From idiotic plays to poor player management, these coaches made a lot of mistakes. Are they the worst coaches in Las Vegas sports’ history?
Bill Laimbeer led the Las Vegas Aces to three playoff appearances, but it is what he did behind the scene that puts him here. While Laimbeer is one of the best coaches to ever come to Sin City, he has claimed that he suffered burnout during the last few seasons.
Just think about how that factored into the 2020 WNBA Finals series against the Seattle Storm! Or their other failed playoff attempt in 20221. The team won a championship in only one season with Becky Hammon, making some wonder if it was just a lack of effort.
“I’m not ever going to coach again,” Laimbeer said when asked about the end of his career. “I just don’t have that kind of energy. I don’t have that willpower… Last year, it was clear to myself — and I think some of the players — that I was running out of energy. I had just run my course in the coaching ranks.”
Joe Gibbs Racing is one of the best NASCAR owners in NASCAR and they prove it every week. The four-team ensemble consists of some of the best drivers the Cup Series has to offer, which is why some might be wondering why Gibbs deserves a spot on this list.
While Gibbs is a legendary owner, his mistake during the 2022 season dropped him down a few pegs. The incident came when he allowed his best driver, Kyle Busch, to walk out the door and join Richard Childress Racing. Gibbs and the Las Vegas native had been in contract negotiations for months and just couldn’t get a deal done.
Gibbs should have never let Busch go and will regret the decision. What made it worse is that he dropped Busch in favor of his grandson, Ty Gibbs, who is currently in his rookie year.
Pete Deboer is another guy who looks like he doesn’t belong here. If you peer deeper into his record, however, you start to see some underlying problems. Deboer did take the Las Vegas Golden Knights to three winning seasons and two playoff appearances, but he’s also responsible for the team’s worst moments.
He is currently the only coach in team history to not get the organization into the playoffs. In fact, the team had an epic meltdown in the final months of the season, leading them to drop from the top spot in their division. Deboer also got into a public rift with goaltender Robin Lehner over an injury issue.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, he is also the coach that made the decision to deal Marc-Andre Fleury to the Chicago Blackhawks. The coach probably didn’t have much choice, especially with big contracts coming up, but he should have kept Fleury.
Deboer sits with a record of 98-50 as head coach of the Golden Knights, which isn’t that bad. He took the team to the playoffs twice and made it to the Semi-Finals one year. The only thing that puts him in this category is his aforementioned bad decision-making, and his disastrous 2022 season.
Things got very bad very fast for Rod Woodson and the Las Vegas Vipers, making him an easy pick for the list. As of this writing, they are 0-4 this season with little hope of making any progress. They got destroyed by the DC Defenders twice already and haven’t been able to close out games.
Some of this sits on the shoulders of Rod Woodson, who is not making a very good case for himself right now. While the Vipers did make some progress in the second half of their second game against the Defenders, they still got outplayed in the fourth quarter. A good coach would have taken the time to dissect what went wrong and Woodson didn’t do that.
Josh McDaniels is by far the worst coach in Las Vegas sports’ history and it’s only been one season! The man’s only real talent is talking gullible franchise owners into thinking he learned from Bill Billecheck. Unfortunately for McDaniels, his head coaching record with the Denver Broncos and Raiders proves otherwise.
He also barely touched the defense during his first off-season as head coach. That might have made sense if Las Vegas had a capable defense, but they remain one of the worst in the league. He also made the mistake of signing their embattled quarterback to a $121.5 million contract extension. What really makes him horrible though is how many times he has been outcoached.
The best example of this occurred in week nine when the Raiders lost to the Indianapolis Colts 25-20. Las Vegas led for much of that afternoon and seemed to have the game won, but the Colts mounted a massive comeback. This all got orchestrated by interim head coach, Jeff Saturday, who was an ESPN analyst. Saturday had never even coached at the professional level and somehow managed to beat McDanies.
Now that McDaniels has scapegoated Derek Carr, he will have one season to prove himself right. He even brought in Jimmy Garrappolo under the guise that McDaniels can develop him. When that proves wrong, the former New England Patriots assistant coach will finally have to admit he’s a fraud.
This content was originally published here.