Jimmy Johnson divorced his wife to coach the Cowboys

While recounting her most memorable interviews over the past 20 years,  Cheryl Hall of the Dallas Morning News remembers an interview she did with former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson.

It didn’t take long to peg his management-by-objective style. He saw himself as a motivator, a strategic planner and a manager willing to make tough decisions and act on them.

“Above everything else, the thing that matters most to me as CEO is that we win,” Johnson said. “There is only one goal. If anyone in the organization doesn’t have that goal, then I get somebody new in the organization.”

That apparently included his personal life. The day Jerry Jones hired Johnson, the new coach took his wife to dinner and fired her.

“I told her, ‘I can either be head football coach of the Dallas Cowboys or married to you. I’ve decided to be head football coach of the Dallas Cowboys.’”

That was the most shockingly blunt thing anyone has ever told me.

He didn’t remarry until after he quit coaching the Miami Dolphins in 1999.

I can’t imagine divorcing my wife over a job.  I don’t care what it is, that’s not a good reason for me.  Everyone is different and to each is own.

At least Jimmy ended up remarrying her later on.  That might be why he never got back into coaching.





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