Big Apple Turnover

Mickey Callaway (Photo courtesy of New York Mets)

New York sports fans have seen more change in the last nine months than they’ve seen in the last three decades. Of the eight franchises in the four major sports, six teams have fired their head coach and hired a new one since October 1. The ultimate task hanging over the heads of these coaches is delivering a championship back to the Empire State.

Here’s a look at each of these head coaches’ backgrounds and what their teams need to improve on in order to achieve that goal.

New York Mets

Former Manager: Terry Collins
New Manager: Mickey Callaway

Mickey Callaway came to the New York Mets after several years in the Cleveland Indians organization, including five seasons as their pitching coach. He helped the team lead the American League in strikeouts for four straight seasons and was considered an important role in the Indians’ 2016 World Series run. Unfortunately, that same success has yet to translate to the Mets. After a strong 11-1 start, the Mets have become one of the worst teams in the National League. What doesn’t help is, despite the big-name hitters in the club, they are last in the league in hits.

Aaron Boone (Photo courtesy of New York Yankees all rights reserved)

New York Yankees

Former Manager: Joe Girardi
New Manager: Aaron Boone

As a former player for the Yankees, Aaron Boone moved on from his broadcasting career at ESPN to take the Yankees manager job in December and was tasked with managing one of the most hyped teams in baseball. Despite having no major coaching experience, Boone has done well out of the gate. Despite a slow 9-9 start, the Yankees have become a contender in the AL Pennant race as they lead the league in home runs and are second in ERA. While Boone should be happy about the success, the team should continue improving on hitting and avoiding strikeouts.

New York Giants

Former Coach: Ben McAdoo
New Coach: Pat Shurmur

Pat Shurmur earned a head coaching job after a very successful season with the Minnesota Vikings, where he helped mold Case Keenum into a star and an offense into a strong unit as the team averaged 357 yards per game all the way to the NFC Championship. His previous head coaching stint with the Cleveland Browns did not end well (9-23 in two seasons from 2011-12), but he has a second opportunity to be a leader of a team. His first task: Turning an offensive unit around that ranked 31st in the league in offensive points scored, only ahead of the 0-16 Browns.

David Quinn (Photo
courtesy of Boston University Athletics)

New York Rangers

Former Coach: Alain Vigneault
New Coach: David Quinn

David Quinn became a candidate on the Rangers radar due to his success in the collegiate ranks. In five years as head coach of Boston University hockey, he had a 105-67-21 record and was a two-time regular season Hockey East champion and a two-time Hockey East tournament champion. Now with the Rangers, he’s looking to make a young team successful in his first year at the helm. While there’s a lot that needs improving, Quinn needs to start stiffing up a defense that allowed the second most shots on goal per game, which led to a rough season for goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

New York Knicks

Former Coach: Jeff Hornacek
New Coach: David Fizdale

After 18 years as an assistant, David Fizdale was hired as head coach of the Memphis Grizzlies for two seasons. His first season was a decent one, as they finished 43-39 in the Southwest division and earned a playoff berth for a seventh straight year. Unfortunately, he was fired early on in the 2017-18 season after an eight-game losing streak, but now he gets a chance to redeem himself with the Knicks. The team hasn’t had success in a long time, but Fizdale can start by getting the team’s field goal and three-point shooting into a more reasonable range compared to last year.

New York Islanders

Former Coach: Doug Weight
New Coach: Barry Trotz

Barry Trotz is coming off the best year of his head coaching career, winning the Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals. After a contract dispute, he left Washington to pursue a different opportunity. Now in New York, he must make drastic changes to a defense that had the most goals scored on them and the most shot attempts against them. He may also need to deal with losing center and team captain John Tavares to free agency.

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Christopher Birsner
In addition to being the editor of the Massapequa Observer and Plainview-Old Bethpage Herald, Chris Birsner is the sports editor for Long Island Weekly and often contributes gaming articles to the arts and entertainment publication.

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