Best Coaching Feuds


We all know sports can be a tense environment for players and fans, but it can sometimes get the better of coaches too. Just this weekend we saw a couple of incidents where coaches have a difference of opinion and airing their grievances in the media. It was not the first time coaches have clashed both on and off the field of play much to the amusement of the viewing public.

Neil Warnock vs Nuno Espirito Santo

Another recent incident from the Championship in England saw the bosses from Wolverhampton and Cardiff clash after an incident filled stoppage time where Cardiff failed to convert two penalties. The hostilities were sparked by Nuno running off to celebrate with his players prior to shaking Warnock’s hand. When Nuno approached him to apologise he was told in no uncertain terms by his counterpart what to do, Warnock then continued the barrage in the press conference.

Percy Jones vs Tony Jewell

What is better than two AFL coaches going at it in a qualifying final? Two coaches going at it in the 1980’s. Jones was not happy with losing a key player during the first quarter and meeting a former staff member who had defected to Carlton in the offseason. Next thing you know, chaos ensued.

Bill Belichick vs Eric Mangini

After starting the 2000’s off as the protégé to the NFL’s premiere coach, Mangini burned his bridges by first leaving to coach the rival (and Belichick’s former employer) the New York Jets. Soon after that he reported the Patriots to NFL security for filming coaching signals from the wrong location kicking off a scandal that is still brought up over a decade later. Mangini has spoken of his desire to end the feud and reconnect with Belichick however that seems unlikely

Jose Mourinho vs Arsene Wenger

The Portuguese manager came to England dubbed “The Special One and instantly set his sights on unseating the big dog at the time, Arsene Wenger. The two traded barbs repeatedly during Mourinho’s multiple stints in England which produced this memorable quote from the then Chelsea boss.

At times in recent years it has sounded like the relationship has thawed a little bit with the Frenchman offering support as recently as last month. Of course there has still been the occasional jab dished out.

John Tortorella vs Bob Hartley

The always fiery John Tortorella squared up with opposing coach Bob Hartley in a game during January 2014. With the Flames sending out their strongest fighters to start the game, Tortorella responded in kind and then all hell broke loose. The Canucks coach was none to impressed with the actions of his counterpart as an altercation took place during the first intermission outside the Flames locker rooms as Tortorella continued to remonstrate.

Ozzie Guillen vs Buck Showalter

Never a stranger to controversy, the then Chicago White Sox Manager voiced his disdain for Buck Showalter of the Texas Rangers. This is born largely out of a contrast in styles with the quotable Guillen clashing with the straight laced, traditional Showalter.

The best quote from Guillen about his nemesis “… never even smelled a joch in the big leagues. Mr Baseball never even got a hit in Triple-A. I was a better player than him, I have more money than him and I’m better looking than him.” Showalter never bit on any of the goading and instead opted to just let Ozzie be Ozzie.

Lane Kiffin vs Nick Saban

It’s very rare for two coaches on the same staff to be involved in a public feud but the disdain between Alabama head coach Nick Saban and his offensive coordinator was never hidden. From sideline arguments to press conference put downs, Saban made his feelings on the ex Oakland Raiders head coach clear. Kiffin has taken to trolling Saban on Twitter because he knows the 66 year old will never see it online.

Pete Carroll vs Jim Harbaugh

It is a special rivalry that can transcend two different leagues however the competition between Carroll and Harbaugh was front and centre in the American Football world for several years. It started in 2007 when Carroll was leading the dynastic University of Southern California and the ex-NFL quarterback coaching Stanford upset the 41 point favourite 24-23 at their home. Another clash came about two years later when Carroll did not appreciate Harbaugh seemingly running up the score before the rivalry moved to the NFL when the two were in charge of division rivals Seattle and San Francisco, meeting two or three times per season from 2011 to 2014.