Basketball coaches have a rich history with the colored blazer. These days it’s usually donned only for special occasions, like a game versus an in-state rival. Perhaps the most famous example is Bruce Pearl, who donned his trademark bright orange blazer versus Kentucky and Vanderbilt. What you may not realize is that this was an homage to former Tennessee coach Ray Mears, who sported his own trademark orange blazer in the 60’s and 70’s. The one problem I’ve found is that it is nearly impossible to find any colored blazers out there. I literally spent hours last week trying to find an orange one for this post and came up empty, so if you know of a place to find one be sure to leave it in the comments (update: while researching when Bruce Weber wore his orange blazer I found the exact blazer in less than a minute. Not sure how I missed it before). Now let’s take a look at the spectrum of coaches and the colored blazer.
It must be a requirement if your name is Bruce to don the orange blazer. Like Pearl, Weber wore this in honor of former Illini coach Lou Henson, who was known to sport one from time to time. Weber didn’t have a specific team he wore the blazer for but broke it out for big games, such as the 2005 National Championship. He can pull it off because it’s great fitting and he keeps everything else simple. I also think this shade of orange looks better than Tennessee’s and the brass button are a great touch. You can even pick up the exact same blazer here.
I’ve already touched on when and why Pearl wore the orange blazer. The fit here is good although pairing it with an orange tie is a little overpowering. All in all though a good example of the colored blazer.
This one came up a couple weeks ago in the Bob Knight Style Inspiration post. The 70’s and 80’s were a heyday for absurd sport coats but this one is a great look. Paired with a plaid tie and a patch pocket, it’s one of my favorite instances of the colored blazer.
Another instance of the red blazer. Like Weber, Pitino doesn’t have any specific opponents he breaks this out for. He’s got the fit right and the tie pulls together the three colors of Louisville. If he pulls this out versus Kentucky on Saturday, I’ll be a happy man.
I want to like this suit so bad. In fact I think it is a great looking suit. Pitino prowls the sidelines in it whenever Louisville has a “white out”. You have to love the solidarity with the fans. However there’s one reason this one made the bad list. Rules are rules and the rules say no white after Labor Day and before Easter at the earliest. So for that reason and that reason only, this one makes the bad list.
Back when Lowe was on the NC State sidelines he would wear a red blazer in honor of Jim Valvano for significant games. He’s oh so close to making the good list with this one. The fit is pretty good, the color is great and the tie brings it all together. The problem comes with the three buttons. I much prefer the two button look. That’s really the only problem here and it’s a great effort.
This is a prime example of the red blazer done wrong. Alford looks like he borrowed this one from his dad or got it off the rack at Wal-Mart. Throw in that loud tie and you’ve got a disaster on your hands. You’d expect more from someone who played under Coach Knight.
It take something absolutely awful for me to actually want to see Huggins in his signature track suit and this qualifies. He only wore this once, in his first season at West Virginia, and, as karma would have it for subjecting us to this atrocity, his Mountaineers were blown out by Cincinnati. This monstrosity has four buttons and Huggins didn’t even bother to button them correctly, leaving the top two unbottoned and the bottom two buttoned. This suit makes me want to gag, which is fitting because that’s the exact color it resembles.
This is but one example of the retina burning costumes Murray State women’s coach Tom Hodges has sported, all in the hopes of drumming up publicity. Somehow I actually think I prefer this to the Huggins ensemble, but barely. There’s just way too much going on here. If the goal is to get more people to watch the games, well this suit has the opposite effect.