Mile High and Out of Here 05/29/2009Posted by sportretort in denver broncos, mlb, NFL, nhl, Sports, Uncategorized.
Tags: Clint Hurdle, coach, coaching change, denver, denver coaches, george karl, mike shanahan, mlb, nba, NFL, nhl, tony granato
The ax fell on Rockies manager Clint Hurdle today. After seven seasons as the manager for the National League
baseball team, Hurdle was released with a 534-625 record. It aws just 19 months ago that Hurdle and the Rockies won 21 out of 22 games, including a wild card playoff game win and sweeps of the NLDS and NLCS series to land in the franchise’s first World Series. The Roctober run ended as the Rocks were swept by the Boston Red Sox in the 2007 Series. The Rockies followed up that magical run with a 74-88 campaign in 2008 and an 18-28 start this season.
Denver may be a great sports city. It has one of the best fan bases in the country. But it is a bad time to be a head coach in the city. Besides Hurdle’s ouster with the Rockies, longtime Bronco’s coach Mike Shanahan felt the ax at the end of the last NFL season. Shanahan is the only Broncos coach to win a Super Bowl (XXXII and XXXIII), but the decade of frustration since John Elway retired as quarterback claimed Shanahan’s job. And Hurdle was almost not even the first coach in Denver to fall this week. The Colorado Avalanche reportedly offered the head coaching position to it’s former Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy. The Avs had their worst season by far since they relocated to Denver in 1995, and they turned to their two time Stanley Cup winning goaltender to help get things back on track. (Roy also won 2 Cups with the Montreal Canadiens.) The trouble is that the Avs have a coach, Tony Granato. On Tuesday, Roy said thanks, but no thanks right now to the Avs offer. Granato has to wonder how much longer he will be behind the bench.
Even the Nuggets, having their best season in their NBA history, almost had a shake up this season. Coach George Karl was on the hot seat after having lost in the first round of the playoffs in each of the last 5 seasons. Karl credits the
trade early in the season that sent Alan Iverson to Detroit and brought Chauncy Billups to Denver. Billups has provided the leadership on the court that the Nuggets needed, and as a result they play the Lakers tonight in game 6 of the Western Conference Finals, their deepest playoff run in 24 years. According to Karl, if that trade had not been made he probably would not have lasted the season as coach. And the city of Denver would have had potential coaching turnover in all 4 major sports teams in the same season.
Yep, it’s a tough time to be a coach in Denver.