Why Promoting That Great Rep to Manager May Be a Mistake

Posted by Steve Marley on Thu, Oct 15, 2015

The NHL hockey season is starting and, as a native Canadian living in Chicago (a hockey hotbed and the home of the current Stanley Cup champions, respectively), I believe—as many do—that the greatest hockey player ever was Wayne Gretzky. However, as a head coach of the Arizona Coyotes, Gretzky’s record was a modest 143 wins, 161 losses and 24 ties, for a 47.3% winning percentage. And Gretzky is not alone in this respect: many superstar athletes go on to coach teams, and the results are mixed. Clearly, excelling in the performance of a chosen sport does not mean one will excel in the coaching of that same sport. Of course, some former players do make successful coaches, and some “career” coaches are not successful, so there is no set formula for success.

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