College of Coaches

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In 1961 and 1962, the Chicago Cubs employed a rotating system of managing called the College of Coaches. The college was the brainchild of owner Philip K. Wrigley. They used the regular coaching staff with a head coach that was designated for a few weeks at a time, and also had coaches rotate between the major league Cubs and various minor league affiliates. The plan failed as the Cubs went 64-90 in 1961 then 59-103 in 1962. The Cubs even finished behind the expansion Houston Colt .45's the second year.

The members of the college in 1961 were Vedie Himsl, Harry Craft, El Tappe and Lou Klein. In 1962, they used Tappe, Klein, and Charlie Metro, who put an end to the managerial part of the system, as he pleaded that it was ridiculous to replace the man in charge every couple of weeks. He got to finish out the season as the team's manager, with an ever-changing group of coaches, then was let go at the end of the season. Bob Kennedy took over as manager in 1963, however, the practice of rotating coaches between the major league club and minor league affiliates continued until the end of the 1965 season, and the team's manager still officially held the title of "head coach" until the end of that season.

Preceded by
Lou Boudreau
Chicago Cubs Manager
Succeeded by
Bob Kennedy

Further Reading[edit]

  • Richard J. Puerzer: "The Chicago Cubs' College of Coaches: A Management Innovation That Failed", in The National Pastime - A Review of Baseball History, Society for American Baseball Research, Cleveland, OH, number 26 (May, 2006), pp. 3-17.