If {Name your historical figure} were a Football coach....

Idaho Helga's picture
July 19, 2013 at 8:44p

As a history buff, my mind was spinning with all the possibilities after reading about Saban being compared to Hitler.  I thought I'd open a line on historical figures.  I'm impressed with the 11W group here and the idea is for you to:

1) Name your historical figure being mindful of the "politics" rules for this web site when you submit 

2) Describe their coaching style in a football game.

3) Or if you think they'd be coaching something else, what and why? 


I'll start the game off: I've added to a previous post about a guy who I really believe is on the short list of people born without a soul.

If JOE STALIN were a football coach, his team would sport very Penn St like uniforms, maybe all with the same number in a drab green or red.  The officials would never throw a flag on his team as their children are in the stands next to the soviet police escort there for their safety.  They would run the ball every play to one of two running backs.  Their players would get dehydrated, look longingly at the other teams equipment, uniforms, cooling fans and water coolers, yet not complain.  If they lost, a completely new squad and coach would be on the field the next week.  The media would not publish any info after a loss but after a victory it would be front page sports news with Smilin' Joe looking smug.



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jfunk's picture

George S. Patton.

As for coaching style, well we pretty much got it in Wayne Woodrow Hayes. No thrills, just straight down the gut and attack, attack, attack until the enemy is defeated.

For uniforms, please see the following (it was Patton's idea for a tanker's outfit):

Scotch: It may be too early to drink it, yes; but people it is never to early to think about it.

AndyVance's picture

Totally agree with the analogy - Coach Hayes and General Patton both demonstrated that same classy ruthlessness that was present in Patton's push to deal with the Soviets immediately following the war, and Hayes' iconic "because we couldn't go for three" quip about M*ch*g*n.

bowthrock's picture

That mannequin looks creepily like Christopher Walken!

"Lets beat the shit out of Michigan".... Urban. Frank. Meyer.

RBuck's picture

If Patton was coach of The Buckeyes The Big House would be The Big Pile of Rubble.

Long live the southend.

Idaho Helga's picture

Woody greatly admired Patton.  I seem to remember that there were 2 pictures in his office of non-football/family.  Pete Rose and George Patton.
Isn't it ironic that both lost their dream jobs for a spur of the moment stupid mistake even though they were highly successful at their career?

AndyVance's picture

I didn't know that little bit of trivia, but wow, the irony is thick there...

jfunk's picture

Woody also hosted a show on WBNS where he would show old WWII movies, one of them being Patton. If you ever read a biography on Patton and compare him to Woody they are eerily similar. Both were fiercely hard workers, both spoke their minds, and both cared greatly for their troops.

Scotch: It may be too early to drink it, yes; but people it is never to early to think about it.

Michibuck's picture

Helga, you forgot to include that the Russians invented the game of football.

Idaho Helga's picture

?? Didn't know that. Thanks!

Firedup's picture

Erwin Rommel
Offense: Ground and Pound of Pulling guards and Tackles galore with end a round reverses
Defense: All out Blitz, sell out every singe down

"Making the Great State of Ohio Proud!" UFM

AngryWoody's picture

George Washington would be a BADASS football coach. The dude led a poorly equipped group of farm boys against the greatest army the world had known. At first he got his ass kicked time and time again but he kept at it and eventually beat the odds and won. If the guy could rally his army to overcome such odds can you imagine how he could lead a football team? I would imagine he would be the kind of coach who would take in 3-4 star guys and develop them over the course of years and mold them into pros.
I could compare him to Woody. Of course their temperament were not the same but they did have a lot of similarities. When Woody came to OSU we weren't the super power-house that we are now. Yeah we had one national championship, but we had just went through the "graveyard of coaches" and things were bleak. Woody had a few bad seasons at first, but eventually he took Ohio State from a mid-level football school to one of the biggest blue bloods in all of college football. So Washington  and Woody are the same because they both took a rag-tag group of guys and worked their asses off, rallied their troops, and beat the Brittish...and Michigan respectively lol.

Our Honor Defend!

Idaho Helga's picture

I'm thinking George is kind of like Chris Petersen of Boise State.  Had to build the program, winner in the end.  Didn't get much respect from the opposition for years. Beat up the old guard on totally crazy plays (Oklahoma game / Trenton on Christmas)  Not a media whore.  Loyal. Quiet and respectable.

Hovenaut's picture

Going real old school here.

My choice is Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese general, strategist and philosopher noted for authoring "The Art of War", the treatise credited for influencing military tactics, politics and business management.

I think the focus on engaged and efficient efforts for achieving and sustaining success both on and off the battlefield (or football field) translates well to this day. An emphasis on planning and preparation has obviously survived over the centuries.

Great question Helga.

bedheadjc's picture

Tzu would end up with a ton of forfeit games though given that he advocated not ever getting into a confrontation unless you outmatched your opponent and were certain you could win.
His AD wouldn't stand for that too long...:)

cswig's picture

I imagine this guy would coach a lot like this guy,
only with a lot more fumblerooskis.
Bonus question: what is the correct plural for fumblerooski?

Buckabroad's picture

Genghis Khan would be my dream coach (if Meyer retires). Undefeated in his "career". Talk about a vicious spread offense consisting both of superior speed and endurance. Absolutely resolute and tough beyond imagining. Sound understanding of tactics, making the best of what one has, and holding no quarter against the enemy in any situation. Insurmountable ambition for total dominance. These traits appeal to me in a coach.
Oh, and TTUN would be getting a butt-kicking the likes of which they have never imagined!

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

Idaho Helga's picture

I thought of the Khan too.   Definitely a guy who would run up the score.  He's also hire his sons as assistant coaches.  Would probably blitz all the first half, then with a 40 point lead go into a clock eater mode.  All other teams would hate his team and give each other scouting info.

btalbert25's picture

Khan was my pick too.  You know what I loved about him?  If you surrendered he was pretty merciful and incorporated you into his empire and gave you a chance to prosper.  If you resisted, he was ruthless and completely destroyed everything leaving nothing but devastation and terror in his wake.  The whole college football world would have to surrender and become Buckeyes or have nothing but a smoldering blank spot on the map where each programs "nation" used to stand.  

VintonCountyBuck's picture

  In my youth, my family and I would frequent the town of Lancaster so in honor of that I will pick William Tecumseh Sherman as my figure.  
  I mean, this quote puts me in mind of the Urban Meyer recruiting-invasion of Georgia we all saw unfold last cycle:

  If the question was asked, "Who was and still is the most hated and despised man in the history of Georgia" the response would be William Tecumseh Sherman...no one created more destruction. As a result of his successful campaign in Georgia.. ending the war quickly..."

  I think if he were a coach nowadays he would be Urban Meyer incarnate..And he's primed to Burn the South all over again!

“Right now, Michigan is not at the pinnacle of college football, and that’s all Urban Meyer cares about...He’s been there and knows what it takes to get there.” 

BuckeyeChief's picture

That would be me choice as well.

"2014 National Champions...deal with it!!!"

Zofinda's picture

Just happen to be reading an interesting Book right now titled The WaRrior Ethos, came across th quote from Alexander the Great, seems like he'd make a good coach.
“These scars on my body,” Alexander declared, “were got for you, my brothers. Every wound, as you see, is in the front. Let that man stand forth from your ranks who has bled more than I, or endured more than I for your sake. Show him to me, and I will yield to your weariness and go home.” Not a man came forward. Instead, a great cheer arose from the army. The men begged their king to forgive them for their want of spirit and pleaded with him only to lead them forward.” 

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Atilla the Hun would have been a dominating and powerful football coach had he lived during our time.  Instead of commanding the Huns I could imagine him running a big time program with the efficiency that his invading armies had. 

pjtobin's picture

Davy Crockett.  He was a manly man. A hunter, trapper, builder, explorer , father, and fighter. He went into battle at the Alamo knowing that he was going to die. That is the kind of coach I would love to have had.  Self sufficient, smart , tough , kind , and a never quit mentality. The original BADASS! 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

bedheadjc's picture

At first I thought of Hannibal.
Of course he'd be coaching the Tide. (wink)
Unstoppable. Innovative. Speedy perimeter offense combined with overwhelming size and power in the trenches. A strategic and logistical virtuoso. Would dominate others for a decade or so on their home fields.
But who better then the man who beat him?
Scipio Africanus.
Undefeated in battle. Terrific defense, especially in away games. Adopted Hannibal's speedy perimeter play. Scipio's innovative tactics negated Hannibal's superior heavy line and brought him the final victory over Hannibal on Hannibal's home field as an underdog.
Plus Scipio was a good sport; he was respectful of those he defeated.
The consummate winner.

buckeyedude's picture

Albert Einstein.
Wait. Can't do that. His offspring already coaches for the Buckeyes(Tom Herman).



wibuckeye's picture

Moses. He would part the crimson tide defense and we would never hear of sec dominance again.
Here is a link to one of my favorite skits from The Bob and Tom Show. 


Hoody Wayes's picture

How could it be anyone but the savior of the Union (on the battlefield) and a Buckeye:

Idaho Helga's picture

Bret Bielema  = General George McClelland.
Thinks he is way more talented than he actually is.   Polite enough when at meetings but then shortly thereafter snipes in the media.  Not a creative play caller, McClelland would have run the ball every play and regularly punted on 3rd down.  Not a good game day guy.
Disloyal.  Paranoid.  Sore loser.  Complains about opponents perceived advantages/rules in the newspapers under the guise of "protecting my men from harm".
Brags on accomplishments which are at times a result of outside forces. McClelland was given plenty of resources.  Bielema didn't come close to putting Wisky in the Rose Bowl last year, the NCAA did it for him. 

Young_Turk's picture

Little Mac would win the National Championship in practices, and parading, but never make the game.


Wilkins78's picture

Liberace's teams would likely lose every game.  But those uniforms would be FABULOUS! 

VintonCountyBuck's picture

Perfect fit for Nike State University?

“Right now, Michigan is not at the pinnacle of college football, and that’s all Urban Meyer cares about...He’s been there and knows what it takes to get there.” 

Idaho Helga's picture

Was he an Oregon fan?

t-dub's picture

I think Abe Lincoln would have been a great football coach.  I think he would have been the ultimate players coach.  His leadership would endear the highest loyalty and commitment from his players and his coaches.  
Only victory would be acceptable, for that reason there would never be a search for "meaning" in a game, the game would mean everything.
I see him as a Bill Walsh type of coach.
The Patton / Woody comparisons are very interesting. 
Note: i revisited this to see the new comments and had to edit my post because of horrible grammar.  My apologies 

"What is our aim, I can tell you in one word. Victory" Winston Churchill

cplunk's picture

Gonna have to say no on Lincoln. Look at how long he stuck with McClellan even when McClellan couldn't get it done. I think Abe would be overly loyal to his seniors, leaving talented freshmen on the bench.

cplunk's picture

I'll go with Horatio Nelson, the spread offense genius of age of sail naval warfare. When everybody else was thinking of battle in terms of lines, he ignored all those years of convention and went with an aggressive style that worked.
He also had the odd social scandal or two, which seems to be something all great coaches have.

741's picture

Hurricane Ditka.