Friday, July 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Coaching turmoil in Philly seems to be historic

The Eagles' Chip Kelly, just five games into his first NFL season, is now the longest tenured coach of the big four pro franchises in Philadelphia.

And he was just hired in January.

The Flyers confirmed the firing of head coach Peter Laviolette at an 11 a.m. news conference. His replacement: Craig Berube, a former player, who moves up from assistant coach.

The hiring of four new coaches in a single calendar year here seems to be historic.

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  • In 1991, the Eagles replaced Buddy Ryan with Rich Kotite, the Phillies replaced Nick Leyva with Jim Fregosi, and the Flyers replaced Paul Holgren, the current general manager, with Bill Dineen. The Sixers, though, didn't replace Jim Lynam with Doug Moe until 1992.

    The mid-1980s were also a period of major overhaul. In 1984, Paul Owens managed the Phillies, Billy Cunningham coached the Sixers, Marion Campbell guided the Eagles, and Bob McCammon was Flyers head coach. By the end of 1985, they were all gone, replaced, respectively, by John Felske, Matt Goukas, Fred Bruney (interim coach for one game, a victory, before Buddy Ryan named as successor), and Mike Keenan. But Keenan was hired in '84, Ryan not till '86.

    In 1973, Danny Ozark joined the Phillies, Mike McCormack became Eagles head coach, and the Sixers had two new coaches, first Kevin Loughery, then Gene Shue. But the Flyers were ensconced in the middle of Fred Shero's reign.

    1968 and 1969 also saw four news in the coaching ranks -- another two-year period.

    This time, in less than 10 months, all four of Philadelphia's major sports franchises have parted ways with their game-time generals, beginning with the firing of Andy Reid by the Eagles at the end of last December.

    Kelly joined the the Eagles in January, leaving the University of Oregon Ducks amid rumors of looming NCAA sanctions.

    Brett Brown joined the Sixers on Aug. 14, after being a San Antonio Spurs assistant. He replaced Doug Collins, a former star guard for the club, who resigned in April.

    On Aug. 16, the Phillies held a news conference to announce the departure of Charlie Manuel, who was at the helm when the club won the World Series in 2008.

    Hall of Fame second basement Ryne Sandberg was moved up from third base coach to interim manager. On Sept. 22, the club announced he'd been signed as manager in a three-year deal.

    Sandberg has managed the most games and had most wins of any current Philadelphia head coach, compiling a record of 20-22 this season.

    Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.

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