Professional head coaches in New York are under the microscope like none other in sports, and no city in America has more of them. With five of the seven coaches and managers coaching games this week, it seems as good a time as any to examine how secure all seven are in their respective jobs.
Jason Kidd (Nets)
Coach since: 2013
Record in N.Y.: 44-36
Kidd’s first season as a head coach seems to have already run the gamut. He was suspended for his first two games, saw his would-be title-contending team get off to a poor start, had a reported falling out with an assistant and recovered to earn Eastern Conference Coach of the Month twice as his team clinched a postseason berth.
Had the Nets missed the playoffs, he’d be on the outs. But the former point guard seems to be getting the hang of the job and will surely be back next year.
Alain Vigneault (Rangers)
Coach since: 2013
Record in N.Y.: 45-31-6
While the Rangers were just about as good this year as they were last year under the volatile John Tortorella — .585 points percentage this season to .583 in 2013 — Vigneault brought the type of calm after the storm this team needed.
The Blueshirts are entering a friendly postseason scenario in which they start at home on Thursday against the Flyers and wouldn’t have to play the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Bruins until the conference finals. Vigneault’s job is in no danger whatsoever.
Mike Woodson (Knicks)
Coach since: 2012
Record in N.Y.: 107-79 (7-10 postseason)
This is a classic case of how quickly the tide can turn on a coach in the Big Apple. Woodson entered the season with a 72-34 record in N.Y. and having won the franchise’s first playoff series in more than a decade last spring.
With the Knicks out of the playoffs for the first time in four years amid championship expectations, new team president Phil Jackson appears likely to bring in his own guy.
Terry Collins (Mets)
Manager since: 2011
Record in N.Y.: 230-268 entering yesterday
His win-loss record screams “mediocre,” but observers know Collins has made the best of a bad situation as the Mets slowly stripped away the bad contracts of the past and waited for young talent to rise to the majors.
That said, Collins could be in trouble later this year. It’s early, but this team doesn’t seem to be on track for the 90-win goal set by general manager Sandy Alderson. The Mets likely have to finish at .500 or better to assure Collins’ job security.
Rex Ryan (Jets)
Coach since: 2009
Record in N.Y.: 42-38 (4-2 postseason)
Ryan is the ultimate New York coaching survivor. His regular season record is unremarkable and the Jets have missed the playoffs three years in a row. All the while, the team brought in a new general manager, John Idzik, which usually means the end is nigh for a professional head coach.
Yet, Ryan was just rewarded with an extension. He may not survive another missed postseason, but just one playoff victory could be enough to lock up another few years on the job.
Joe Girardi (Yankees)
Coach since: 2008
Record in N.Y.: 571-414 (21-17 postseason)
The Yankees gave Girardi a lucrative extension even as the team missed the postseason for the second time in 19 seasons — both of which came under Girardi’s guidance. It’s fair to say that 2009 World Series championship still shines bright, but Girardi’s leadership last season through injury after injury has more to do with his new deal. He’s not going anywhere, barring a major setback.
Coach since: 2004
Record in N.Y.: 90-70 (8-3 postseason)
Just like a certain commercial character, Coughlin’s Giants don’t always make the playoffs. But when they do, they tend to win the Super Bowl. He’s led the team to two championships in 10 seasons, and that’s enough to earn respect in this city. Even last season’s mess doesn’t put him in too much trouble. Ownership isn’t trigger-happy with its coaching decisions and there’s no way Coughlin will be handed a pink slip before he realizes on his own that it’s time to move on.