Athletes who retired as champions
Landon Donovan wrapped up his professional soccer career by winning the 2014 MLS Cup title in his final match. The title was his seventh career MLS Cup championship and fifth with the LA Galaxy.
Join us as we take a look at other athletes and coaches to retire as champions.
In 1930, Bobby Jones became the first and only golfer to win the sport's Grand Slam in the pre-Masters era, winning all four major championships of the time -- the U.S. Amateur, the U.S. Open, The Open Championship and The Amatuer Championship. He then immediately retired despite being just 28 years old.
In 1951, Joe DiMaggio helped the Yankees to the ninth and final World Series title of his career, announcing his retirement shortly thereafter at age 36.
Rocky Marciano announced his retirement from boxing in April 1956, his last fight having come in a successful defense of his heavyweight championship in September 1955 against Archie Moore. Marciano retired with a perfect record of 49-0 with 43 knockouts, having held the heavyweight championship for four years.
The NASCAR Hall of Famer retired at the age of just 34 as the reigning series champion in 1965, the only driver ever to do so. Jarrett's son, Dale, would also go on to win a series championship in 1999.
The NBA's all-time winningest player, Bill Russell called it a career after leading the Celtics to the 11th championship of his 13-year career in 1969. It was also his second title as the Celtics' player-coach.
American swimmer Mark Spitz set a then-record -- since famously broken by Michael Phelps -- at the 1972 Munich Olympics when he won seven gold medals in a single Games, also setting world records in each of the seven events. He then retired after the Munich Games, despite being just 22 years old.
The winningest coach in college basketball history in terms of titles, John Wooden walked away after leading UCLA to the 10th NCAA Championship of his 12-year tenure in 1975.
The captain of the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" U.S. Olympic hockey team, Mike Eruzione scored the winning goal in the Americans' famed upset of the Soviet Union en route to winning gold. But, despite having offers to play in the NHL, the 26-year-old Eruzione retired after the 1980 Games, stating that he wouldn't be able to match what he achieved in Lake Placid.
"Flo-Jo" captured the globe's attention when she set world records that still stand in the 100m and 200m sprints and won three gold medals and a silver at the 1988 Olympic Games. She retired from Track & Field after the Seoul Games at age 28 -- though did attempt a brief comeback in 1996.
After famously chasing and falling short of Super Bowl titles throughout his distinguished career, John Elway finally reached his Graceland, leading the Broncos to victory in Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII, retiring immediately after the latter championship in 1999.
One of the NHL's all-time great defensemen, Ray Bourque retired after finally hoisting the Stanley Cup for the first time in the final game of his 22-year career.
Hailed by some parties as the last great heavyweight boxer, Lennox Lewis retired as the reigning heavyweight champion after defending his title against Vitali Klitschko -- who would himself retire as a reigning heavyweight titleholder 10 years later -- in June 2003. Lewis had just two career losses, both of which he avenged in rematches.
"The Admiral" and legendary San Antonio Spurs center retired from the NBA after helping the Spurs to his second NBA title in 2003, passing the baton to his "Twin Towers" partner, Tim Duncan.
Hailed as the greatest American tennis player of all-time, Pete Sampras won his 14th and final Grand Slam singles title in the final tournament of his career -- the 2002 U.S. Open. After remaining inactive for much of the following year, Sampras formally announced his retirement before the 2003 U.S. Open.
After a 13-year NFL career, Jerome Bettis got a fairytale ending when his Pittsburgh Steelers played in and won Super Bowl XL, hosted in Bettis' hometown of Detroit. "The Bus" announced his retirement after the game.
Michael Strahan capped his 15th NFL season -- all with the New York Giants -- with the championship he long quested after as the Giants beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, in the process keeping New England from completing a perfect season. He officially confirmed his retirement several months later, before the start of the 2008 season.
One of the NHL's all-time great goaltenders, Dominik Hasek backed the Detroit Red Wings to the 2002 Stanley Cup title, Hasek's first, then retired. After a year away from the game, Hasek unretired, and following a stint with the Ottawa Senators, returned to Detroit to again lead the Wings to a Stanley Cup title in 2008. Hasek then retired again, this time ending his NHL career for good after 16 seasons, though he would go on to play in Europe for two more seasons.
Tony La Russa
After a remarkable 33 seasons as a manager over which he amassed 2,728 wins -- good for third all-time in MLB history -- Tony La Russa called it a career after managing the St. Louis Cardinals to the 2011 World Series title, the third World Series championship of his career.
After fighting his way back from a torn triceps early in his 17th and final NFL season -- all with the Baltimore Ravens -- Ray Lewis announced at the start of the postseason that he would retire following Baltimore's playoff run. The Ravens responded by sending Lewis out on top with a victory in Super Bowl XLVII, 12 years after Lewis led the team to its first Super Bowl championship.
No woman had ever played in more Grand Slam tournaments before winning her first than Marion Bartoli, who had 47 under her belt before finally breaking through at Wimbledon in 2013. The 28-year-old Frenchwoman retired less than a month later, citing increasing pain from injuries sustained over the course of her career.