Athletes Who HAVE to Become Coaches (Part 3)

Yadier Molina

Playing experience: 12 years

St. Louis Cardinals player Yadier Molina comes from a family that his brothers, were both Major League Baseball catchers.  

Molina is an integral part of a successful team as a catcher, offense and pitching. Former teammate Jake Westbook shared with USA Today in 2012, “The man is a part of every aspect of the game: the best of starters, relievers, offense, defense … helping us to become the team that we are.”

To that end, he has a pretty good track record as managers following bruce Bochy of the San Francisco Giants, Joe Girardi of the New York Yankees who are all former catchers who have successfully managed World Series teams.

Tim Duncan

Playing experience: 18 years

San Antonio Spurs player Tim Duncan has played almost two decades with the NBA’s great coaches, Gregg Popovich. His grace and competitiveness are similar to those of his coach, especially the collaborative relationship, which made Duncan a rare superstar that could go on to success as a coach.

A few years ago, former NBA coach Jeff Van Gundy told ESPN Radio, “I followed him and his interactions; I think he understands people, I think he understands how to help unite and inspire a group of people. He can be a good coach though it’s hard to imagine Duncan in a suit every day.

Sue Bird

Playing experience: 13 years

Sue Bird has been played in the position of the point guard for the WNBA’s Seattle Storm since 2002.  

In 2014, 25 percent of the WNBA general managers said Bird is the active player who would eventually become the best coach.

As a point of comparison, 25 percent also said once that San Antonio Stars Becky Hammon would make a great coach. Hammon is now working as an assistant coach to Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs, and she’s has been great with it.