One of my favorite things about exploring history, especially as it pertains to sports, is the ability to mock people that lived 100 years ago. Nothing is funnier than some crap that happened in 1912. People back then were funny and did things differently, so I laugh at them.
With that in mind, I've painstakingly ranked all 26 full-time coaches in the history of Cincinnati Bearcat basketball. I did not rank on coaching ability. No, I ranked on how cool their name is. There are some heavyweight contenders at the top of this list.
26. George Smith
Probably the second best coach in UC history. Smith recruited both Jack Twyman and Oscar Robertson while setting the stage for Ed Jucker to win his championships. That being said, this name suuuuuuucks. Might as well be named nothing at all.
25. Andy Kennedy
What a nothing name. Sounds like some idiot you went to high school with.
24. Frank Rice
He coached in the late '20s and early '30s, so there is a certain classic, timelessness to it. However, he's not winning any style points.
23. Boyd Chambers
This guy has two last names. He was a good coach, but I really feel like he's missing a first name.
22. Tay Brown
Two different Tays have coached UC, and this is easily the inferior of the two.
21. Ray Farnham
Sounds like a slimy lawyer.
20. Tony Yates
I'm probably tainted because I know about the Tony Yates era, but this name does nothing for me unless you got everyone to call you "Yayo." If you can have the same name as a member of G-Unit, you gotta have the same name as a member of G-Unit.
19. Bob Huggins
You probably think this is a good name because you know who Bob Huggins is. Objectively, he sounds like he could be a tertiary character in the Care Bears universe.
18. Gale Catlett
Regrettably, this is a woman's name.
17. George Little
Sounds like a '20s bank robber.
16. Clark Ballard
Sounds like an old football player and/or police chief.
15. Henry Pratt
Sounds like a former Vice President.
14. John Halliday
Sounds like a character in a bad Lifetime movie.
13. Russ Easton
Sounds like a character in a Stephen King novel.
12. Tay Baker
Huge bonus points here for the rhyming potential. Tay Baker the Rim Shaker sounds like the best dunker of all time. There are 1,000 easy rhymes here.
11. Ed Jucker
This just sounds like a basketball coach's name. Jucker was a damn good basketball coach, too. He won back-to-back national titles for the Bearcats in the early '60s.
10. Mick Cronin
This also sounds like a basketball coach's name. It's unapologetically Irish, so I have to appreciate it. I can't imagine someone with Mick's personality being named anything other than Mick Cronin.
9. Ed Badger
Anyone named after a slightly unpredictable animal makes for a great football coach. Imagine a football coach named Ricky Wombat. Oh man!
8. Bob Ruess
Why do I want to say this name in Stewie Griffin's voice?
7. Amos Foster
I hope this guy was Amish. How great would it be to have some guy patrolling the coach's box with a full beard and Amish regalia? Spoiler: It would be very great.
6. Anthony Chez
Imagining this guy having a pencil mustache and eating cheese while painting the Eiffel Tower during the off-season. He was the second coach in UC history, leaving in 1904 after two years and a 12-10 record.
5. Ion Cortright
This is a super official name. If you have this name you basically have to be named duke or knight or captain an old ship or something crazy. While he coached just one 3-8 season for the Bearcats in 1916-17, he resurfaced at North Dakota State in 1925-26 and led the Bison to a remarkable 22-3 record in his only season there.
I'm assuming he later died when his vessel was overtaken by pirates.
4. C.A. Schroetter
I dunno, this just seems like a great name. According to Sports Reference, this guy only coached UC for a single season, and it was the fall after his graduation. He was probably only 22 or 23 years old.
The 'Cats went 3-2 under Schroetter in 1909-10.
3. John "Socko" Wiethe
This is cheating a bit because it requires a nickname in order to succeed, but it's my post and I'm allowing it. The great thing about being nicknamed "Socko" is that you can only get it by being the kinda guy that just punches the crap out of his players. That's exactly what Socko did. If you did something bad, he'd just punch you. I'm serious.
This tactic worked flawlessly. He coached the Bearcats for six seasons in the late '40s and early '50s and had an average record of 18-8. He was the first great coach in UC history, and he coached football and basketball. Socko is basically the ultimate Football Guy.
2. Whitelaw Morrison
This is a real man's name. This is a guy that doesn't take any excuses and will personally break your fingers if you don't box out. Last year when I discovered this guy's existence, I changed the Twitter account briefly to a Whitelaw Morrison fan account. I lost a ton of followers.
Morrison coached the Bearcats for just one year--100 seasons ago. He went 2-6 in 1917-18.
1. Rip Van Winkle
Oh, come on. Talk about a great name. The "real" Rip Van Winkle is a character in an 1819 short story by Washington Irving. In the story, some man wanders into the woods and ends up getting so drunk that he falls asleep for 20 years and wakes up to find he has a huge beard and his wife is dead. It's a riot.
This Bearcats coach decided he ought to share a name with this hero and role model. Van Winkle coached the Bearcats for two seasons in the late '30s, notching an 18-16 record.