Jack McKeon inspires list of venerable coaches

Tue, Jun 21

Jack McKeon, 80, returned to manage the Florida Marlins on Monday night.

Even though the fighting fish lost at home to the Angels, McKeon became the second-oldest manager in major league history. Only Connie Mack, who managed the entire 1950 season for the Philadelphia A's at age 87, was older than McKeon.

Jack McKeon
Mike Ehrmann/Getty ImagesJack McKeon is managing in his fifth decade in the major leagues by returning to the Marlins.

In homage to McKeon, Page 2 presents a quick rundown of venerable managers and coaches.

Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, 84, used Skype to speak to recruits earlier this month and apparently said he could coach another four years.

Last month, English soccer coach Ivor Powell retired from the University of Bath at age 93.

On April 5, Texas A&M's Gary Blair, 65, became the oldest head coach to win the NCAA Division I women's basketball championship.

One day earlier, Connecticut's Jim Calhoun, 68, became the oldest head coach to win the NCAA Division I men's basketball championship.

Last November, longtime Massachusetts prep football coach Bill Tighe, 86, retired from Lexington High.

McKeon became the oldest manager to win a World Series in 2003, at age 72 with the Marlins.

Phil Jackson is the oldest head coach to win an NBA championship, having guided the Los Angeles Lakers to the 2010 title at age 64. Hubie Brown is the oldest full-time head coach in NBA history, coaching until age 71 with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2004. Bill Bertka is the oldest head coach in NBA history, having guided the Lakers for one game as interim coach in 1999, as the team transitioned from Del Harris to Kurt Rambis. At 71 years, 6 months, 17 days, Bertka was a few months older than Brown.

Dick Vermeil is the oldest head coach to win a Super Bowl, having piloted the St. Louis Rams to the NFL title in January 2000 at age 63. George Halas is the oldest head coach to win an NFL championship, having led the Chicago Bears to the 1963 title at age 68. Halas and Marv Levy hold the distinction of being the oldest head coaches in NFL history, as both coached until age 72. Halas was technically the oldest, having coached his last game at the age of 72 years, 10 months and 15 days -- six months older than Levy when he finished coaching.

Scotty Bowman is the oldest head coach to win a Stanley Cup, having directed the Detroit Red Wings to the 2002 title at age 68. Four-time Stanley Cup champion coach Al Arbour became the oldest person to coach an NHL game when he returned to the Islanders' bench for one game at age 75 in 2007.