The Rundown

The greatest coaches of all time

The Rundown

The death of Angelo Dundee marks a sad day for the worlds of boxing and sport in general.

The Philadelphia-born 90-year-old was the man in the corner helping Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and George Foreman on their paths to greatness.

His most famous moment came with Leonard, when he shouted "You're blowing it son! You're blowing it!" at his man at the end of his 13th round against Thomas Hearns. Leonard picked himself up and flattened Hearns in the very next round.

Dundee's death inspires our look at some of the other great coaches the world of sport has known.

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Boxing - Eddie Futch

As great a boxing trainer as Dundee was, Futch has almost as solid a claim to being the greatest in the sport. The Mississippian coached four of the five men ever to beat Ali - Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, Larry Holmes and Trevor Berbick - and also coached fighters such as Riddick Bowe and Michael Spinks.

His legacy lives on: Futch trained up Freddie Roach as his protege before his death in 2010. Roach - who describes his mentor as the "greatest coach of all time" - has since found fame as trainer to such stars as Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan.

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Great Britain rowing coach Jurgen Grobler

Rowing - Jurgen Grobler

The last chunks of concrete had yet to be looted from the Berlin Wall when the former East German rowing coach was poached by the British rowing team in 1991 after training Olympic gold medallists at every Games post-1972.

He has been in the job ever since, personally coaching British crews to 16 gold medals in that time - including at least one in every Games - with the legendary Steve Redgrave and the slightly less legendary Matthew Pinsent among those under his wing.

That record for Britain helps us conveniently skate over the possibility of his East German rowers being juiced up to the eyeballs on steroids. As Redgrave once put it, the fault was with the regime rather than the man himself.

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Bill Shankly with the League Championship Trophy

Football - Bill Shankly

The legendary Liverpool manager took a club which lay at the bottom of the old Second Division and turned them into the best club in English football, winning three league titles, two FA Cups and a UEFA Cup.

The Scot mixed his managerial nous with a fine line in wit and wisdom, however, dispensing endless verbal gems - including perhaps the most famous quote in football history:

"Some people believe football is a matter of life and death - I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that," were his immortal words, uttered in a television interview in 1981.

Other gems included swipes at the club's rivals ("If Everton were playing down the bottom of my garden, I'd draw the curtains") and poetical descriptions of the bloody-minded philosophy which underpinned his career.

"My idea was to build Liverpool into a bastion of invincibility. Had Napoleon had that idea he would have conquered the bloody world. I wanted Liverpool to be untouchable. My idea was to build Liverpool up and up until eventually everyone would have to submit and give in.

"For a player to be good enough to play for Liverpool, he must be prepared to run through a brick wall for me then come out fighting on the other side."

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Phil Jackson passes on his knowledge to some bloke called Jordan

Basketball - Phil Jackson

The NBA's answer to Alex Ferguson has proven his impeccable credentials not once, but twice. As coach of the Chicago Bulls from 1989 to 1998 he won six NBA titles.

He retired after that, vowing never to coach again, but was persuaded back to take charge of the LA Lakers a year later. Was he trying to prove wrong those who claimed that anybody could have coached a team containing Michael Jordan to glory? If so, he managed it in style, winning a further five titles between 2000 and his eventual retirement last year.

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The legendary Brian Clough

Football - Brian Clough

The man who turned Nottingham Forest into champions of Europe two years running had an ego as big as his ability - but it was his startlingly direct manner and no-nonsense wisdom which made him a household name even among those who know nothing about football.

"I wouldn't say I was the best manager in the business. But I was in the top one," explained a man who was never coy about his own abilities.

Clough had a reputation as a tough manager to work for, and he was memorably turfed out of Leeds United after just 44 days - a spell which led to a book and film, 'The Damned United' - during which time he apparently told the reigning First Division champions' players that they should "throw away all your medals because they were not fairly won," referring to their hard-tackling style.

The manager's wit and wisdom made him a natural as a pundit, and he continued to pen a column until his death in 2004, but he was still best remembered for being the man who turned footballing arrogance into an art before Jose Mourinho was even born: "Whenever players disagree with me we talk about it for 20 minutes and then we decide I was right."

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Vince Lombardi, so good they named a trophy after him

American Football - Vince Lombardi

The NFL's greatest ever coach is so great that the Super Bowl trophy is actually named after him. Lombardi first became famous by taking a ramshackle New York Giants team and turning them into championship winners within three seasons, revolutionising the tactics of the sport as he did so.

But it was at Green Bay where he became a legend, coaching the Packers to three championships in a row, and five in seven years, back in the 1960s, winning the first two Super Bowls into the bargain.

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Bela Karolyi with Nadia Comaneci in 1980

Gymnastics - Bela Karolyi

The generally short careers of Olympians, and the infrequency of the Games themselves, makes it difficult to pick out genuinely great coaches from the quadrennial Games. Luckily, Karolyi's achievements make it easy.

The 69-year-old was technically born in Hungary, but became Romanian at the age of two when the national borders were moved. And what a redrawing of the map that proved to be for Romania when Karolyi revolutionised the art and science of gymnastics training in the 1960s and 1970s. After beginning his career working at a boarding school he quickly moved into elite gymnast coaching, and was the man who masterminded Nadia Comaneci's famous perfect 10 at the 1976 Games.

He saw his athletes scoop dozens of medals before his defection to America in 1981, after which he continued his astonishing run of success.

His methods were, by all accounts, not exactly nice: shouting at gymnasts and strictly controlling their diets was commonplace. But it all worked: by the time of his retirement after the 1996 Olympics he had coached nine Olympic gold medallists and 15 world champions.

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Jose Mourinho, Champions League winner with two different teams

Football - Jose Mourinho

The Portuguese manager arrived in English football as something of an unknown quantity despite having just won the Champions League with Porto - but instantly endeared himself to just about everyone in the country by declaring that he was the "Special One", an astonishingly ballsy move that somehow made us love him for his arrogance.

That cocksure attitude would have been nothing without on-pitch success, and it came: he won five trophies (including two league titles) in three years at Chelsea. He then moved on to Inter where he won consecutive titles, and the astonishing treble of Scudetto, Coppa Italian and Champions League.

The only blemishes on his record so far are failing to win the Champions League with Chelsea, and compiling a shocking 10 losses against one win record against arch-rivals Barcelona. He's also yet to succeed in his current task of unseating Barca as Liga and European champions; but it seems very possible that it'll happen this season despite rumours of discontent at the Bernabeu. For a manager who is not yet 50, that is some record.

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Nick Bolletieri, the only man in the world who makes David Dickinson look pasty

Tennis - Nick Bollettieri

Some tennis stars have made it to the top with nothing other than family members helping them out, such as Rafael Nadal with his Uncle Toni, or the Williams sisters with their father Richard. Others, such as Roger Federer, get by without much coaching at all, using different coaches as occasional troubleshooters.

Most, however, need a proper coach - and in the modern era nobody has had a better record than Nick Bolletieri.  His Florida-based academy brought through talent such as Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, Jim Courier and Mary Pierce, while he has also worked with the likes of Martina Hingis, Boris Becker, Tommy Haas and, er, Anna Kournikova.

His crowning glory, however, is that he somehow managed to help Marcel Rios become world number one. Rios remains the only male player to have ever hit the top spot without winning a Grand Slam title.

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FOOTBALL Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson applauds his side during a 4-1 win over Wolves at Old Trafford on Dec. 10 - 0
Football - Alex Ferguson

It's got to the stage where even Liverpool fans will have to admit that Fergie is the greatest football manager the English game has ever seen.

He came to Old Trafford after working wonders at Aberdeen, and after a slow start - it took him nearly four years to win his first trophy - he went on to become a "phenomenon", as he put it only last week.

That first success - an FA Cup final victory over Crystal Palace in 1990 - sparked an orgy of silverware that shows no sign of slowing down more than 20 years later. Ferguson has now won 12 titles with United in addition to five FA Cups, two League Cups and two Champions Leagues.

Now aged 70 and with an Old Trafford stand named after him, Fergie shows no apparent signs of slowing down.

Rumours of retirement surfaced a few years ago, but the United boss told Eurosport-Yahoo just a few weeks ago that he has "three or four years left" - though many suspect, as Harry Redknapp once said, that "they will probably end up taking Sir Alex Ferguson out of Old Trafford in a box".

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