Terry Francona broke the curse – and then some – as manager of the Red Sox. As if ending an 86-year-old World Series drought with two titles in four seasons (2004, 2007) wasn't enough, Francona, now the Cleveland Indians manager, is nearly standing on the cusp of history again.
If Francona leads his team to a World Series championship (and Cleveland hasn't won since 1948) he would join elite company: Only eight men across three of the four major sports have taken two or more teams to titles.
In fact, in the NFL, no coach has won a Super Bowl with different teams. The most successful coaches have, instead, built dynasties that have won year after year. Most recently, Bill Belichick has led the Patriots to four titles in 14 seasons, including a stretch of three in four years between 2001-04. And between 1989-99, San Francisco (George Seifert), Dallas (Jimmy Johnson) and Denver (Mike Shanahan) each won two Super Bowls.
But two NFL coaches have come within a few touchdowns of winning the Super Bowl with two different teams:
-- Bill Parcells won with the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXI and XXV. After coming back from a two-year "retirement" in 1993 to coach the Patriots, he very nearly made history but New England lost to the Packers in Super Bowl XXXI, 35-21.
-- Mike Holmgren led the Green Bay Packers to the title in Super Bowl XXXI. Nearly a decade later brought the Seattle Seahawks to Super Bowl XL and lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 21-10.
Two others lost in their first Super Bowl appearance but won when they went back with a different team:
-- Don Shula brought the Colts to the 1968 NFL championship, but lost to the New York Jets in Super Bowl III, 16-7. He went on to win back-to-back Super Bowls with the Miami Dolphins.
-- Dick Vermeil led the Philadelphia Eagles to Super Bowl XV where they fell to the Raiders, but almost 20 years later, he won the big game as coach of the St. Louis Rams.
In the pre-Super Bowl era, Weeb Ewbank coached the Colts to the NFL championship in 1958 and 1959. Then he led the Jets to victory in Super Bowl III.
And while there have been a handful of baseball managers who have won four or more World Series with a single team – see Joe Torre (4), Connie Mack (5), Casey Stengel (7) and Joe McCarthy (7), winning multiple world championships with multiple teams is elusive in any pro sport.
Phil Jackson won an incredible 11 NBA titles with the Bulls and Lakers. The NHL's Scotty Bowman is the only coach to win it all for three teams as he captured nine titles with the Canadiens, Penguins and Red Wings, plus another as an executive. Here's a rundown of those who have duplicated the magic with a different team:
Tony La Russa
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