Top Nine Short-Lived Coaching Tenures

By Lou DiPietro

The Mike Brown era in Los Angeles ended last Friday, as Brown was fired by the Lakers five games into the 2012-13 season and replaced with Mike D'Antoni. As a result, Brown is now the owner of a fun anecdote; despite being the Lakers' coach at the beginning of two consecutive NBA seasons, the combination of the 2011 lockout and his early 2012 firing means he coached just 71 games in Hollywood -- 11 less than a standard NBA season.

Brown is not the first guy to see it get late early and become persona non grata (either by choice or by force) so soon, and to illustrate that point, we've picked out a selection of our favorite fellas whose coaching careers, at least at one stop, were of the "blink and you'll miss 'em" variety.

  • MAGIC JOHNSON (Los Angeles Lakers)

    Magic was one of the best players in NBA history, but his coaching career was a bust. After replacing Randy Pfund with 16 games left in the 1993-94 season, Johnson went 1-5 in his first six games, announced he would resign at the end of the year and then finished with a 5-11 mark overall.

  • EDDIE STANKY (Texas Rangers)

    In June 1977, Stanky, who won 467 games as an MLB manager, left his job at the University of South Alabama to replace fired Rangers manager Frank Lucchesi - but 18 hours and one win later, he resigned to return to Jaguars' bench. Hey, at least he won, right?
  • JERRY TARKANIAN (San Antonio Spurs)

    "The Shark's" success over two decades at UNLV led Spurs owner Red McCombs to hire him prior to the 1992 season. But after several clashes with McCombs and a 9-11 start, Tarkanian was fired -- and given $1.3 million to go away.

    You've probably never heard of this 1988 attempt at professional lacrosse because it lasted just five weeks ... and if you're inclined to wonder why, just know that the final ALL game ever was played a day earlier than scheduled because the home field was needed for a college graduation ceremony.

  • BOB LEMON (New York Yankees)

    Lemon replaced Billy Martin as Yankees manager in 1978, but was fired in 1979 and replaced by…Billy Martin. Weird, sure, but even weirder is that is happened again in 1981-82, when Lemon replaced Gene Michael and then was succeeded by "Stick" 39 games later. Déjà vu all over again, indeed.

  • LOU HOLTZ (New York Jets)

    Holtz is one of the best head coaches in NCAA history, but his lone NFL foray in 1976 was a disaster; he went 3-10 with the Jets and "resigned" with one game left in the season, but years later admitted he was actually fired after telling team owners he was going to quit at the end of the season anyway.

  • BOBBY PETRINO (Atlanta Falcons)

    Petrino left a huge contract at the University of Louisville to coach the Falcons in 2007, but after starting his only NFL season 3-10, he promptly quit to go to the University of Arkansas - and didn't bother to personally tell his team. He left the Dirty Birds a "Dear John" note in their lockers instead.

  • GEORGE O'LEARY (Notre Dame Football)

    Former Georgia Tech boss O'Leary landed his "dream job" when he was hired by the Irish in 2001, but four days later, he was forced to resign because he lied on his resume about having a Master's Degree from a non-existent school. Three words, George: University of Phoenix.

  • BILL BELICHICK (New York Jets)

    Belichick is pretty much Public Enemy No. 1 among Jets fans today, but he started down that path in 2000 when, just a few hours after succeeding Bill Parcells as Gang Green's boss, he quit by writing "I resign as HC of the NYJ" on a napkin. Insert your own Rex Ryan snack joke here! comments