Brett Brown spent seven years in Philadelphia, which is a long time to coach any team in any sport. He was the longest-tenured coach in the “four major sports” and would have placed second on a more comprehensive list, behind only Jay Wright.
It’s interesting to look down the list, especially when we have batch hirings and firings in a short amount of time. There was an incredibly weird moment in 2013 when Charlie Manuel, Doug Collins, and Peter Laviolette all departed town, leaving Chip Kelly as the dean of the “4 for 4” sports just a few months into his tenure. Everybody got a lot of mileage out of that story.
Here’s the updated listed, and I tried to add only the bigger programs in town. Obviously I didn’t do Drexel Tennis, so my apologies to those fine folks, but you have to end the list somewhere or else it just gets out of control.
The longest-tenured Philadelphia coaches as of August 25th, 2020:
- Jay Wright (Villanova) – 2001
- Jim Curtin (Union) – 2014
- Steve Donahue (Penn basketball) – 2015
- Ray Priore (Penn football) – 2015
- Doug Pederson (Eagles) – 2016
- Zach Spiker (Drexel basketball) – 2016
- Mark Ferrante (Nova football) – 2017
- Paul Day (Wings) – 2018
- Ashley Howard (La Salle basketball) – 2018
- Rod Carey (Temple football) – 2019
- Billy Lange (St. Joe’s basketball) – 2019
- Aaron McKie (Temple basketball) – 2019
- Alain Vigneault (Flyers) – 2019
- Joe Girardi – (Phillies) 2019
- new Sixers coach – 2020
I went through and found the exact hire date for each of these guys, so that’s the order they were brought into their respective programs. The departures of Phil Martelli, Fran Dunphy, and Dr. John Giannini resulted in three big five hires in a one-year span, then you add AV, Joe Girardi and the Manny Diaz debacle, and that’s six new coaches in a 24-month time frame.
Funny enough, Soul head coach Clint Dolezel would have gone into the list at number two, having coached the team from 2013 until their 2019 folding. Bummer the way that ended.
If I missed anybody, let me know. Again, apologies to some of the smaller programs out there.
I guess I’d be remiss for not mentioning Herb Magee, who has coached Philadelphia/Jefferson since 1967. But again, it’s a tiny program. If you can name five members of the CACC conference, then bravo.