The safest jobs in sports

Brock Harrington

Last week, Kent State announced that football coach Doug Martin isn’t going anywhere. Whether it’s because the department really believes in him, which I think it has to, or because it can’t afford to pay two head coaches is something we’ll never truly know.

Regardless, he’s staying. This got me thinking: What other coaches have the same job security of Doug Martin? What other coaches will never be fired? Well, here’s my list of 10:

10. Mike Krzyzewski, Duke basketball: The man could lose 30 games in a row and Duke would still name him the czar of everything in Durham, N.C. Under Coach K, the Blue Devils have won several championships and have had several all-Americans who waited until they got to the NBA to play terribly or ride motorcycles. Coach K is never leaving Duke.

9. Bill Self, Kansas basketball: If any other coach had lost in back-to-back first-round NCAA Tournament games at a school whose court is named after the inventor of basketball, he would be ousted. The fact that Self remained the coach, then won a national championship, proves that he will enjoy a long tenure at basketball-crazed Kansas. Plus, he did turn down T. Boone Pickens’ millions to stay at Kansas. I guess Self didn’t understand that energy plan either.

8. Jim Tressel, Ohio State football: Tressel has only lost to Michigan once.

7. Mike Shanahan, Denver Broncos: After a brief stay with the Oakland Raiders, Shanahan has been the brains behind the Broncos. He hasn’t won a significant game without Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway, but Shanahan has been nothing short of a genius with player personnel moves. He once took the former entire defensive line of the Cleveland Browns and went to the playoffs.

6. Terry Francona, Boston Red Sox: He’s won two World Series. Before him, the Red Sox were known for Buckner, racism and curses. Now they’re known for Papi, Pedro and “Manny being Manny” (yes, I know that Pedro and Manny are no longer Red Sox).

5. Phil Jackson, Los Angeles Lakers: As long as he keeps getting Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Shaq, Kobe Bryant and Bill Cartwright on his teams, Jackson will never lose his job.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers’ coach: I think it has more to do with the stability of the organization than anything, but once you’re hired as the Steelers’ coach, you can rest assured you’re not going anywhere. Plus, when refs give you Super Bowls and defensive ends take out Pro Bowl quarterbacks, the coach will always enjoy a long tenure.

3. Romeo Crennel, Cleveland Browns: If he’s not gone by now, I have to ask: What does he have to do to get fired? Never beat a rival team? He’s done that. Make poor coaching decisions every game? He qualifies. Watching him coach a football team is like watching George W. Bush give a speech on the economic impact of global warming.

2. Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati Bengals: He rebuilt the Bengals, but now they are broken again. This team, however, kept Bruce Coslet as coach for nearly four seasons. The Bengals believe in coaches to a fault. Lewis’ taking that team to the playoffs bought him at least four years of losing until the squad decides to force him to change his staff.

1. Any team/club/program that is strapped for cash: Ladies and gentlemen, any coach for any program at Kent State University.

Contact sports editor Brock Harrington at [email protected].