List of Every Bears Head Coaches

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Grizzled
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Heinz D.
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:stupid: I didn't realize (or just plain forgot) that Halas had three stints as coach. I was thinking two, for some reason...
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Sorry Grizz but I cannot bring myself to read that list.

I’m sure you’ll understand.
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Heinz D. wrote: Thu Jul 04, 2024 6:29 pm :stupid: I didn't realize (or just plain forgot) that Halas had three stints as coach. I was thinking two, for some reason...
It was 4 stints Heinz D, 10 years at a time.

1920 - 1929
1933 - 1942
1946 - 1955
1958 - 1967

40 years, a 67.1% win rate and only 6 losing seasons. I'll take that for the next 40 please.
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Pretty unimpressive list. I lived thru the Dooley, Gibron, Pardee and Armstrong eras.
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Otis Day wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2024 9:18 am Pretty unimpressive list. I lived thru the Dooley, Gibron, Pardee and Armstrong eras.
Which era would you say is the most hopeless?

You've got a lot more street cred than me and I can only say that the Wanny era was a desolate Dark Ages.

My favorite is still Lovie. Great roster and always a QB away from winning Super Bowls.

I was a kid when Ditka was around so I didn't get the full appreciation of how Finks built the roster nor did I know anything about the technicals with the 4-6 defense. I only knew Ditka was a fun guy to watch and of course Walter Payton The Great One.
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The 20 year period following the Bears 1963 Championship was pretty disappointing capped off by Ed McCaskey losing the coin toss that would've allowed the Bears to draft Terry Bradshaw in the 1970 draft. Chalk it up as another failure of the Bears to get themselves out of QB hell. Instead of Bradshaw we had Bobby Douglas, Bob Avellini, Mike Phipps, etc. If there's another NFL team even shittier at drafting QB talent than the Bears have been I'm not sure who it is.
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The Marshall Plan wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2024 9:54 am
Otis Day wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2024 9:18 am Pretty unimpressive list. I lived thru the Dooley, Gibron, Pardee and Armstrong eras.
Which era would you say is the most hopeless?

You've got a lot more street cred than me and I can only say that the Wanny era was a desolate Dark Ages.

My favorite is still Lovie. Great roster and always a QB away from winning Super Bowls.

I was a kid when Ditka was around so I didn't get the full appreciation of how Finks built the roster nor did I know anything about the technicals with the 4-6 defense. I only knew Ditka was a fun guy to watch and of course Walter Payton The Great One.
With Lovie, I always felt there was a chance, but deep down I knew we'd fail as we couldn't get the QB right.
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Man I LOVED Lovie (no pun intended). He's been my favorite coach of my lifetime. Ditka was coach when I was a little kid but was more like a cartoon character to me. Lovie needed a QB and he'd have brought us a trophy IMO.
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dplank wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2024 12:47 pm Man I LOVED Lovie (no pun intended). He's been my favorite coach of my lifetime. Ditka was coach when I was a little kid but was more like a cartoon character to me. Lovie needed a QB and he'd have brought us a trophy IMO.
All day long here.

I do not understand the dislike Lovie gets sometimes. The guy won a ton of games and almost got us two Super Bowls.
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The Marshall Plan wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2024 9:54 am
Otis Day wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2024 9:18 am Pretty unimpressive list. I lived thru the Dooley, Gibron, Pardee and Armstrong eras.
Which era would you say is the most hopeless?

You've got a lot more street cred than me and I can only say that the Wanny era was a desolate Dark Ages.

My favorite is still Lovie. Great roster and always a QB away from winning Super Bowls.

I was a kid when Ditka was around so I didn't get the full appreciation of how Finks built the roster nor did I know anything about the technicals with the 4-6 defense. I only knew Ditka was a fun guy to watch and of course Walter Payton The Great One.
That, for sheer 'no hope', was the absolute worse. Hammering the fans year after year. No free agency. Bad drafting. The only saving face, if any, was that the Pack sucked also.
Last edited by Grizzled on Fri Jul 05, 2024 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Marshall Plan wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2024 9:54 am
Otis Day wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2024 9:18 am Pretty unimpressive list. I lived thru the Dooley, Gibron, Pardee and Armstrong eras.
Which era would you say is the most hopeless?

You've got a lot more street cred than me and I can only say that the Wanny era was a desolate Dark Ages.

My favorite is still Lovie. Great roster and always a QB away from winning Super Bowls.

I was a kid when Ditka was around so I didn't get the full appreciation of how Finks built the roster nor did I know anything about the technicals with the 4-6 defense. I only knew Ditka was a fun guy to watch and of course Walter Payton The Great One.
Damn left out Dooley.

Gibron era for sure. I was a kid, had older friends and they had older brothers, that talked football all the time. Gibron was an idiot. Probably hired as he was a long time asst, loyal to the family. He is the relative you take out on the lake in the row boat and shoot.

Ditka by far my favorite. Was not the best Xs and Os coach, but he could get the guys to rally up and play.

Lovie, not bad, I just didn't think he was the right choice. He was the flavor of the month like Wanny was. Asst coach on a successful team. He did well, but I will give more credit to the D roster. I think any Tampa 2 guy could have done well with that roster. Just could not get over the hump.
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What I found striking in that list was the number of Head Coaches that lasted 4 years or less.
A new Era begins in the NFC North!

Happily, it finally involves the Bears.... :toast: :headbang: :transform: :jump:
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Otis Day wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2024 1:56 pm
The Marshall Plan wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2024 9:54 am

Which era would you say is the most hopeless?

You've got a lot more street cred than me and I can only say that the Wanny era was a desolate Dark Ages.

My favorite is still Lovie. Great roster and always a QB away from winning Super Bowls.

I was a kid when Ditka was around so I didn't get the full appreciation of how Finks built the roster nor did I know anything about the technicals with the 4-6 defense. I only knew Ditka was a fun guy to watch and of course Walter Payton The Great One.
Damn left out Dooley.

Gibron era for sure. I was a kid, had older friends and they had older brothers, that talked football all the time. Gibron was an idiot. Probably hired as he was a long time asst, loyal to the family. He is the relative you take out on the lake in the row boat and shoot.

Ditka by far my favorite. Was not the best Xs and Os coach, but he could get the guys to rally up and play.

Lovie, not bad, I just didn't think he was the right choice. He was the flavor of the month like Wanny was. Asst coach on a successful team. He did well, but I will give more credit to the D roster. I think any Tampa 2 guy could have done well with that roster. Just could not get over the hump.
That era still gives me nightmares.
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Otis Day wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2024 1:56 pm
The Marshall Plan wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2024 9:54 am

Which era would you say is the most hopeless?

You've got a lot more street cred than me and I can only say that the Wanny era was a desolate Dark Ages.

My favorite is still Lovie. Great roster and always a QB away from winning Super Bowls.

I was a kid when Ditka was around so I didn't get the full appreciation of how Finks built the roster nor did I know anything about the technicals with the 4-6 defense. I only knew Ditka was a fun guy to watch and of course Walter Payton The Great One.
Damn left out Dooley.

Gibron era for sure. I was a kid, had older friends and they had older brothers, that talked football all the time. Gibron was an idiot. Probably hired as he was a long time asst, loyal to the family. He is the relative you take out on the lake in the row boat and shoot.

Ditka by far my favorite. Was not the best Xs and Os coach, but he could get the guys to rally up and play.

Lovie, not bad, I just didn't think he was the right choice. He was the flavor of the month like Wanny was. Asst coach on a successful team. He did well, but I will give more credit to the D roster. I think any Tampa 2 guy could have done well with that roster. Just could not get over the hump.
Dooley was a pretty smart guy but by the time he took over Sayers got injured and was in decline, they lacked a decent QB, and there was nothing left of that '63 championship defense. Butkus and Buffone pretty much were the defense. When they lost out on Bradshaw in the 1970 draft that was pretty much the end of an era. Halas knew it too and Gibron was no more than a caretaker.

Pardee was a good HC and won NFC Coach of the Year in 1976 and he was not fired. He left to accept the HC job at Washington. Neil Armstrong was a Jim Finks hire who got us to one playoff game but who also lacked a decent QB. That's pretty much been the bane of the Bears existence since the prime years of Sid Luckman. At least Ditka had Mac to abuse and vice versa. Wanny and Jauron each had one good year and that was it. Lovie was IMHO a very good defensive coach but lacked any real concept of how to win offensively so he always played not to lose. Eventually it caught up with him but Emery was still an idiot to fire him.

I'll just skip Trestman and Fox and Nagy was just one more hot coordinator who rose to the level of his own incompetence.
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The Marshall Plan wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2024 1:25 pm
dplank wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2024 12:47 pm Man I LOVED Lovie (no pun intended). He's been my favorite coach of my lifetime. Ditka was coach when I was a little kid but was more like a cartoon character to me. Lovie needed a QB and he'd have brought us a trophy IMO.
All day long here.

I do not understand the dislike Lovie gets sometimes. The guy won a ton of games and almost got us two Super Bowls.
I was/am a huge Lovie fan, but I still have beef about his power struggle with Chico and the fact that he wrestled personnel control away from Angelo and started drafting guys like Dan Bazuin, Micheal Okwo, and Shea McClellin.

The team took a nosedive after those things happened. So as much as I appreciate what he did as coach, his downfall was his own fault.

If he would have kept Chico and stayed out of the draft, those teams would've won 2 championships (IMO).
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wab wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 9:06 am
The Marshall Plan wrote: Fri Jul 05, 2024 1:25 pm

All day long here.

I do not understand the dislike Lovie gets sometimes. The guy won a ton of games and almost got us two Super Bowls.
I was/am a huge Lovie fan, but I still have beef about his power struggle with Chico and the fact that he wrestled personnel control away from Angelo and started drafting guys like Dan Bazuin, Micheal Okwo, and Shea McClellin.

The team took a nosedive after those things happened. So as much as I appreciate what he did as coach, his downfall was his own fault.

If he would have kept Chico and stayed out of the draft, those teams would've won 2 championships (IMO).
I'm with you regarding the power struggle and personnel control desires.

Fuck Lovie. He was arrogant to a fault and had zero understanding of how to provide stability for a QB. Add to that the fact he got rid of Chico and promoted his crony Bob Babich and you get a better sense of who he was as a man/leader.

Under his watch they also neglected the OL for too long and he was the genius behind drafting Cedric Benson even though Thomas Jones was coming off a decent season and beloved in the locker room.

He reached his ceiling in Chicago and it was never good enough to win a Super Bowl.
Last edited by G08 on Mon Jul 08, 2024 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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G08 wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 9:18 am
wab wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 9:06 am

I was/am a huge Lovie fan, but I still have beef about his power struggle with Chico and the fact that he wrestled personnel control away from Angelo and started drafting guys like Dan Bazuin, Micheal Okwo, and Shea McClellin.

The team took a nosedive after those things happened. So as much as I appreciate what he did as coach, his downfall was his own fault.

If he would have kept Chico and stayed out of the draft, those teams would've won 2 championships (IMO).
Fuck Lovie. He was arrogant to a fault and had zero understanding of how to provide stability for a QB. Add to that the fact he got rid of Chico and promoted his crony Bob Babich and you get a better sense of who he was as a man/leader.

Under his watch they also neglected the OL for too long and he was the genius behind drafting Cedric Benson even though Thomas Jones was coming off a decent season and beloved in the locker room.

He reached his ceiling in Chicago and it was never good enough to win a Super Bowl.
Like I said... his handling of Chico and his grasp for personnel power is what doomed him.
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Lovie was the most overrated coach in Bears history. I do not think he ever won a challenge, was absolutely brutal on them. He played an extemely passive defensive style that was masked by the team pouring all it's resources into the defense. He was a players coach that guilted the players into playing, he never really pushed them.
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Lovie
  • Didn't understand offense at all
  • Didn't want resource spent on offense
  • Had no idea how to choose or manage a QB
  • Had the one of, if not THE, worst rate of underling coach success ever. Every time something failed, he pushed his coaches under the bus to save himself. Virtually (maybe absolutely?) nobody ever left him for a promotion. There is absolutely no "Lovie Smith coaching tree", despite him being a HC for so many years.
  • Knew how to work politics...to his benefit and the team's detriment. Any time he ducked responsibility or got more power (like the draft, for example, or the Babich thing), it went badly for the Bears.
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G08 wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 9:18 am Fuck Lovie. He was arrogant to a fault and had zero understanding of how to provide stability for a QB. Add to that the fact he got rid of Chico and promoted his crony Bob Babich and you get a better sense of who he was as a man/leader.
Z Bear wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 9:49 am Lovie was the most overrated coach in Bears history. I do not think he ever won a challenge, was absolutely brutal on them. He played an extemely passive defensive style that was masked by the team pouring all it's resources into the defense. He was a players coach that guilted the players into playing, he never really pushed them.
Moriarty wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 11:35 am Lovie
  • Didn't understand offense at all
  • Didn't want resource spent on offense
  • Had no idea how to choose or manage a QB
  • Had the one of, if not THE, worst rate of underling coach success ever. Every time something failed, he pushed his coaches under the bus to save himself. Virtually (maybe absolutely?) nobody ever left him for a promotion. There is absolutely no "Lovie Smith coaching tree", despite him being a HC for so many years.
  • Knew how to work politics...to his benefit and the team's detriment. Any time he ducked responsibility or got more power (like the draft, for example, or the Babich thing), it went badly for the Bears.
But Lovie did give us this (somehow):

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In 9 seasons, Lovie Smith went 81-63 with 3 playoff berths, 6 playoff wins, and an NFCC. It's been turd city around here ever since he left.
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dplank wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 12:58 pm In 9 seasons, Lovie Smith went 81-63 with 3 playoff berths, 6 playoff wins, and an NFCC. It's been turd city around here ever since he left.
Quoting W/L records is the same thing people were doing to defend Nagy after 2-3 years on the job.

W/L is a terribly unreliable metric for HCs.
The roster quality matters way more than they do.
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HisRoyalSweetness wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 12:37 pm
G08 wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 9:18 am Fuck Lovie. He was arrogant to a fault and had zero understanding of how to provide stability for a QB. Add to that the fact he got rid of Chico and promoted his crony Bob Babich and you get a better sense of who he was as a man/leader.
Z Bear wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 9:49 am Lovie was the most overrated coach in Bears history. I do not think he ever won a challenge, was absolutely brutal on them. He played an extemely passive defensive style that was masked by the team pouring all it's resources into the defense. He was a players coach that guilted the players into playing, he never really pushed them.
Moriarty wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 11:35 am Lovie
  • Didn't understand offense at all
  • Didn't want resource spent on offense
  • Had no idea how to choose or manage a QB
  • Had the one of, if not THE, worst rate of underling coach success ever. Every time something failed, he pushed his coaches under the bus to save himself. Virtually (maybe absolutely?) nobody ever left him for a promotion. There is absolutely no "Lovie Smith coaching tree", despite him being a HC for so many years.
  • Knew how to work politics...to his benefit and the team's detriment. Any time he ducked responsibility or got more power (like the draft, for example, or the Babich thing), it went badly for the Bears.
But Lovie did give us this (somehow):

He completely and unequivocally did that for himself. The fact that the Panthers were stupid enough to draft Bryce Young is on them.

I guarantee you he had zero thought about the Chicago Bears.
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G08 wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 7:05 pm He completely and unequivocally did that for himself. The fact that the Panthers were stupid enough to draft Bryce Young is on them.

I guarantee you he had zero thought about the Chicago Bears.
I didn't suggest he did, but it could still prove to be the best thing he ever did for the Bears. :D
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dplank wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 12:58 pm In 9 seasons, Lovie Smith went 81-63 with 3 playoff berths, 6 playoff wins, and an NFCC. It's been turd city around here ever since he left.
100% agreed. The "Fuck Lovie" comment above is cringe worthy at best.

Mr. Moriarty does have a point about the coach and the W/L record as it relates to the roster, but at the same time the guy won a ton of games without a legit QB until Cutty showed up.
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W/L can never be pinned on one guy, but the closest we can come to that would be GM and HC. It has to count somewhere, so that’s where it counts IMO
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Z Bear wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 9:49 am Lovie was the most overrated coach in Bears history. I do not think he ever won a challenge, was absolutely brutal on them. He played an extemely passive defensive style that was masked by the team pouring all it's resources into the defense. He was a players coach that guilted the players into playing, he never really pushed them.
Most overrated?!?!? Have you seen the list?!?!

Great head coaches in Chicago is much like great QBs in Chicago - not a whole to pick from and when you get about 5 or 6 you start saying this is best we got.
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Arkansasbear wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2024 11:56 am
Z Bear wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2024 9:49 am Lovie was the most overrated coach in Bears history. I do not think he ever won a challenge, was absolutely brutal on them. He played an extemely passive defensive style that was masked by the team pouring all it's resources into the defense. He was a players coach that guilted the players into playing, he never really pushed them.
Most overrated?!?!? Have you seen the list?!?!

Great head coaches in Chicago is much like great QBs in Chicago - not a whole to pick from and when you get about 5 or 6 you start saying this is best we got.
Yeah... overrated is a bit of a stretch. He was exactly what he was. I also don't believe he guilted anyone into anything. His players, especially on the defensive side, were fiercely loyal.

He had his faults, and his demise was almost entirely his own doing. BUT...he coached the Bears to 5 winning seasons, 3 division titles, 2 conference championship games, and one super bowl appearance. 2005-2010 was, overall, a pretty good time to be a Bears fan.

I mean the Bears won 7 of the first 9 matchups against the Packers. People are gonna sit here and tell me they didn't love that shit?
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dplank wrote: Tue Jul 09, 2024 7:38 am W/L can never be pinned on one guy, but the closest we can come to that would be GM and HC. It has to count somewhere, so that’s where it counts IMO
It counts more the further you go up the pyramid. But at the HC level, I'd still put it at "very little" and at the GM level "only with enough years and/or a lot of context".


If you really believe in record for HCs and GMs, then that would strongly say that Eberflus and Poles both seriously suck (10-24, 29% win rate).
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