For a Little League coach, seeing one of your players score the game-winning run should be an event worth celebrating. Not so for Alan Beck - after crossing the plate, one of the Roseville, CA, chiropractor’s players tossed his helmet, which landed on Coach Beck’s foot. Beck’s reaction? To sue the kid for $500,000 in pain and suffering, plus another $100,000 in lost wages. Asshole, you say? Indeed. But how does Beck compare to this list of jerkface Hall-of-Fame-worthy coaches?
Meet the granddaddy of all asshole coaches! Forget for a second that Knight is one of the greatest minds and motivators in college basketball history. Put aside the three national titles with Indiana, the undefeated ’76 campaign, and the Olympic gold medal in ‘84. We get it. But all those accomplishments don’t change the fact that the man they called “The General” had a bit of a, um, temper problem. He threw chairs on the court, grabbed one of his players by the throat and, while discussing rape with CBS’s Connie Chung, said “I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it." Technically that last one wasn’t a case of Knight losing his temper, but holy shit what a jerkface thing to say.
Mark Downs, Jr.
According to authorities, back in 2005, this 29-year-old Little League coach offered one of his players $25 to bean another player during warm-ups. That’s pretty despicable, right? Well, what if we told you the target, Harry Bowers, was one of Downs’ own players? Now we’re talking. Okay, what if we further told you that the player was only 9-years-old? That’s right, we’re talking t-ball here. But if you think all that’s bad, consider that the nine-year old target was autistic. Sure, Bowers had to go to the hospital with a head injury, but can you really blame Downs? It was the playoffs! There was a lot at stake! Can you really blame the guy? Uh, yeah, you can. And the judicial system did, sentencing him to a year in prison.
Mike Rice, Jr.
Under men’s college basketball coach Rice, practices at Rutgers seemed like a real drag. When videos of the sessions surfaced on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” last August, shit sure hit the fan. The clips showed Rice “hurling basketballs from close range at his players' heads, legs and feet; shoving and grabbing his players; feigning punching them; kicking them; and screaming obscenities and homophobic slurs.” But what player wouldn’t be prepared to give his all to a leader who employs such terms of endearment as “motherfucker,” “pussy,” “faggot,” “sissy bitch” and “cunt”? Well, Rice’s apparently. The coach was fired soon after.
It’s hard to make sense of all the controversy that’s swirled around former junior ice hockey coach and NHL agent David Frost, but if even half of it’s true, “asshole” might be too nice a term for the guy. In 2004, Frost was the victim of a murder-for-hire plot arranged by former St. Louis Blues player Mike Danton, who he had coached and managed from when Danton was just 11 years old. Why would Danton want his mentor killed? Well, in 2006 Frost was charged with 12 counts of sexual exploitation of teenage boys and girls. He was found not guilty, but a year later he was arrested for using Danton’s credit card, and he did plead guilty to punching a player while coaching Junior A hockey in Ontario. He’s since been banned from numerous hockey leagues throughout Canada.
Bob Farley and Shaun Farr
As we’ve seen, the idea that Little League coaches’ primary concern is to instill in their charges such qualities as teamwork and sportsmanship only goes so far. Take Farley and Farr: In a 2006 game in Bountiful, UT, against the rival Red Sox, Farley and Farr’s Yankees found themselves on the brink of the 10-and-under league’s championship. The problem? The Sox best hitter was due up. The solution? Pitch around the best player, and face Romney Oaks, who had been diagnosed with brain cancer at age four, and only had two hits in his previous 12 games. Oaks struck out, the Yankees won, and a valuable lesson was learned by all: Little League coaches can be complete dickholes.
Photos by James Boulette/ Getty Images | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2014