When former Cal Bear Jason Kidd was hired by the Brooklyn Nets, there were ripples around the sporting world. Most players who become coaches tend to be of a lower caliber, and spend years working their way to a head coaching position after putting in time as an assistant for various teams (i.e. Brian Shaw). Then again, this is a team that was once partially-owned (emphasis on partially) by Jay-Z and has a majority owner who made this video.
The hiring, however, did raise a question about the ability of players to transition into the coaching ranks. One of the best coaches of all time, in any sport, Phil Jackson, used to play basketball.
Alternately, one of the best players in his respective sport, Wayne Gretzky, might have been one of the worst coaches (or maybe it was the product of having a hockey team in Phoenix). Either way, there are a few current athletes from the bay who could one day make great head coaches.
Charles Woodson (current team: Oakland Raiders)
For most of his adult life, he has been one of the best players on the team. Woodson carries himself in a certain way, maintaining composure through adversity and consistently earning the respect of his teammates. Additionally, as an individual always in the spotlight, he has plenty of experience dealing with the media and absorbing all the attention (both positive and negative) that is thrown on him.
Joe Thornton (current team: San Jose Sharks)
The captain of the Sharks is always making plays for his counterparts and creating opportunities to win. Why couldn’t he do this as a coach?
He’s one of the most likeable guys in the league, and always gets his teammates to perform. Once in the coaching ranks, his prolific career alone would earn him the necessary respect. Also, he has a clear love for hockey, and it doesn’t seem like he ever wants to distance himself from the culture.
And, given the luck of the Sharks, if he doesn’t win the Cup as a player, he deserves another shot a as a coach.
Tony Gonzalez (current team: Atlanta Falcons)
Though technically not a Bay Area athlete at present, he falls into the same category as Jason Kidd having played his college ball (both football and basketball) in Berkeley.
He’s got a natural, charismatic personality and is one of the most intelligent players in the league. He even wrote a book about dieting, and connects great with the outside world (fans and media). Not only would be make a great coach, but he’d likely succeed in any leadership position that was offered to him.