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Sports & Recreation

Best Coach 

Dick Vermeil

A little more than a year ago, we wanted his head. After a last-place finish, there seemed little hope for the Rams under Dick Vermeil. The team itself mutinied, showing him abject disrespect after the final loss of 1998, and unless something was done, there was little doubt that the fans would follow suit. But, of course, something was done: The front office gave Vermeil the players in the offseason, including Marshall Faulk and Trent Green, and Vermeil and his coaching staff -- notably offensive coordinator and current head coach Mike Martz -- turned things completely around. Sure, Vermeil remained high-strung -- we thought he was really gonna lose it when Green went down with a season-ending knee injury. But the coach rallied the troops around unknown QB Kurt Warner, and the Rams brought St. Louis its first NFL championship ever. After basking in the limelight for just a little while, Vermeil had the smarts and the class to do what so few in sports ever manage -- to go out on top. Here's to you, Coach.

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