As a proud University of Alabama graduate I will forever look up to, admire, and yes, revere the life and legacy of Coach Paul Bear Bryant! (yes, it IS true I named my son, Chandler Bryant, after the “Bear” as well)
I hope you enjoy this collection of wit, wisdom and motivational quotes from Coach Paul Bear Bryant.
-compiled by Al Argo , marketing strategist and motivational speaker
“First there are those who are winners, and know they are winners. Then there are the losers who know they are losers. Then there are those who are not winners, but don't know it. They're the ones for me. They never quit trying. They're the soul of our game.”
"It's not the will to win that matters - everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters."
"Little things make the difference. Everyone is well prepared in the big things, but only the winners perfect the little things."
"There's a lot of blood, sweat, and guts between dreams and success."
"I honestly believe that if you are willing to out-condition the opponent, have confidence in your ability, be more aggressive than your opponent and have a genuine desire for team victory, you will become the national champions. If you have all the above, you will acquire confidence and poise, and you will have those intangibles that win the close ones."
Bear Bryant on finishing well:
"Don't give up at half-time. Concentrate on winning the second half."
The Bear on mentoring;
"The idea of molding men means a lot to me."
"I'll never give up on a player regardless of his ability as long as he never gives up on himself. In time he will develop."
“I'll put you through hell, but at the end of it all we'll be champions.”
Paul Bear Bryant on responsibility:
"Find your own picture, your own self in anything that goes bad. It's awfully easy to mouth off at your staff or chew out players, but if it's bad, and you’re the head coach, you're responsible. If we have an intercepted pass, I threw it. I'm the head coach. If we get a punt blocked, I caused it. A bad practice, a bad game, it's up to the head coach to assume his responsibility."
The Bear on Goals:
"Set goals - high goals for you and your organization. When your organization has a goal to shoot for, you create teamwork, people working for a common good."
Paul Bear Bryant on failure:
"It's awfully important to win with humility. It's also important to lose. I hate to lose worse than anyone, but if you never lose you won't know how to act. If you lose with humility, then you can come back."
"Losing doesn't make me want to quit. It makes me want to fight that much harder."
The Bear on character:
"The biggest mistake coaches make is taking borderline cases and trying to save them. I'm not talking about grades now, I'm talking about character. I want to know before a boy enrolls about his home life, and what his parents want him to be."
The Bear on clarity:
"What are you doing here? Tell me why you are here. If you are not here to win a national championship, you're in the wrong place. You boys are special. I don't want my players to be like other students. I want special people. You can learn a lot on the football field that isn't taught in the home, the church, or the classroom. There are going to be days when you think you've got no more to give and then you're going to give plenty more. You are going to have pride and class. You are going to be very special. You are going to win the national championship for Alabama."
Paul Bear Bryant on hiring:
"I don't hire anybody not brighter than I am. If they're not smarter than me, I don't need them."
Bear Bryat on innovation:
"Football changes and so do people. The successful coach is the one who sets the trend, not the one who follows it."
"I'm no innovator. If anything I'm a stealer, or borrower. I've stolen or borrowed from more people than you can shake a stick at."
Paul “Bear” Bryant on being a winner:
"If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride, and never quit, you'll be a winner. The price of victory is high but so are the rewards."
"If wanting to win is a fault, as some of my critics seem to insist, then I plead guilty. I like to win. I know no other way. It's in my blood."
"I know what it takes to win. If I can sell them on what it takes to win, then we are not going to lose too many football games."
“I'll beat you with my team today, and I'll beat you with your team tomorrow.”
Paul “Bear” Bryant on teamwork:
"I'm just a simple plowhand from Arkansas, but I have learned over the years how to hold a team together. How to lift some men up, how to calm others down, until finally they've got one heartbeat, together, a team."
Bear Bryant's three rules for coaching football:
1."Surround yourself with people who can't live without football." 2."Recognize winners. They come in all forms." 3."Have a plan for everything."
Paul “Bear” Bryant on persistence:
"I have always tried to teach my players to be fighters. When I say that, I don't mean put up your dukes and get in a fistfight over something. I'm talking about facing adversity in your life. There is not a person alive who isn't going to have some awfully bad days in their lives. I tell my players that what I mean by fighting is when your house burns down, and your wife runs off with the drummer, and you've lost your job and all the odds are against you. What are you going to do? Most people just lay down and quit. Well, I want my people to fight back."
"What matters...is not the size of the dog in the fight, but of the fight in the dog."
Paul “Bear” Bryant on discipline:
"If you don't have discipline, you can't have a successful program."
Paul “Bear” Bryant on failure:
"When you make a mistake, admit it; learn from it and don't repeat it."
“Losing doesn't make me want to quit. It makes me want to fight that much harder.”
“When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it: 1. Admit it. 2. Learn from it, and 3. Don't repeat it.”
"The old lessons (work, self-discipline, sacrifice, teamwork, fighting to achieve) aren't being taught by many people other than football coaches these days. The football coach has a captive audience and can teach these lessons because the communication lines between himself and his players are more wide open than between kids and parents. We better teach these lessons or else the country's future population will be made up of a majority of crooks, drug addicts, or people on relief."
The Bear on attitude:
"If they don't have a winning attitude, I don't want them."
Coach Bryant on success:
"I have tried to teach them to show class, to have pride, and to display character. I think football, winning games, takes care of itself if you do that."
"I always want my players to show class, knock'em down, pat on the back, and run back to the huddle."
Paul Bear Bryant on life purpose:
"I tell young players who want to be coaches, who think they can put up with all the headaches and heartaches, can you live without it? If you can't live without it, don't get in it."
"People who are in it for their own good are individualists. They don't share the same heartbeat that makes a team so great. A great unit, whether it be football or any organization, shares the same heartbeat."
"I told them my system was based on the "ant plan," that I'd gotten the idea watching a colony of ants in Africa during the war. A whole bunch of ants working toward a common goal."
Bear Bryants Wit & Wisdom
‘Tough times don’t last, but tough people do’
"There is no sin in not liking to play; it's a mistake for a boy to be there if he doesn't want to."
"I'm no miracle man. I guarantee nothing but hard work."
"Don't overwork your squad. If you're going to make a mistake, under-work them."
"Be aware of "yes" men. Generally, they are losers. Surround yourself with winners. Never forget - people win." "Don't ever give up on ability. Don't give up on a player who has it."
"A good, quick, small team can beat a big, slow team any time."
“At Alabama, our players don't win Heisman Trophies. Our teams win National Championships.”
“The same thing(s) win, that always won... And we just have a different bunch of excuses if we lose.”
"If there is one thing that has helped me as a coach, it's my ability to recognize winners, or good people who can become winners by paying the price."
"We can't have two standards, one set for the dedicated young men who want to do something ambitious and one set for those who don't."
"You take those little rascals, talk to them good, pat them on the back, let them think they are good, and they will go out and beat the biguns."
"Scout yourself. Have a buddy who coaches scout you."
"If you whoop and holler all the time, the players just get used to it."
"Get the winners into the game."
"Don't talk too much. Don't pop off. Don't talk after the game until you cool off."
"Don't talk too much or too soon."
"In a crisis, don't hide behind anything or anybody. They're going to find you anyway."
"You have to learn what makes this or that Sammy run. For one it's a pat on the back, for another it's eating him out, for still another it's a fatherly talk, or something else. You're a fool if you think as I did as a young coach, that you can treat them all alike."
"If a man is a quitter, I'd rather find out in practice than in a game. I ask for all a player has so I'll know later what I can expect."
"The first time you quit, it's hard. The second time, it gets easier. The third time, you don't even have to think about it."
"I can reach a kid who doesn't have any ability as long as he doesn't know it."
"You have to be willing to out-condition your opponents."
"Sacrifice. Work. Self-descipline. I teach these things, and my boys don't forget them when they leave."
"When you win, there's glory enough for everybody. When you lose, there's glory for none."
"When you're number one, you don't play for the tie."
"I don't have any ideas; my coaches have them. I just pass the ideas on and referee the arguments."
"Every time a player goes out there, at least 20 people have some amount of influence on him. His mother has more influence than anyone. I know because I played, and I loved my mama."
"If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, we did it. If anything goes real good, you did it. That's all it takes to get people to win football games."
"In life, you'll have your back up against the wall many times. You might as well get used to it."
"You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him to a heavy load."
"The first time you quit, it's hard. The second time, it gets easier. The third time, you don't even have to think about it."
"Don't give up at half time. Concentrate on winning the second half."
"One man doesn't make a team. It takes 11."
"If you were to ask me if football is a coach's game, I'd have to say it is. And always was."
"I'm known as a recruiter. Well you've got to have chicken to make chicken salad."
"The first thing a football coach needs when he's starting out is a wife who's willing to put up with a whole lot of neglect. The second thing is a five-year contract."
"The alumni are starting to grumble, and I'm the one starting it."
"You must learn how to hold a team together. You lift some men up, calm others down, until finally they've got one heartbeat. Then, you've got yourself a team."
"No coach has ever won a game by what he knows; it's what his players know that counts."
"There ought to be a special place in heaven for coaches' wives."
"I don't care how much talent a team has -- if the boys don't think tough, practice tough, and live tough, how can they play tough on Saturday?."
"Winning isn't imperative, but getting tougher in the fourth quarter is."
"When we have a good team, I know it's because we have boys that come from good mommas and pappas."
"Age has nothing to do with it. You can be out of touch at any age."
"It's not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference."
"There's no substitute for guts."
The Bear on leadership:
"Mama wanted me to be a preacher. I told her coachin' and preachin' were a lot alike."
"I think the most important thing of all for any team is a winning attitude. The coaches must have it. The players must have it. The student body must have it. If you have dedicated players who believe in themselves, you don't need a lot of talent."
"But there's one thing about quitters you have to guard against - they are contagious. If one boy goes, the chances are he'll take somebody with him, and you don't want that. So when they would start acting that way, I used to pack them up and get them out, or embarrass them, or do something to turn them around."
“If you want to walk the heavenly streets of gold, you gotta know the password, "Roll, Tide, Roll!"
- Paul Bear Bryant after being asked of his dedication to the University of Alabama
36-0 Roll Tide Roll!!!!!!