Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now

And I Quote…The 6 Best Coaching Quotes in Sporting History

Posted on November 01, 2014 by Dixie Somers
Herm Edwards always tells it the way it is.

Herm Edwards always tells it the way it is.

Everyone knows, nothing shakes an audience as well as heart pounding, chest thumping speech from that grey-haired, wily coach imparting life truths on his team. It’s a tried and true formula which seemingly will never die. Some of the more brash coaches have been less about inspirational locker room speeches, and more about snarky comments during interviews. But of the many words said by coaches so far, which life truths have been the most truthful? Which words have been most memorable? Let’s break it down.

“You play to win the game!” – Herm Edwards, New York Jets
When asked by reporters if he would rest his players and throw away a game since it had no playoff stakes late in the season, Coach Edwards put himself into SportsCenter lore with not only the unbelievably iconic statement, but also the indignant manner in which he spat it out.

Vince Lombardi is one of the iconic coaches in sports history and had many memorable quotes.

Vince Lombardi is one of the iconic coaches in sports history and had many memorable quotes.

“Inches make champions.” – Vince Lombardi
As one of the greatest coaches of all time, Lombardi has plenty of quotable moments. However, this snippet helps us remember that it’s the little things (on and off the field) that will bring success in the end. Coach Lombardi was a big believer in working hard on the nitty gritty details in order to win, so this quote comes as no surprise.

“We miss you. We want you back on the court and I promise I’ll be nice. Get back here. Good luck.” – Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs
When Craig Sager Jr. filled in for his father who was suffering from cancer during the NBA playoffs, the legendary coach had kind words for legendary broadcaster who was recovering at home. The two had a playfully contentious relationship over the years and viewers got a glimpse at how dear the NBA family holds each other. We also now know that Pop can be sensitive – he just chooses not to.

“Playoffs?!” – Jim Mora, Indianapolis Colts
After a blowout loss to 49ers, Coach Mora wasn’t very happy. When asked about his team’s prospects for the playoffs, Mora couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “You kidding me? I just hope we can win a game!” Everything considered, a ridiculous question often needs a well-deserved “duh!”

“They are who we thought they were!” – Dennis Green, Arizona Cardinals
This was more funny than inspiring, but it’s a classic nonetheless. With the game in hand, Coach Green’s Cardinals snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against the undefeated Chicago Bears in the final quarter. Coach Green wasn’t very pleased in his post-game press conference when he accused the Bears of being “who we thought they were.” Paper tigers, we presume, that just ate his team.

“You are never a loser until you quit trying.” – Mike Ditka, Chicago Bears
As one of the greats, Ditka also has plenty of quotable moments. This particular blurb is one of his more inspirational pieces of advice. The quote alone is pretty powerful, but imagine a serious mustache delivering the words, and the message really packs a punch.

Organized sports provide a perfect breeding ground for great speeches, tongue-lashing lectures, and blunt statements. Lucky for us, we live in an age where the media keeps any dumb, inspiring, or funny words from going unheard—so coaches, be careful what you say. The information for this article was provided by the professionals at Ohio University who offer a masters in athletic administration.

Leave a Reply

  • Current Poll

    Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
  • Post Categories

↑ Top