Not so fast... In sports, sometimes the worst thing for a coach is a vote of confidence.
Mike Brown (Los Angeles Lakers)
Vote of Confidence: November 8, 2012
Bald-Faced Lie: “I have no problem with Mike Brown at all…I’m not a basketball mind like he is, and the players are fine with [the Princeton offense], so I just have to be patient.” —Executive vice president Jerry Buss
Firing Date: November 10, 2012
Post-Mortem: Evidently, patience means 48 hours, because Buss broke a land-speed record to ditch Brown just five games into the season — the equivalent of an NFL coach being fired in the fourth quarter of game No. 1. Oh well. An aging nucleus, marquee center with chronic back problems and new head coach who hates defense should turn things around.
Tony Sparano (Miami Dolphins)
Vote of Confidence: October 3, 2011
Bald-Faced Lie: “I am very disappointed…but I think that we have to stay together and really get behind our coach. I believe that Tony is the right coach.” — Owner Stephen Ross
Firing Date: December 12, 2011
Post-Mortem: The Fins were 0-4 when Ross gave his thumbs up and 4-9 when they finally sent Sparano to sleep with the fishes, a move that inspired countless lame Sopranos inspired jokes about the coach getting whacked. (Yes, we’re guilty of it, too.) But at least he outlasted Todd Haley by a few hours…
Todd Haley (Kansas City Chiefs)
Vote of Confidence: October 28, 2011
Bald-Faced Lie: “Making a head coaching change is not something we’re contemplating.” — Chairman Clark Hunt
Firing Date: December 12, 2011
Post-Mortem: One year after bringing an NFC West title to KC, the fiery Haley was shown the door. Guess that’s what happens when you drop five of your last six games. But Haley did have some fun in his final 37-10 loss to the Jets, drawing his very own 15-yard penalty (one of the team’s 11 flags) for unsportsmanlike conduct. Let’s see Rex Ryan do that.
Marc Iavaroni (Memphis Grizzlies)
Vote of Confidence: December 13, 2008
Bald-Faced Lie: “He’s my coach and I’m behind him 100 percent. I’m not going to evaluate him now. Marc is not under the gun.” — Owner Michael Heisley
Firing Date: January 23, 2009
Post-Mortem: Thanks to a bevy of trades (including the Lakers/Pau Gasol fleecing), Iavaroni was forced to start three rookies in 25 of 41 games in ’08–’09, but ownership didn’t see that as an excuse and his own players didn’t seem to care. “We don’t have an identity,” said Marc Gasol, a man who, ironically, is only known by most sports fans as "Pau’s little brother."
Trey Hillman (Kansas City Royals)
Vote of Confidence: May 11, 2010
Bald-Faced Lie: “Trey is a tremendous leader…He’s exactly what our organization needs at this point in time.” — General manager Dayton Moore
Firing Date: May 13, 2010
Post-Mortem: Two days after being exactly what the Royals needed, Hillman became the first manager to be fired in 2010. He ended the shortened season 12-23, with one of those dozen victories coming after his firing, as Royals brass allowed to manage one final game. Hope he stole a few Kila Ka’aihue game used bats when he had the chance!
Jack Del Rio (Jacksonville Jaguars)
Vote of Confidence: October 14, 2011
Bald-Faced Lie: “I believe Jack is the right man to take us to the elite level. Fans will just have to trust my judgment when it comes to this decision.” — Owner Wayne Weaver
Firing Date: November 29, 2011
Post-Mortem: Being 3-8 is one thing; losing a game to the Matt Leinart led Houston Texans is another. How much did Del Rio’s failure weigh on Weaver? Mere hours after canning his coach, the shoe magnate (seriously) sold the Jags to Shahid Khan for $760 million. But, really, who can put a price on no longer having to live in Jacksonville?
Tony Adams (Portsmouth Football Club)
Vote of Confidence: February 2, 2009
Bald-Faced Lie: “There has been no board meeting to discuss the manager’s position and there is not one planned…It is important that we all pull together and get behind Tony and the team.” — Executive chairman Peter Storrie
Firing Date: February 9, 2009
Post-Mortem: Not even those classy Brits can avoid being two-faced from time to time. Opening the year 2-14—the worst start in Blue Army history—was bad, but the real backbreaker came when two heckling fans nearly reduced Adams to tears during a road game at Craven Cottage. (Apparently, that’s an actual soccer stadium and not something from a Harry Potter book.)
Jim Caldwell (Indianapolis Colts)
Vote of Confidence: October 26, 2011
Bald-Faced Lie: “You can’t hold him responsible for injuries…The things that he can control, I think he’s done a terrific job given where we are from a standpoint of personnel.” — President Bill Polian
Firing Date: January 17, 2012
Post-Mortem: Caldwell found himself on the unemployment line despite his successful “Suck for Luck” campaign, as an ugly 2-14 record forced him to take his talents (read: blank stare) to Baltimore to become a QB coach. Though there was a silver lining: Caldwell somehow held onto his job longer than Polian.
Flip Saunders (Washington Wizards)
Vote of Confidence: January 9, 2012
Bald-Faced Lie: “There is a lot of noise right now. I have found the best thing to do in times of stress and turmoil is to do research; be analytical; NOT emotional; and try to find ways to improve.” —Owner Ted Leonsis (in a written statement)
Firing Date: January 24, 2012
Post-Mortem: Saunders’ squad blew a 21-point lead in the season opener and it only got worse from there, as the Wizards would go on to shatter the team record for consecutive losses (16). Still, we doubt even the ghost of John Wooden would have had any luck teaching low post moves to Andray Blatche and Javale McGee.
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Manny Acta (Cleveland Indians)
Vote of Confidence: August 7, 2012
Bald-Faced Lie: “We’re very happy with the job Manny has done…He is part of the solution; he is not part of the problem.” — General manager Chris Antonetti
Firing Date: September 27, 2012
Post-Mortem: A 21-50 second half—the worst in the American League—would seal Acta’s fate, and the likable skipper was fired with just six games left in the season. But turnabout is fair play. After a disappointing 68-94, it was GM Antonetti who got his very own vote of confidence from team president Mark Shapiro. Good luck with that, buddy.