"A team is a reflection of its coach” is an old sports saying. “A team is a combination of a lot of things, but mostly, it is a reflection of its coach” was cited in print in 1948. “A team is a reflection of its coach” was cited in 1972. It’s not known who first came up with the saying.
28 September 1948, Olean (NY) Times Herald, “Coach’s Personality, Attitude Reflected In Work Of His Team” by Eddie Dooley, pg. 9, col. 4:
A team is a combination of a lot of things, but mostly, it is a reflection of its coach.
6 February 1972, Chronicle-Telegram (Elyria, OH), “Fans’ Sportscope” by Bill Naab, pg. D-4, col. 1:
RICHARD BUEHNER, Cleveland—“It wasn’t strict enough. The whole team should be suspended for a year and the rest of the schedule should be forfeited. I’d also restrict the coach. He’s the driving force on the team and can’t contain his players. A team is a reflection of its coach.”
7 April 1973, Herald-Times-Reporter (manitowoc-Two Rivers, WI), “From the Sidelines...” by Dennis Hernet, pg. 11, col. 1:
“It’s a team you gotta like. A football team is a reflection of its coach. So, Coach Haege is a coach you have to like.”
(MDN sportswriter Mike Gill.—ed.)
13 March 1978, The Times_Picayune (New Orleans, LA), sec. 2, pg. 6, col. 1:
And then there was first-year coach Butch van Breda Kolff. If ever a team was a reflection of its coach, it was the Privateers.
27 December 1980, San Diego (CA) Union, “Paul Silas: Rookie Coach Getting Grip On Erratic Clippers Club” by Joe Hamelin, pg. C-1, col. 4:
A basketball team, he (Paul Silas—ed.) says now, “is only a reflection of its coach.”
14 September 1982, San Diego (CA) Union, “Cosmos Vs. Sounder: Soccer Bowl ‘82 Will be match Of Differing Styles” by Bill Center, pg. C-3, col. 3:
Each team is a reflection of its coach.
Sporting a New Perspective:
How to Make Children’s Sports a Positive Experience
By Jennifer Thiebaut
San Jose, CA: Writers Club Press
Remember, a team is a reflection of its coach.
Daily Messenger (Canandaigua, NY)
Marcus Whitman football is ready to run
The Wildcats love to run the ball, but are replacing several starters on the offensive line
Posted Sep. 3, 2014 @ 5:00 pm
There is an old adage that a team is a reflection of its coach. Marcus Whitman coach Matt Silco is a former offensive lineman and as you might guess, he likes to run the ball.