I think the big thing that I learned in the last 27 years is that when you begin to build a program, you begin to build a reputation. When you talk to kids and say, “Son, this is what I’m going to do,” well, he’s going to determine whether “This guy’s a liar or this guy always does what he says he’s going to do.” And so you establish a reputation.
There’s a debate among coaches about what motivates you more, the determination to win or the fear of losing. I say, I’ve got to win because I’m so afraid of losing. I hate that feeling of losing so much I’ll do just about anything to escape it.
I tell my coaches when they look at my list of requirements every year, the first thing I’ve got is loyalty. We’re gonna be loyal to each other. I’m gonna defend you. You’re gonna have to defend me. It starts there with loyalty.
You can take all the X’s and O’s and the fancy formations and the hidden defenses, but if you don’t block and tackle better than the people you’re playing, you’ll lose.
Some coaches are just teachers. Some are mainly motivators. The best coach has a blend of both. It’s hard to find those who are good at both teaching and coaching.
I tell my players, “If I have faith, trust, and commitment, then we’re gonna win a heckuva lot of games. I think God is looking for the same ingredients in each of us: faith, trust, and commitment.”
I believe in discipline and enthusiasm in everything you do in life, and you coach what you believe. If we can be enthusiastic in the little things we do, it will carry over to a winning season.
If you put two teams on the field on any given day, one with great physical ability and the other with less physical ability but great motivation, the team with the greater physical ability will win almost every time. But if you have two teams equally matched in ability, that’s what the hard work, discipline, and motivation can make the difference.
Never be too proud to change.
You are never any better than your next game.
It’s more important to build character in young men than to win the national championship.
You’ve got to risk losing to keep on winning. There’s just no way around it. To win constantly, you’ve got to put yourself in a position where you’re liable to lose.