Italian American Coaches

Discussion in 'College Basketball' started by Fightingtowin, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. Fightingtowin

    Fightingtowin Guru

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    On the lighter side, with Tom Izzo and Rick Pitino set to match up for the first time, I have to ask, what's with all the great Italian American coaches? Izzo, Pitino, Calipari. Hell, even Billy Donavan, who is Irish, looks Italian.

    If you look at other sports, the best coach in NFL history was Vince Lombardi. The greatest coach in college football might be Joe Paterno. You go to MLB and you have Joe Torre, Tommy Lasorda, Bobby Valentine, Tony La Russa.

    I wonder if there is a common cultural thread among Italian Americans that lends a hand in being a good coach. However, you look at these guys and they have pretty different personalities.

    Maybe it's just a complete coincidence. Just a thought that started rattling around in my head.Edited by: Fightingtowin
     
  2. Don Wassall

    Don Wassall Administrator Staff Member

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    Don't forget Billy Martin. [​IMG]


    Italians seem to take less crap, maybe giving them more of an aura of toughness and authority. Though all coaches/managers have to pander to their affletesand spout the PC party line at all times.
     
  3. white is right

    white is right Hall of Famer

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    Many were former street guys who were from Italian American ghetto neighborhoods. That are probably now black or ethnic Mexican. I know Martin was from a neighborhood like that.
     
  4. Van_Slyke_CF

    Van_Slyke_CF Mentor

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    Rick Pitino's all-black rotation for the Louisville Cardinals flopped in the Elite Eight, and John Calipari's coal-black Memphis Tigers squad flamed out in the Sweet 16, so I guess it's back to the drawing board for Massas Pitino and Calipari.
     
  5. StarWars

    StarWars Mentor

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    I don't know if they are brought up this way or not but most Italians are just good leaders. Great coaches are usually great leaders too.
     
  6. GreatLakeState

    GreatLakeState Mentor

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    WASPs are the best basketball coaches, just like everything else --

    Dean Smith, John Wooden, Bob Knight, Adolph Rupp ...
     
  7. Jimmy Chitwood

    Jimmy Chitwood Hall of Famer

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    in Tom Izzo's 11 years at Michigan State, there has NOT been a 4 year player that didn't have the opportunity to play in a Final 4. he's simply an incredible coach.
     
  8. DixieDestroyer

    DixieDestroyer Hall of Famer

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    Indeed...as in football as well...Tom Landry, Bear Bryan, Bill Walsh, etc.[​IMG]
     
  9. j41181

    j41181 Master

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    Italians as great leaders?

    If you mean a cornhole like Rudy Giuliani, and a bitch-slap like Nancy Pelosi, then count me out.[​IMG] [​IMG] Edited by: j41181
     
  10. StarWars

    StarWars Mentor

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    Yes Italians are good leaders probably because they care alot about health and sports. They are known for fresh food and always having healthy lifestyles. Obiously most politicians like you listed will become corrupt with power or just be scumbags. Politics is very different.
     
  11. j41181

    j41181 Master

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    Okay, not in politics, but in basketball, you are absolutely right. Many great NCAA and NBA coaches were Italian-Americans, and the best coaches in European basketball were also Italian. I only wish they were as good also as players.
     
  12. StarWars

    StarWars Mentor

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    Ya, playing is reserved for the larger Eastern Europeans. [​IMG]
     
  13. RBNY123

    RBNY123 Newbie

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    well starwars you maybe be rite about italian americans being great coaches but their are also some seriously italian ballers, belinelli is simply amazing athletic, quick, and a good shooter. There have been so many great italian soccer players, boxers like rocky marciano, jake lamotta, and arturo gatti, great track athletes (my grandpa happened to be one) i just think italians in general tend to be shorter than their eastern european counterparts so in that respect i guess they don't dominate as much as eastern europeans.
     
  14. Fightingtowin

    Fightingtowin Guru

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    Manu Ginobili is biologically Italian, but ethnically Hispanic
     
  15. j41181

    j41181 Master

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    Andres Nocioni is biologically Italian, but ethnically Hispanic

    Luis Scola is probably Italian also

    Bargnani, Belinelli, Gallinari
     
  16. RBNY123

    RBNY123 Newbie

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    well than there you go, i guess they do pretty well in basketball to [​IMG]
     
  17. Alpha Male

    Alpha Male Mentor

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    WASPS are the best at this, and Italians are the best at that, blah, blah, blah.... Are we really going to get into which white group is the best, or are we going to stand together as one unique people? The government labels us as "white" for census purposes, quotas, and the like. So, we might as well stand together as one. In addition, most white Americans are mixtures of different European ethnicities. Perhaps it was this failure to see our heritage as one unique offspring in man's evolution that has allowed us to be divided and oppressed.
    Edited by: Alpha Male
     
  18. j41181

    j41181 Master

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    That's is 100% correct! Who cares what ethnic background whites outside Europe came from. The bottom line is, there has to be absolute solidarity among all whites regardless of ethnic and national background. We need to look out for one another, don't expect the other races to do that for us. White is white.
     
  19. StarWars

    StarWars Mentor

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    Because whites are targeted as a single group we must stick together. But still we should have pride not only in our racial but especially ethnic background. I think there are differences in the white ethnicities. Usually slavic and Nordic whites are the best high jumpers, there are strong white men in all countries. White men are fast runners in all countries, but have obviously different styles of running. Germans are the smoothest and most technically right. If Shirvo ever learned to run like Borzov... That is not to say we should not stick together though, because we are prejudiced as one race.
     
  20. whiteathlete33

    whiteathlete33 Hall of Famer

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    Giuliani was a great mayor. He did alot for NY. Would you rather have a racist like Dinkins in office?
     
  21. Fightingtowin

    Fightingtowin Guru

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    I just read something else impressive about Izzo. He has graduated 83% of his players, which is amazing considering the percentage of other schools, such as Kentucky (33%), Maryland, (31%), Georgia Tech (32%), Kansas (43%), Uconn (50%), ASU (33%), UCLA (38%), Arizona (42%) and you can go on (could you imagine Louisville or Memphis?). Not only is he a great coach, but cares about his players getting an education. And look at the majors of his top players:
    Chris Allen - Majoring in Computer Engineering
    Draymond Green/Kalin Lucas - Business Major
    Tom HerNWO - Applied Engineering Major in MSU's Honors College
    Durrell Summers - Computer Science Major
    Raymar Morgan/Korie Lucious - Advertising Major
    Austin Thornton - Pre-Law/General Business

    5 Final Fours in 11 years, graduates 83% of his players, took over MSU when they were down (literally starting walk-ons) and furthermore, is not doing it at a name brand school like Duke or UNC. He has to be the greatest coach in basketball right now.

    Izzo has created something completely unique at MSU.

    Edited by: Fightingtowin
     
  22. indianwhite

    indianwhite Guru

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    Tom Izzo is the man! His stay in school style is what truly makes him unique among college coaches. He makes great citizens out of his players, 83% graduation will make any respectable citizen smile, 'coz most college players leave for the pros after 1-3 years, never going all the way towards graduation, only a few go back to finish their degrees. Tom Izzo is the man, not only do you play hard for him, you have to study hard for him. Edited by: indianwhite
     

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