Football League World
·20 September 2023
Football League World
·20 September 2023
Wigan Athletic had a terrible season in 2022/23 as the club was relegated from the Championship. The appointment of Shaun Maloney gave them hope at the end of last season, as the club achieved some impressive results. Maloney was then kept on to attempt to return from League One at the first attempt due to the squad's good performances under his stewardship last campaign.
The decision to keep Maloney on as manager to get the club out of League One got us thinking here at Football League World about who Wigan’s top 10 best managers are in order of their win percentage, from lowest to highest.
We have decided to compile a list of managers who have been at the helm since the club joined the National League.
Many will expect the man who delivered arguably the club’s greatest moment, Roberto Martinez, to be on the list. However, the FA Cup-winning manager is not in our top 10.
Bryan Hamilton was manager for two spells at Wigan.
Hamilton would have an incredible first spell in charge of the Latics as he guided the club to victory in the 1985 Associate Members' Cup Final, and he almost achieved promotion to the old Second Division as the club finished fourth in the old Third Division.
This successful season would mean Leicester City would appoint Hamilton as manager for the next season.
The Northern Irishman would return in July 1989 and have an uneventful spell as manager of the club, maintaining their status in the old Third Division, but would lose his job in March 1993, with the club threatened with relegation.
Hamilton would manage a total of 241 games, winning 88, giving him a win percentage of 36.5%.
Uwe Rosler was appointed manager in December 2013, taking over from Owen Coyle as the club lingered in 14th, far off the expectations of challenging for promotion.
Rosler would turn things around that season as he reached the FA Cup semi-final, where they would lose to Arsenal, and a semi-final defeat to Queens Park Rangers in the Championship play-offs.
Wigan were among the favourites to go up the next season, but Rosler would lose his job early into the season as the club sat in the relegation zone by the time of his sacking in November 2014.
Rosler would manage a total of 56 matches, winning 22 of them, giving him a win percentage of 39.2%.
Gary Caldwell was appointed manager in April 2015, taking over from Malky Mackay with five games to save the club from relegation from the Championship. Caldwell would fail to achieve this but would be kept on as manager for the League One campaign.
Caldwell would win the League One title and gain immediate promotion back to the Championship. However, in his first full season in the Championship, he would lose his job after a poor start, with the club languishing in the relegation zone in October 2016.
Caldwell won 28 of the 68 matches he was in charge of, giving him a win percentage of 41.2%.
Paul Cook took over as manager as the club believed that he was the perfect candidate to win promotion from League One in the 2017/18 season.
Cook would win the League One title that season and guide the club to the Championship.
Cook would manage the club for a further two seasons but would resign at the end of the second, as the club were relegated back to League One in July 2020 due to being deducted 12 points.
Cook would manage a total of 155 matches, winning 64, giving him a win percentage of 41.3%.
Leam Richardson would initially be appointed caretaker manager in August 2020 but would be appointed permanent manager in November 2020.
Richardson would save the club from relegation to League Two in his first season. Richardson would then win the League One title in his next season.
Upon returning to the Championship, Richardson would soon lose his job this season as the club sat in the relegation zone in November 2022.
Richardson would manage a total of 118 fixtures, winning 49, giving him a win percentage of 41.5%.
Paul Jewell would have an incredible six years in charge of Wigan following his appointment in June 2001.
Jewell would win Division Two in his second season in charge. The first season that the club would be in the old Division One, it would narrowly miss out on a play-off position.
The following season, though, in 2005, the club would win promotion to the Premier League after finishing second in the Championship.
Jewell would manage Wigan for two seasons in the Premier League. After saving the club on the final day of the 2006/07 season, Jewell would resign from the managerial role, citing health problems as the reason.
Jewell would manage a total of 291 matches, winning 127, giving him a win percentage of 43.6%.
Bruce Rioch would take over the position of manager in June 2000.
Rioch’s tenure would be short, as he would leave the position in February 2001. Rioch resigned from the club with Wigan in the old Division Two play-off places.
Rioch would only manage a total of 43 matches, winning 19 of them, giving him a win percentage of 44.2%.
Double European Cup winner, Larry Lloyd would initially join the club as a player-manager in March 1981.
In his first full season within the role for the 1981/82 season, Lloyd would guide them to the old Third Division as he won promotion from the old Fourth Division.
The next season, Lloyd would keep the club in the old Third Division before he would leave the club at the end of the season for Notts County.
Lloyd had a successful tenure as manager, as he won 48 of the 108 fixtures he was in charge of, giving him a win percentage of 44.4%.
Ray Mathias would have two spells as manager of Wigan Athletic.
His first spell would begin in June 1986, with the most notable success being his journey to the FA Cup quarter-finals in 1987. His spell would end in March 1989, as the club was threatened with relegation from the old Third Division.
Mathias would rejoin the club as manager in August 1998. This would be the last season he was involved with Wigan, despite leading them to the old Second Division play-offs and lifting the Football League Trophy.
Mathias would win 91 of the 204 matches he was in charge of, giving him a win percentage of 44.6%.
John Benson is the best manager Wigan has ever had in terms of win percentage.
Benson would only be in charge for one season, with Wigan being Benson’s last managerial role.
Benson would lead the club to a play-off final at Wembley, losing to Gillingham, meaning they would spend another year at least in the old Second Division.
Benson would remain involved with the club until December 2001, when he resigned to join Birmingham City as assistant manager to Steve Bruce.
Benson would, however, return to Wigan in 2006 with a behind-the-scenes role before finally leaving the Latics to join Sunderland in the summer of 2010.