Bear Bryant

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Paul William 'Bear' Bryant (September 11, 1913 – January 26, 1983) was an American college football coach.


  • I'll never forget going to the Rose Bowl. I remember everything about it. We were on the train and Coach Thomas was talking to three coaches and Red Heard, the athletic director at LSU. Coach Thomas said, 'Red, this is my best football player. This is the best player on my team.' Well, shoot, I could have gone right out the top. He was getting me ready. And I was, too. I would have gone out there and killed myself for Alabama that day.
    • Reminiscing about the 1935 Rose Bowl trip and Coach Thomas.
  • How many people watch you give a final exam? [About fifty is the reply.] Well, I have 50,000 watch me give mine - every Saturday!
    • To English Professor Tommy Mayo (at Texas A&M) when questioned about his emphasis on winning and his salary.
  • Stephenson was a man among children - he didn't say very much, but he didn't have to.
    • About Dwight Stevenson, the center on his national championship 1979 squad. Bryant also called Stephenson "The best center I've ever coached".
  • Lee Roy was the best college linebacker - bar none. He would have made every tackle on every play if they had stayed in bounds.
    • On Lee Roy Jordan.
  • Sure I'd like to beat Notre Dame, don't get me wrong. But nothing matters more than beating that cow college on the other side of the state.
    • To a group of boosters before an Auburn game. This comment was widely reported, and Auburn upset the Tide a few days later.
  • I left Texas A&M because my school called me. Mama called, and when Mama calls, then you just have to come running.
    • On why he had to leave Texas A&M with six years left on his contract.
  • You could play four years and not be good enough to cost the University of Alabama thirty yards!
    • An irate Coach Bryant to a player who had just received his second fifteen yard penalty of the game.
  • He can't run, he can't pass, and he can't kick - all he can do is beat you.
    • Speaking of Tide QB Pat Trammell.
  • This is the saddest day of my life.
    • On hearing the news Pat Trammell had died in Birmingham in December, 1968.
  • All I know is, I don't want to stop coaching, and I don't want to stop winning, so we're gonna break the record unless I die.
    • When asked if he would break Alonzo Stagg's record of 314 college wins.
  • I know one thing, I'd rather die now than to have died this morning and missed this game.
    • After Alabama's 31-7 win over unbeaten Auburn in 1971.
  • Hell, no! A tie is like kissing your sister!
    • After being asked if he had considered going for a field goal when trailing by three points.
  • Regardless of who was coaching them, they still would have been a great team. I said early in the season that they were the nicest, even sissiest, bunch I ever had. I think they read it, because later on they got unfriendly.
    • On his 1961 team.
  • I didn't care if we ever quit practicing. I loved it. The only other guy I ever knew who loved it as much was Jerry Duncan. He would beg to practice even when he was hurt. I've actually seen him cry because the trainer told him he couldn't scrimmage.
    • On Jerry Duncan, his star tackle in 1964-66.
  • What the hell's the matter with you people down there? Don't y'all take your football seriously?
    • Upon calling Auburn at 6 AM only to find out that none of the coaches were in their offices yet.
  • Woody is a great coach . . . and I ain't bad.
    • After the Tide beat Ohio State 35 - 6 in the 1978 Sugar Bowl.
  • Here's a twenty, bury two.
    • After being asked to chip in ten dollars to help cover the cost of a sportswriters funeral.
  • I'm just a simple plow hand 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.
    • When asked why he was so successful as a coach.
  • What not the size of the dog in the fight, but of the fight in the dog.
  • I ain't never been nothing but 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.
  • Tough times dont last, but tough people do
  • My Momma taught me not to wear a hat inside
    • When asked why he wasn't wearing his signature houndstooth hat at the superdome
  • The fun never goes out, but it changes with the years, with winning and losing.
  • Never quit. It is the easiest cop-out in the world. Set a goal and don't quit until you attain it. When you do attain it, set another goal, and don't quit until you reach it. Never quit.
  • I'll put you through hell, but at the end of it all we'll be champions.
  • I plan on staying at Alabama for the rest of my career. I guarantee that I'll be here for you through it all, regardless of what happens.
  • It's not the will to win that matters - everyone has that. It's the will to prepare to win that matters.
  • Mama wanted me to be a preacher. I told her coachin' and preachin' were a lot alike.
  • If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, we did it. If anything goes really good, then you did it. That's all it takes to get people to win football games for you.
  • 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'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.
  • 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.
  • Be aware of "yes" men. Generally, they are losers. Surround yourself with winners. Never forget - people win.
  • Sacrifice. Work. Self-discipline. I teach these things, and my boys don't forget them when they leave.
  • 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.
  • Losing doesn't make me want to quit. It makes me want to fight that much harder.
  • I'm no miracle man. I guarantee nothing but hard work.
  • 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.
  • Don't overwork your squad. If you're going to make a mistake, under-work them.
  • If you whoop and holler all the time, the players just get used to it.
  • If you want to walk the heavenly streets of gold, you gotta know the password, "Roll, tide, roll!"
    • After being asked of his dedication to the University of Alabama
  • At Alabama, our players don't win Heisman Trophies. Our teams win National Championships.
    • After being asked why no Alabama player has ever won a Heisman Trophy.
  • I'll beat you with my team today, and I'll beat you with your team tomorrow.
  • If your assistant coaches aren't smarter than you are, then you don't need them!
  • The same thing win, that always won... And we just have a different bunch of excuses if we lose.

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