20 Motivational Quotes by the Most Inspiring NFL Coaches of All Time

Boost your spirit with wise words from these sideline legends.
February 5, 2017

The Super Bowl brings together the best of the best on the most-watched gridiron of the year. Find your best with these inspirational words from some of the greatest NFL coaches of all time:

Related: 21 of the Most Inspirational Quotes

20 Motivational Quotes by the Most Inspiring NFL Coaches of All Time

1. “Leadership is a matter of having people look at you and gain confidence…If you’re in control, they’re in control.”

—Tom Landry, Head Coach Dallas Cowboys (1960-88)


20 Motivational Quotes by the Most Inspiring NFL Coaches of All Time

2. "Excuses are the tools of the incompetent."

—Mike Tomlin, Head Coach, Pittsburgh Steelers (2007-Present)


20 Motivational Quotes by the Most Inspiring NFL Coaches of All Time

3. “If you want to win, do the ordinary things better than anyone else does them day in and day out.”

—Chuck Noll, Head Coach Pittsburgh Steelers (1969-91)


20 Motivational Quotes by the Most Inspiring NFL Coaches of All Time

4. “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”

Vince Lombardi, Head Coach Green Bay Packers (1959-67), Washington Redskins (1969)


20 Motivational Quotes by the Most Inspiring NFL Coaches of All Time

5. “Try not to do too many things at once. Know what you want, the number one thing today and tomorrow. Persevere and get it done.”

—George Allen, Head Coach Los Angeles Rams (1957, 1966-70), Chicago Bears (1958-65), Washington Redskins (1971-77)


20 Motivational Quotes by the Most Inspiring NFL Coaches of All Time

6. “You fail all the time, but you aren’t a failure until you start blaming someone else.”

—Bum Phillips Head Coach, Houston Oilers (1975-80), New Orleans Saints (1981-85)


20 Motivational Quotes by the Most Inspiring NFL Coaches of All Time

7. “Stay focused. Your start does not determine how you’re going to finish.”

—Herm Edwards, Head Coach New York Jets (2001-05), Kansas City Chiefs (2006-08)


20 Motivational Quotes by the Most Inspiring NFL Coaches of All Time

8. “Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.”

—George S. Halas, Head Coach Chicago Bears (1922-29), (1933-42, 1946-55, 1958-67)


20 Motivational Quotes by the Most Inspiring NFL Coaches of All Time

9. “Success isn’t measured by money or power or social rank. Success is measured by your discipline and inner peace.”

—Mike Ditka, Head Coach, Chicago Bears (1982-92), New Orleans Saints (1997-99)


20 Motivational Quotes by the Most Inspiring NFL Coaches of All Time

10. “Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.”

—John Madden, Head Coach, Oakland Raiders (1969-78)


20 Motivational Quotes by the Most Inspiring NFL Coaches of All Time

11. “If you are afraid of confrontation, you are not going to do very well.”

—Bill Parcells, Head Coach, New York Giants (1983-90), New England Patriots (1993-96)


20 Motivational Quotes by the Most Inspiring NFL Coaches of All Time

12. “I’ve observed that if individuals who prevail in a high competitive environment have any one thing in common besides success, it is failure—and their ability to overcome it.”

—Bill Walsh, Head Coach, San Francisco 49ers (1979-88)


20 Motivational Quotes by the Most Inspiring NFL Coaches of All Time

13. “Adversity is an opportunity for heroism.”

—Marv Levy, Head Coach, Kansas City Chiefs (1978-82), Buffalo Bills (1986-97)


20 Motivational Quotes by the Most Inspiring NFL Coaches of All Time

14. “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”

—Jimmy Johnson, Head coach, Dallas Cowboys (1989-93), Miami Dolphins (1996-99)


20 Motivational Quotes by the Most Inspiring NFL Coaches of All Time

15. “The superior man blames himself. The inferior man blames others.”

Don Shula, Head Coach, Baltimore Colts (1963-69), Miami Dolphins, (1970-95)


20 Motivational Quotes by the Most Inspiring NFL Coaches of All Time

16. “Confidence is a very fragile thing, and it certainly is something that has to start with your mental approach and your ability to respond and stay focused and not allow negative thoughts to enter into your own mind. When you’re successful, it’s easier to expect success. All of a sudden it’s not there, it becomes more of a challenge.”

—Bill Cowher, Head Coach, Pittsburgh Steelers (1992-2006)


20 Motivational Quotes by the Most Inspiring NFL Coaches of All Time

17. “Failures are expected by losers, ignored by winners.”

—Joe Gibbs, Head Coach, Washington Redskins (1981-92, 2004-07)


20 Motivational Quotes by the Most Inspiring NFL Coaches of All Time

18. “When you win, say nothing. When you lose, say less.”

—Paul Brown, Head Coach, Cleveland Browns (1950-62), Cincinnati Bengals (1968-75)


20 Motivational Quotes by the Most Inspiring NFL Coaches of All Time

19. “My philosophy? Simplicity plus variety”

—Hank Stram, Head Coach, Dallas Texans (1960-62), Kansas City Chiefs (1963-74), New Orleans Saints (1976-77)


20 Motivational Quotes by the Most Inspiring NFL Coaches of All Time

20. “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”

—Lou Holtz, Head coach, New York Jets (1976)

 

Related: The Road Map to Great Teamwork

 

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in February 2016 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.

You might like

13 Inspiring Quotes to Help You Attract Success

13 Inspiring Quotes to Help You Attract Success

'Success is something you attract by the person you become.'

October 5, 2017
17 Game-Changing Quotes From SUCCESS Live

17 Game-Changing Quotes From SUCCESS Live

"What you don't deal with will eventually deal with you." —Simon T.

September 28, 2017
13 Transformative Quotes to Inspire Your Personal Growth

13 Transformative Quotes to Inspire Your Personal Growth

‘If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.’

September 22, 2017