Bashir Mason turned into the youngest head coach in Division I College Basketball after being appointed to be the head coach of the Wagner Seahawks of the Northeast conference, replacing the Hurley brothers team who moved on to Rhode Island after a 25-6 season with Wagner, which wasn’t enough to get an invitation into the NCAA tournament.
In the NBA, 12 head coaches are under the age of 50. Two of them coach two/thirds of this season’s favorites to win the NBA title – Scott Brooks of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who’ll turn 47 in July. He’s been the Thunder head coach since the move from Seattle, compiling a 164-118 record. Erik Spoelstra, 41years old, who grew up through the ranks with the Miami Heat, beginning as a video coordinator. He started out in 2008-2009, just like Brooks, compiling a 183-111 record.
There are only two head coaches under the age of 40 – Frank Vogel of the Indiana Pacers is 38, taking over for Jim O’Brien in 2011, helping the Pacers reach the playoffs for the first time since 2006. This season he’s been leading the Pacers to a 29-19 record so far, 5th in the East. The youngest head coach works in Portland, 33 year old Kaleb Canales who began his way as a video intern. He took over for Nate McMillan in mid-March, becoming the first Mexican-American coach in NBA history.
“Youth” is a bit more successful in the NFL. Out of the 11 head coaches under the age of 50, three of them are Super Bowl champions. Mike McCarthy, 48, of the Green Bay Packers. Sean Payton, 48, who won’t be coaching this season for the New Orleans Saints. Mike Tomlin, the second youngest head coach in the league, 40, the youngest head coach to lead his team to victory in the Super Bowl, just before his 37th birthday.
There’s only one head coach in the NFL under 40 at the moment, Dennis Allen of the Oakland Raiders. Allen, who never made it into the NFL after 4 years with Texas A&M during the early 1990’s, will coach his first NFL game in 2012 for the Raiders after being the Denver Broncos’ defensive coordinator in 2011.
In Baseball, as expected, there are a bit fewer managers under the age of 50 – Only 9. Two of them are World Series champions as managers. Ozzie Guillen, 48, about to begin his first year as the manager of the Miami Marlins was the White Sox manager from 2004-2011, winning the World Series in 2005, leading them to their first AL Pennant since 1959 and their first world series since 1917. He compiled a 678-617 record during that time.
Joe Girardi, 47, who won the World Series three times as a player with the Yankees, won as manager in 2009, their first since 2000. He was also the NL manager of the year in 2006 while managing the Florida Marlins. The youngest in the Majors is Mike Matheny, who at 41 will be the first one to lead the St. Louis Cardinals in the post La Russa era.
In the NHL head coaches under the age of 40 aren’t a rarity – 15 of them, with a few Stanley Cup winners among them. Dan Bylsma of the Pittsburgh Penguins took over midway through the 2008-2009 season, leading them to Stanley Cup glory that season at the age of 38.
The youngest currently in the league is Mike Yeo, who was an assistant coach on the Penguins team. Yeo is in the midst of his first season as head coach of the Minnesota Wild, already eliminated for playoff contention.