With the passing of legendary actor Dennis Hopper over the weekend it reminded me of one of most cherished sports movie Hoosiers. Dennis Hopper played an alcoholic father recruited by Norman Dale (Gene Hackman) as an assistant basketball coach for the small hoops crazy town of Hickory Indiana. If you’ve played basketball or watched the movie you’ll remember the “Picket Fences” play.
Got me looking back at my sports movie collection, here’s my top 5 (movie) coaches…
5 Patches O’Houlihan – Dodgeball – Rip Torn
Not the classic sports movie but hilarious portrayal of dodgeball “supercoach” by Rip Torn.
Best Line – “If you’re going to become true dodgeballers, then you’ve got to learn the five d’s of dodgeball: dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge!”
4. Mickey Goldmill – Rocky – Burgess Meredith
Mickey was great as the old trainer lifting up Rocky with his own special mix of tough love.
Best Line – “You’re gonna eat lightnin’ and you’re gonna crap thunder!”
3 Herman Boone – Remember the Titans – Denzel Washington
Boone brings together two schools & two races to become one football team, what all good sports movies do.
Best Line - “This is no democracy. It is a dictatorship. I am the law.”
2. Tony D’Amato – Any Given Sunday – Al Pacino
If this list was ranked on pre-game speeches then Tony D’Armato would win hands down as his speech to the Miami Sharks has you ready to run through a brick wall.
Best Line - “We’re in hell right now gentlemen. Believe me. And we can stay here, get the shit kicked out of us, or we can fight our way back into the light. We can climb outta hell… one inch at a time.”
1. Norman Dale – Hoosiers – Gene Hackman
Great basketball movie, Gene Hackman wins over the town of Hickory as well as team with the help of Shooter.
Best Line – “My practices are not designed for your enjoyment!”
What are your picks for best sports movie coaches?