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NBA 73 43 I am legend: Sports' iconic coaches 11417624 Bear Bryant Bear+Bryant NBA

There was a brilliant football mind under that houndstooth hat. During his 25 years as Alabama's head coach Bryant amassed six national championships (1961, ’64, ’65, ’73, ’78, ’79) and 13 conference championships. Maybe the most remarkable thing is he had only one losing season. Many of his former players and assistant coaches went on to win NCAA championships as coaches, including Howard Schnellenberger and Gene Stallings. What was his secret? Perhaps it all was somewhere in that rolled-up game plan he held.

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NBA 73 43 I am legend: Sports' iconic coaches 11417501 George Halas George+Halas NBA

One of the founding fathers of the NFL, Halas served as a player, coach and owner of the Chicago franchise and won six championships (1921, ’33, ’40, ’41, ’46, ’63) while coaching an unheard-of 36 years. His first and last titles were 42 years apart. He brought Red Grange, the T-formation and the Monsters of the Midway to the NFL, as well as a host of other things. His 318 wins are second-most in league history. Papa Bear, indeed.

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NBA 73 43 I am legend: Sports' iconic coaches 11417031 Knute Rockne Knute+Rockne NBA

He put Notre Dame, and arguably college football, on the map. He practically invented the forward pass. And during 13 years as head coach at Notre Dame (1918-30) he won 105 games with just 12 losses and five ties, taking home five national championships, including five undefeated seasons without a tie. His “Win one for the Gipper” is probably the most famous (and shortest) motivational speech in history, and it still resonates. Who’s the Gipper? Who cares. We’re gonna win this damn game for him!

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NBA 73 43 I am legend: Sports' iconic coaches 11417623 Phil Jackson Phil+Jackson+ NBA

Critics may think of him as a Zen-talking chin-stroker who teaches a shape, and argue that Scoop Jackson could have won 11 NBA championships with the talent Phil has had. But there’s no arguing his place atop the NBA totem pole, thanks to the six titles he won with MJ in Chicago (1991, ’92, ’93, ’96, ’97, ’98) and the five he’s won with Kobe in L.A. (2000, ’01, ’02, ’09, ’10). He has the best playoff winning percentage in NBA history and is the only coach to win 10 championships in any of North America's major pro sports. Take that, Red.

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NBA 73 43 I am legend: Sports' iconic coaches 11417035 Red Auerbach Red+Auerbach NBA

He was the coach you loved to hate, who smoked the competition and then smoked a victory cigar. No one had swag like Red. And no one has matched the dynasty he had while coaching Bill Russell and the Celtics to nine championships in 10 seasons (1956-67), including eight straight – the longest in North American pro sports history. He gave sports one of its greatest rivalries, and mentored four players (Russell, Bill Sharman, Tommy Heinsohn and K.C. Jones) who won seven more championships as coaches. No wonder the NBA’s Coach of the Year trophy is named for him. Light up another, Red.

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NBA 73 43 I am legend: Sports' iconic coaches 11417502 Vince Lombardi Vince+Lombardi NBA

Is there a more iconic name in NFL history? Lombardi won five league championships during nine years as head coach of the Green Bay Packers (1959-67), including the first two Super Bowls. No wonder the NFL's Super Bowl trophy is named in his honor. He never had a losing season – what else would you expect from the guy who’s credited with the motto “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

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NBA 73 43 I am legend: Sports' iconic coaches 11417625 John Wooden John+Wooden NBA

Just call him Coach. No one was as revered across the world of sports as the Wizard of Westwood, whose accomplishments at UCLA were equaled by his life lessons as a teacher of men. His 10 NCAA championships in a 12-year period (1964-75) – including seven straight – are unmatched in college basketball. His teams also had a record winning streak of 88 games and four 30–0 seasons. But former players are more likely to talk about what they learned from Wooden, whose “pyramid of success” has served many as the philosophical building blocks for winning at life. Atop the pyramid is "Competitive Greatness" which Wooden defined as "Perform at your best when your best is required. Your best is required each day." Well said, Coach.

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