Let’s be honest: Most of us can’t dance. Or maybe we think we can until someone drags us onto the dance floor and we turn into a sweaty mess. Embarrassing! You’ve either got rhythm or you don’t. You’ve either got moves or you don’t. But if we’ve learned anything from watching professional and college sports coaches get jiggy wit’ it on the sidelines or in the locker room, it’s that most of us don’t. Fortunately, we’re not usually being filmed when we dance, whereas the terrible moves of sports coaches are broadcast for the entire world to see.
Here are eight of the worst examples of rhythmically challenged coaches.
1. Dabo Swinney – Clemson Tigers
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The “Whip & Nae Nae,” a dance procured and spread to the masses by the group Silento via a song of the same name, isn’t easy to pull off. The “Nae Nae” section is particularly ambiguous, and most rhythimcally challenged individuals resort to waving their hand in the air. So we can forgive Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney (whose name sounds a bit like a hip-hop dance itself), for failing miserably in both the Whip and the Nae Nae in the locker room after Clemson beat Louisville on Saturday. The important thing is, he tried.
2. Josh Pastner – Memphis Tigers
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You can watch Memphis basketball head coach Josh Pastner’s confidence grow as he observes his players execute a version of the Whip in the locker room following a game-winning shot to defeat Tulane last January. As his players dance, Pastner can be seen smiling in the corner of the screen, thinking, “Yeah, I’m going to join in. Not yet, but soon. And boy, they are going to be surprised by my moves. They are killer. Maybe I’ll do the Whip too. Yeah, I’ll be hip, show ’em I know what’s hot in the streets.”
When Pastner enters the dance circle, his brain goes blank and he reverts to the only dance move he knows, which involves kicking each leg out and throwing his hands in the air like he’s warming up a crowd before a Ringling Bros. circus. It’s an excruciatingly awkward 10 seconds.
3. Ruffin McNeil – East Carolina Pirates
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It’s safe to say no one actually taught ECU football coach Ruffin McNeil how to Whip & Nae Nae before he got on stage and led a handful of his players in the dance at Freshman Convocation. McNeil moves his body and arms around like one of those blow-up things in front of a used car dealership. At no point is he in sync with the dancers behind him. You could have played any song, and McNeil’s moves would have been the same. Incoming freshmen probably YouTubed this performance instantly.
4. Terry Francona – Cleveland Indians
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During the “Harlem Shake” phase two years ago, when it seemed like every person in the universe filmed him- or herself doing an interpretation of the seizure-inducing dance, the Cleveland Indians decided to get in on the fun. The premise was great. As manager Terry Francona starts to address his team in the clubhouse, the song begins playing out of nowhere. Francona slowly begins gyrating his hips (and I mean sloooowly), then adds some weird hand movements that look like they belong in a luau dance. Some of the players, try as they might, cannot keep a straight face as they regard Francona’s sheer ridiculousness.
5. Frank Beamer – Virginia Tech Hokies
We’re just going to go ahead and call this one the “Moving the Pile of Leaves onto a Tarp and Dragging Them to the Ttreelawn” dance, by Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer. And it’s not OK.
6. Jerry Brown – Northwestern Wildcats
When you’re forced to wear purple uniforms, any win can be considered an ultimate triumph. But when you beat a perennial college football powerhouse like Stanford, it’s cause for celebration. After his Wildcats knocked the Cardinal off his perch earlier this season, Northwestern coach Jerry Brown caught dance fever in the locker room. Brown was apparently unaware that he was, in fact, in a 2015 college football locker room and not a 1920s Chicago speakeasy.
7. Kliff Kingsbury – Texas Tech Red Raiders
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Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury is like the substitute teacher you had in high school, who tried way too hard to connect with the students and show off his hipness. You know, the guy who, while drawing a bell curve on the board, said something like, “You know what else has some curve to it? That new Dr. Dre album, am I right? I was moving and grooving to that thing all night!”
While sporting a shirt displaying the words “Too Turnt Up,” Kingsbury participated in the finale of a dance-off at the end of practice last year, bustin’ a move to “Stanky Leg” and making his team lose their collective minds. Kingsbury started off strong before reverting to that 40-something guy at your country club who dabbles in hip-hop.
8. Tubby Smith – Minnesota Golden Gophers
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Following a win over a ranked Wisconsin team in 2013, Minnesota basketball head coach Tubby Smith got funky in the locker room as his players looked on in awe. As Ke$ha’s “Die Young” plays in the background (an odd choice for a victory song, but, hey, I’m just a blogger), Smith starts jumping around and fist-pumping like he’s out with the boys from Jersey Shore. Then he turns his back to the team and begins shuffling back and forth like he’s getting electrocuted. It’s a sight to behold.