”
For the woman who’d love to date a detective from a 1970’s cop show. If we were writing this in that decade, when the college coaching landscape was populated by the Jerry Tarkanians, Rollie Massiminos, and Wimp Sandersons of the world, Martelli probably would make the list in earnest. But for now we put him here honorarily, as a reminder of all those coaches whose attractiveness was generated by dominant personality and regional eccentricity.
* Gay Brother: “Phil Martelli has a lot going on. Not only is he bald and overweight but he’s also in a particularly menacing position. On the plus side, he could open up a liquor store in San Francisco easily.”
* Wife: “I’m scared if that’s really as good a picture as I’m going to get.”
* Ex-Girlfriend: “This is what you’ll look like in 5 years if you don’t stop smoking and get serious about your life.”
Spend enough of your formative years in San Francisco and you’re eventually going to have to face up to homosexuality. So suffice it to say that, with the exception of a brief period in the early 90’s when I was into tight ribbed t-shirts, I’m pretty damn certain of my vaginacentricity. But Anthony Grant is so good-looking he makes me a little uncomfortable. Most importantly, dude knows how to dress. Apparently he’s the only coach in Division I who seems to have cracked a GQ since the Gordon Gecko look in 1987.
* Straight Sister: “HOT. HOT. HOT. I have nothing more to say. HOT.”
* Gay Brother: “Anthony Grant is a chocolate god. Look at those eyes. I’m sure he’s some kind of religious nut and would probably want to commit a hate crime if he knew I said that. But still, …growr.”
* Ex-Girlfriend: “Now this guy is good looking. Oh my, I’d be his Kim Kardashian any day. Oh that Kim Kardashian reference wasn’t funny enough for you? You think my mother is writing these comments? Sorry we can’t all be as clever as your brother. Who, incidentally, is 10 times the man you’ll ever be.”
Braun may be only a pretty good looking coach for a pretty good basketball team, but think about this, Braun’s been coaching since 1977, that’s one year after this guy started…
If this list were written exclusively for Cougars, Braun would skyrocket to number 2 (behind Bennett of course).
* Straight Sister: “Looks like he may be prone to anger but that may make him more sexy and passionate as he has potential to be a little bit of a guy who plays by the rules. So, angry guy meets rigid guy–great combo for coach. Maybe not so much for a lovah but different strokes for different folks. He also coaches his three boys in soccer on the weekends (for sure).”
* Gay Brother: “Looks like a typical Mormon father: clean-cut, pretty good shape, somewhat older. Attractive but not amazing. He’d be hot for an inner office romance”
* Ex-Girlfriend: “Do you ever think about us at all? Honestly?”
Makes this list solely based on his resemblance to a friend of mine, we’ll call him J, a good-looking dude and legendary slayer of all things female, the only guy I know with enough game to hit on Carmen Electra back when that meant something*. Like Doherty, J now has the Silver Fox thing going, which has done nothing to abate his prowess. Unfortunately we figure that’s where the resemblance ends as Doherty’s the kind of guy that hardly has the spine to even hit on his own wife. The fourth option for scoring on the floor for the ‘82 Heels, he was undoubtedly even behind Jimmy Black for Mike’s leftovers off the court. But hey, at least he has a championship ring.
(*Editor’s Note: Only one of the two of us actually thinks hitting on Carmen Electra is impressive. One of us is 40, the other 27, you don’t need to guess which one of us does. In fact the entire sentence “enough game to hit on Carmen Electra” dates a person faster than a Sonic Youth or Whit Stillman reference.)
* Straight Sister: “Not the best pic again as it makes him look like a radio announcer from the 50s but very cute. Like that pointy nose thing and SUCH a cute smile.”
* Ex-Girlfriend: “I was watching Lifetime’s Christmas movie marathon all weekend. “Recipe for a Perfect Christmas” came on. It’s the one with Christine Baranski as the put-upon mother who gets seduced by the hot new restaurateur. I couldn’t stop thinking about you the entire time. I felt the same way after “Like Father, Like Santa” and “All She Wants for Christmas”. Why don’t you come over?”
Porn star Christy Canyon, in a radio interview, once related the experience of her first movie. She was nervous before a scene with Peter North, understandable given the man was born with a catapult in his urethra. North approached the novice Canyon and said, “I have one thing to tell you”. She was relieved, expecting some nugget of wisdom to be passed down which would guide her through her impending career in two man naked bed luge. “Whatever happens”, he told her, “don’t touch my hair. I spend a lot of time on it.” Steve Alford is the Peter North of college basketball.
* Straight Sister: “Oooh. He is feeding my Friday Night Lights fetish so well. He reminds me of the hot coach on the show. Hair is a little 80s if you stare at it too long but he’s very cute for my purposes.”
* Wife: “Very cute, his eyes sparkle and he’s not even trying. Hair’s a little too slicked back though.”
* Ex-Girlfriend: “Will you please just finish this shit?”
Based solely on this picture…
Which makes sense only if you’re from Princeton, Sacramento, or Dagobah.