Every athlete has the physical gifts to compete, but it takes proper guidance and management from coaches to max that talent out. The same can be said for films. A good director can get the best performances out of their cast of actors and set designs. So for Oscar Season, let’s combine the two and see who the sport staff wishes they could play under.
Chelsea McBay: Norman Dale from Hoosiers
I would want to play for Norman Dale, from the movie Hoosiers. Even though he was a nontraditional coach, with methods that the native people of Hickory thought were weird, he eventually brought the community together and led his basketball team to the Indiana State Championship in 1952.
Daniel Johnson: Dick Vermeil from Invincible
Though originally I was going to pick Herman Boone from Remember the Titans, I remember that he made his team do two and three-a-days in Virginia in the summer and did not like to hand out water. So…no. Then I remember I could pick a real coach with Dick Vermeil in Invincible, the story of an average Joe becoming an NFL player for the Philadelphia Eagles in the late 1970s. Dick Vermeil, the real Dick Vermeil, is famous for being a players coach who supported and loved his players to the point of tears being shed. I would like to play for movie Dick Vermeil and I would love to play for the real Dick Vermeil.
Drew James: Norman Dale from Hoosiers
Am I allowed to create a movie about the Spurs so that Gregg Popovich can be my coach? I guess I’ll have to settle for Coach Norman Dale from Hoosiers, only because I would find his incredibly vague advice entertaining to listen to. “Pass that ball, boys!” “Make your free throws, boys!” Then there’s the bit where he sits the team’s best player because he isn’t making the right passes. Looking back at it, I think Hoosiers may have started every sports movie coach cliche. Therefore, there’s no doubt that Norman Dale is the greatest to ever fictionally lead a team.
Bryan Davis: Herman Boone from Remember the Titans
Football, like many other sports requires the team to function as one unit in order to succeed. Coach Boone was handed the task of developing a winning high school football program with a roster of both black & white players scarred by the Jim Crow laws and racism at the time. Not only was Coach Boone successful in getting the team to win, but he helped push the envelope in the acceptance of racial integration both on and off the gridiron within the community.
Ian Hammock: Joe Gould from The Cinderella Man
Cinderella Man is one of my favorite films, as it’s kinda like the Rocky films but historical, and one of my favorite characters in Joe. He made James Braddock a hero for people in the Great Depression and that, combined with the fact that he’s in what can be described as a historical Rocky movie, gets him my pick for Coach I’d play for.
Garrison Pulley: Herman Boone, Remember the Titans
I haven’t watched a lot of sports movies with inspirational coaches, but the one coach that sticks out to me is Herman Boone with the way he handled the scrutiny and criticism about have a diverse team was cool to watch. The way he forced the change in the sport of football and with him also having a winning team is great to watch and could make anyone want to coach.
Brandon Combs: Irving Blitzer, Cool Runnings
No movie coach compares to Irving Blitzer. He was a two time olympic gold medalist in bobsledding, and a two time first place finisher in the 1972 Olympics which he was disqualified from. The movie starts with him as a disgraced former Olympian, retired in Jamaica, serving as a bookie. Watching his transformation into a top tier coach for the ragtag Jamaican bobsled team is immensely inspiring. I could not imagine a finer movie coach to play under.
Isaiah Saint-Hilaire: Grant Taylor, Facing the Giants
Facing the Giants was a movie that inspired me to always do my best. Coach Grant Taylor always ensured that his players would play at the highest level possible. He would not be upset if they could not get a win as long as he knew they tried. There was a six year tenure in which coach Taylor did not post a winning season in Shiloh Christian Academy. He did not give up and always believed in the players he coached. I played football in High School and watching that movie during those years inspired me to always to my best no matter what. If I had to pick a coach it would indubitable be coach Taylor.