Last week we took a look at the best coaches in Jets history. Now let's look at the bottom of the barrel. Who were the worst coaches in Jets history?
5. Pete Carroll
People will likely vehemently disagree with this because of the success Carroll subsequently had at USC and with the Seahawks. That's kind of the point, though. You're using things outside his Jets tenure to defend him. Before Carroll had success as a coach, he had to go through his Belichick in Cleveland phase. It started with the Jets. Carroll didn't seem like he had control over the team. He did weird things like put in a basketball court near the practice facility. On the field, the team fell apart. He was at the helm during the fake spike game. People forget the context of the game. First place was on the line. The Jets blew a 24-6 lead in that game. They didn't win another game for the rest of the season, earning Carroll a ticket out of town. Carroll eventually grew up as a coach. He learned from his mistakes in future jobs, but he learned on the Jets' time.
4. Bruce Coslet
Coslet never posted a winning record in four seasons with the Jets. One legendary comment made about Coslet is, "He talked .600 and coached .400."
Here is a great story about the Coslet days.
In 1990, Bruce Coslet refused to come downstairs from his office in Weeb Ewbank Hall to speak to reporters, claiming he was too busy. So he conducted a conference call instead. Peter Finney, The Post beat writer at the time, asked Coslet with the first question, "Bruce, why are you doing this?’’ Coslet claimed he didn’t have time to walk downstairs because he was working a short week after a 30-7 Monday night loss to the Bills.
He was fired in 1993 after the Jets collapsed down the stretch. Needing a single win to make the Playoffs at 8-5, the Jets lost their last three games to miss the postseason.
3. Charley Winner
Winner replaced the greatest coach in franchise history, Weeb Ewbank. His 9-14 record doesn't tell the whole story. After starting 1-7 in his first year, the Jets rallied to win their last six to finish 7-7. The Jets were hopelessly out of the race because of their start. Could this string of meaningless wins at least give them momentum for 1975? No, they started 2-7, and Winner was fired.
2. Rich Kotite
After the Jets fired Carroll, they hired Kotite. Kotite lost his final seven games with the Eagles, but he did have a winning record with Philly. It wasn't like he was a total catastrophe. Unfortunately, he was just that for the Jets, winning just four games in two years. I think all you need to know about Kotite is he finished 1-15 with the Jets in 1996. Bill Parcells went 9-7 with almost the same team a year later.
1. Lou Holtz
Holtz was a great college coach, and he was a fun analyst on ESPN. As Holtz himself said upon leaving the Jets, "'God did not put Lou Holtz on this earth to coach in the pros.'' For his part, Holtz acted like he was still in college. He was such an authoritarian that he had the players line up by size for the national anthem. He even wrote a fight song for the Jets. He didn't even make it to the end of his first season in which he only won three games.