Del Rio is a familiar face in the NFL. He was the head coach of the Jaguars and the Raiders. Meanwhile, he was the defensive coordinator for a number of franchises. While he may not seem like an obvious candidate to make this list, there is a good reason for his inclusion. It comes down to one of the wackiest motivational attempts in the history of any sport.
In short, he put an axe and a tree stump in the Jacksonville locker room. The idea was that players should ‘keep chopping.’ However, his tactic went badly awry. This was because Chris Hanson accidentally chopped himself instead of the stump. The team rushed their punter to the hospital and nobody saw the axe again.
Mexico is one of soccer’s biggest underachievers. The Central American nation adores the sport but fails on an international level. It looked like Herrera was on course to change their fortunes. His passionate sideline antics at the 2014 World Cup attracted global attention. Meanwhile, Mexico visibly improved under his tenure.
But sometimes passion can be a dangerous attribute. Herrera discovered this the hard way after losing control on the sideline. He became embroiled in a dispute with a reporter. It ended with the coach physically assaulting the media member. As a result, Mexico fired its manager. It was the wackiest way for him to leave, but probably not that surprising.
No doubt it’s often tempting, but it’s a terrible idea for a coach to attack a player. Unfortunately, Hayes didn’t receive this memo. He did a superb job for Ohio State but it ended in tears. The brilliant college coach took out Clemson’s Charlie Bauman during the Gator Bowl. It was a stunning visual moment, but it ended Hayes’s coaching career.
While this was the most dramatic moment of his career, it wasn’t the wackiest. When Hayes lost games, he addressed the media from the locker room. The problem with this was that he was always naked. It took a strong stomach to ignore this. Also, he had fights with numerous members of the media and various officials.
Snyder was an excellent college coach. He spent his entire career at the NCAA level because he never felt the need to step into the pro-game. A Kansas State icon, he rejected the NFL because he wanted to mold young minds. This proved to be a great decision because the Wildcats even named their stadium after him and his family.
However, the best coaches are also obsessive and eccentric. Snyder was no different in this regard. One of his wackiest traits was his compulsive texting. He was in constant communication with his athletes. In fact, some of them rolled their eyes because they received messages every 20 minutes. But he was responsible for a great program in Kansas.
Italians maintain a fiery reputation. But Di Canio brought this to the next level. He was one of the most successful of his countrymen to play in the Premier League. Then, he became a manager. He had moderate success with Swindon Town in England’s lower leagues. But it all went wrong when he took over at Sunderland.
Firstly, he attracted criticism because of his links to fascism. One of his wackiest decisions was a tattoo of Mussolini on his back. He infamously raised his arm in a fascist salute to Lazio’s Ultra supporters. Then, players mutinied because he was so brutal in his criticism of them. They became tired of his antics and demanded a change.
NCAA basketball coaches are some of the craziest coaches out there. While many of them have a positive influence on their charges, others are insane. Rice was one of the most abusive college coaches in history. He coached Robert Morris before landing at Rutgers. That’s when a massive video scandal broke. The footage revealed his abusive nature toward his athletes.
The video revealed Rice throwing basketballs at his players’ heads. He also used homophobic slurs and got physical with his players. Finally, Rutgers suspended him and banned him from the campus. Remarkably, a Christian school in New York hired him after this. That’s one of the wackiest decisions on this list.
A three-time manager of the year, Piniella was an excellent MLB coach. But it’s impossible to deny that he has a volatile personality. Piniella led the Seattle Mariners for 10 years but also managed several other franchises. He suffered numerous ejections throughout his career because he constantly berated officials.
Piniella unleashed more explosions than North Korea and Iran combined. The manager even brawled with his own players. He famously fought Rob Dibble in one of the wackiest fights ever. Piniella didn’t play Dibble in a win over the Yankees. Dibble denied that he had an injury and Piniella called him a liar. Then, they scrapped in front of the media in a surreal scene.
Campbell became head coach of the Detroit Lions earlier in 2021. This wild man instantly became a media darling because of his crazy personality. First of all, he claimed that he pretended to be somebody else to get the interview. Then, he revealed that he wanted a real-life lion on the sidelines. Meanwhile, his intro speech was one of the wackiest ever.
The Lions are one of the most depressing franchises in American sports. While doubts remain about Campbell’s coaching ability, he has breathed new life into the team. “We’re gonna kick you in the teeth, and when you punch us back, we’re going to smile at you,” he said. “And when you knock us down, we’re gonna get up. And on the way up, we’re going to bite a kneecap off.” Well, alright.
France endured two Reigns of Terror. First, there was the French Revolution. Then, there was Domenech’s tenure in charge of the national soccer team. His time in charge was remarkably bad. Domenech’s methods were some of the wackiest in coaching history. Allegedly, he used astrology to help him pick teams and refused to pick Scorpios.
His team scraped a place in the 2010 World Cup. But then the entire squad went into meltdown as civil war erupted. He sent home star striker Nicolas Anelka. Then, he had an explosive feud with team captain Patrice Evra. It was volatile, messy, and humiliating. In the end, France crashed out in the group state. Domenech lost his job because it was a national shame.
Knight was a fiery man but a fantastic coach. An Indiana Hoosiers icon, Knight won three March Madness tournaments with his team. He also claimed an Olympic gold medal with Team USA and a whole host of other honors. However, he was very harsh toward his players and had a wild temper. Infamously, he once threw a chair across the court in anger.
Then there was the time that he allegedly choked one of his own athletes. Knight also had run-ins with the police on multiple occasions. Finally, Indiana let him go after another run-in with a student. His methods aged badly. But Knight was the best NCAA coach in the business while he was at his peak – that’s a fact.
Fabia is the wackiest combat sports coach of all-time. We use the word ‘coach’ loosely because his methods were bizarre and disturbing. The leader of ‘The School of Self-Awareness’ trained UFC fighter Diego Sanchez before it all went badly wrong. In one fight against Michael Pereira, Fabia told Sanchez, “Do not let him trigger you.”
Furthermore, his training methods were psychotic. Video footage emerged of Fabia punching and kicking Sanchez as he hung upside down from a beam. Later, Fabia explained that he hit Sanchez 20 times per day. Then, there were other insane practices. For example, Fabia once chased Sanchez around the ring with a knife. In the end, Sanchez cut ties with the weirdo.