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10 Indian athletes who became phenomenal coaches

A list of several players who became famous coaches and tutors for Indian athletes across the years

5 Facts Indian Football Durand Cup Pele 1956 Olympics Golden Era
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 Syed Abdul Rahim who oversaw the Golden Years of Indian Football in the 50's 

By

C.C. Chengappa

Updated: 18 Jun 2021 1:05 PM GMT

They gave their all for the country during their golden years as a sportsperson. The time came for them to take athletes under their wing show the way for the next generation of sportspersons in India. Here is a list of coaches who were professionals both on and off the field over the past several decades.
1) Syed Abdul Rahim

More known for his coaching than his playing days, he can be considered as one of the first players cum coaches of Modern India. He was instrumental in guiding Indian football to the Olympics and qualification for the World Cup during the 1950s. Abdul Rahman is also considered the architect of Indian Football as was widely regarded back in the day for his tactical knowledge of the sport.

2) Balkrishan Singh

One of the few Indian sportspersons to have won laurels both as a player and a coach. The Hockey Champion first won Gold at the Olympics back in 1956. About 2 decades later, he returned as a coach and brought home the Gold Medal again at the Moscow Olympics in 1980. He was a legend of the game both on and off the pitch.

3) Pullela Gopichand

India's badminton superstar is also the head of his own academy that produces numerous stars every year. What is most evident is the recent products of his academy, Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu who are India's only two medallists in badminton. Other world stars include HS Prannoy, P Kashyap , and K Srikhanth.

Gopichand with his famous student, PV Sindhu

4)Satpal Singh

It was a gold medal win for him in 1982 that inspired Satpal Singh to start something else. Post his retirement from wrestling, he began a training center in the Chatrasal Stadium in New Delhi to provide proper facilities and nutrition for budding wrestlers who came to train under him. Yogeshwar Dutt and Sushil Kumar, two Olympic Medallists are products of his tutelage.

5) Joydeep Karmakar

One of India's most successful national and international shooters who has more than 80 national and international shooting medals to his name. The Arjuna Awardee began the Joydeep Karmakar Shooting Academy in his hometown Kolkata back in 2015. He opened up a second center and trains several shooters in his specialty, rifle shooting. Youth Olympic Silver medallist Mehuli Ghosh trained under him and is touted to be a future star in the coming years.

Joydeep Karmakar with Mehuli Ghosh

6) OM Nambiar

PT Usha was coached by a former Air Force Sergeant turned athletics coach during her days at the Kannur Sports Hostel. His career in sports was shaped by his interest in running during his college days that led him to join the Air Force. After retiring, he completed his coaching diploma at the NIS and came back to Kerala to begin his coaching career at the Kerala Sports Council. It was here that he was in charge of scouting and honing the talent of youngsters such as PT Usha. His Padma Shri came decades after PT Usha shone for the country and the 89-year-old coaching legend truly deserves every bit of the credit given to him for shaping athletics careers.

OM Nambiar with PT Usha

7) Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu

The main man of Indian Boxing for the past few decades incidentally never represented India in an international forum. After attaining his boxing diploma in coaching, he joined the National Institute of Sports where he honed his coaching skills. This would pay off years later when Vijender Singh won a bronze medal and several of his trainees reached the quarterfinals of the Olympics in the 2008 and 2012 editions and many more qualified for the Olympics in the men's categories.

Gurbax Singh Sandhu with Vijender SIngh and Shiva Thapa

8) Ramakant Achrekar

Cricket fans would know the famous story of the coins that were put behind Sachin Tendulkar's wicket during training. The man behind this regime was none other than Achrekar, a cricketing genius himself. His playing career was not as illustrious as he only played for the State Bank of India in a game of first-class cricket. However the players he produced outshine any doubts people might have about his credibility. Sachin Tendulkar, Ajit Agakar, Vinod Kamble and Ramesh Powar are a few of his students.

Ramakant Achrekar with Sachin Tendulkar

9) Khalid Jamil

One of the few Indian football coaches to have made it big in the past decade, NorthEast United Fc made a shrewd signing that has done wonders for the club in the ISL. The Kuwait born player played for India a total of 11 times and represented clubs like Air India, Mahindra United, and Mumbai Fc. As a manager, he won the league with Aizwal FC and coached East Bengal and NorthEast United Fc as well.

10) Baldev Singh

Sandeep Singh, Rani Rampal, and Harpal Singh have one thing in common. They were coached by the legendary Baldev Singh, former India international and Dronacharya Awardee. Words cannot do justice to the number of players that he has produced for the country. The tally includes around 80 international stars in both the men's and women's teams. 8 captains have come and gone under his guidance as well at the Shahbad Hockey Academy in Haryana where he was the coach for 23 years. He is a true coaching legend of the game.

Baldev Singh and Rani Rampal


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