The Greatest Fictional Coach Bracket: Championship Round

The Bracket: Week 3 Results (SEE FULL BRACKET)

The fourth week is complete in our search for the greatest fictional coach of all time. Bombay goes down to Mickey! Eric Taylor continues his domination by beating Mr. Miyagi in a close one. Now comes the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Who is the greatest fictional coach? Is it Eric Taylor or Mickey Goldmill? We make a case for each below. Vote now or forever hold your peace.


Coach Resumes

Coach Eric Taylor

  • 4 playoff appearances and 3 state championship appearances. Led the Dillon Panthers to a state championship in 2006 and the East Dillon Lions to a state championship in 2010.
  • Collegiate coaching experience as a TMU QB coach.
  • 48-16 overall record (33-7 with the Dillon Panthers and 15-9 with the East Dillon Lions including the 13-1 season in which they won the state championship).

Mickey Goldmill

  • Professional boxer from 1922 to 1947
  • 72-1 boxing record with 70 K.O.’s
  • Coached Rocky before his first fight with Apollo Creed. Rocky lost the fight but was the first of Apollo’s opponents to last the entire 15 rounds. Later trained Rocky in the rematch that led to Rocky becoming the heavyweight champion of the world.

Best Quotes

Coach Eric Taylor

  • Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can’t lose!
  • I said you need to strive to be better than everyone else. I didn’t say you needed to be better than everyone else. But you gotta try. That’s what character is: It’s in the try.
  • Champions don’t give up. Champions don’t complain. Champions give 200 percent. You’re not champions until you’ve earned it.

Mickey Goldmill

  • You’ll be able to spit nails, kid. Like the guy says, you’re gonna eat lightning and you’re gonna crap thunder. You’re gonna become a very dangerous person.
  • The worst thing that happened to you, that can happen to any fighter: you got civilized.
  • This guy doesn’t just wanna win you know, he wants to bury ya, he wants to humiliate ya, he wants to prove to the whole world that you was nothin but some kind of freak the first time out. He said you were a one time lucky bum! Well now I don’t wanna get mad in a biblical place like this. But I think you’re a hell of a lot more than that kid! A hell of a lot! But now wait a minute if you wanna blow this thing if you wanna blow it then damn it I’m gonna blow it with ya. If you wanna stay here I’ll stay with ya. I stay with ya. I’ll stay and pray. What do I got to lose?

The CoachUp Team’s Thoughts

robCoach Rob: Jeez, it’s tough. I feel like we’ve got a lot of factors at play here. First, we have a bit of a generation divide. Mickey is perhaps the greatest coach/motivator of the late 70’s, early 80’s. Rocky is nothing without the foundation laid by working with Mick. And we all know how that story ends (with Rocky almost single-handedly ending the Cold War). But if we are talking about pure coaching ability, I don’t think anyone could coach ’em up like Coach Taylor. He built an absolute dynasty at Dillon, only to be banished to East Dillon and then win another state championship there. I think the thing that I keep coming back to with Coach Taylor was his ability to build a program from scratch at East Dillon. There was nothing when he got there, and he made them a force to be reckoned with in Texas High School football. Winning is a skill that must be learned…it’s habitual, you don’t just wake up one day and do it. Verdict: Coach Eric Taylor greatest fictional coachMatt: You’re only as good as your last training session. And your last training session is only as good as your coach (that logic is questionable, but let’s go with it). If Rocky arguably defeated communism, one could infer that Mickey was the springboard of freedom, justice, and liberty for all in the dark times of the Cold War. But then again, Friday Night Lights is Friday Night Lights. Universal appeal for all. One could argue that Coach Taylor has made sports fans out of non sports fans. Global sports fans vs. American freedom. That’s what this comes down to. Verdict: Undecided greatest fictional coachJack: When we started this bracket, I was thinking Eric Taylor all the way. Partially because I had just finished watching the Friday Night Lights series for the second time and couldn’t get all of Coach’s quotes out of my head. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose! Right? What I didn’t expect was to have any other coach contend for who I thought was the best. I always loved Rocky. Rocky was the original “started from the bottom” story. He gave everything and put in the work to succeed. His trainer was always an afterthought to me. I re-watched Rocky (which I do a few times a year anyway, but this time I focused on Mickey). Rocky wouldn’t have gotten ANYWHERE without him. You could say the same for Eric Taylor’s East Dillon Lions, but Rocky’s accomplishments significantly outweigh one high school championship. Mickey knew Rock had talent, and he taught him to hone that talent. He improved Rocky’s footwork, increased his speed, and got him into fighting shape through unconventional methods (chicken chasing!). Heck, he even converted Rocky into a right-handed boxer. I love Coach Taylor. He may be the better man in this matchup. But the Dillon Panthers were a great team, and I think they would have still been fairly successful without Coach Taylor at the helm. Rocky would not be the world heavyweight champion without Mick. Verdict: Mickey Goldmill

Who ya got? Submit your votes. We’ll post the results next week.

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