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Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Thursday, August 11, 2016 – Bud Wilkinson



“Football in its purest form remains a physical fight. As in any fight, if you don’t want to fight, it’s impossible to win.”


“Morale and attitude are the fundamental ingredients to success.”


“If a team is to reach its potential, each player must willingly subordinate his own personal goals to the good of the team.”


“We compete, not so much against an opponent, but against ourselves. The real test is this: Did I make my best effort on every play?”


“I feel more strongly about this than anything else in coaching: Anybody who lacks discipline, who doesn’t want to be part of the team, who doesn’t want to meet the requirements – has to go. It’s that simple.”


“The man who tried his best and failed is superior to the man who never tried.”


“Losing is easy. It’s not enjoyable, but it’s easy.”


“If you are going to be a champion, you must be willing to pay a greater price.”

Wikipedia:  Bud Wilkinson


Mike Riley and Nebraska in 2016 – The Expectations for Mike Riley Remain High Meaning….10+ Wins A Season…Because After All This Is Still Nebraska We Are Talking About…Right? RIGHT! – Good Luck To Mike Riley and the Nebraska Cornhuskers in 2016!


Mike Riley, Nebraska


2 nd season at Nebraska

Overall Record (Oregon State + Nebraska):  99 – 87  (.532)

Overall Conference Record (Oregon State + Nebraska):  61 – 68  (.473)

Nebraska Record:  6 – 7  (.462)

Nebraska Conference Record:  3 – 5  (.375)

In his first season at Nebraska Mike Riley’s football team did finish 6 – 7 after beating a…

Hapless and Didn’t Give A Damn UCLA Team in the Foster Farms Bowl

….but let’s be honest here…the Huskers had some incredibly bad luck in 2015 and by our count Riley and Nebraska could have easily posted a…

9 – 3

….record last season but hang on a second let’s assume that Nebraska did post indeed post a 9 – 3 record in 2015….Bo Pelini was just fired at Nebraska primarily because he ONLY won…

9.43 games per season at Nebraska


….and thus not only will Mike Riley have to start posting winning seasons in Lincoln he will HAVE TO WIN …

10+ games a season

…or he will be shown the door in Lincoln as well and a Helluva lot sooner than Mike Riley or anyone else around him thinks is possible.

We here at Coaches Hot Seat are lucky enough to have some Nebraska-alum friends in Omaha where we have been traveling on business for over twenty years now, and the general feeling about Mike Riley out on the plains of Nebraska goes something like this…

“Nice guy…but can he win games, Big Ten titles, and National Championships?”

If not, Mike Riley will be fired…PERIOD, and our Nebraska alum friends are looking at what is clearly a very WEAK Big Ten West Division right now and telling themselves and anyone else that will listen that there is no Damn reason in the world for the Huskers to not be dominating the Big Ten West Division….RIGHT NOW!


With that in mind we would like to relate something that was told to us by a Nebraska-alum friend of ours that lives in Chicago a few weeks ago when a Coaches Hot Seat member was in Chi-Town on business:

“If Mike Riley posts another regular season losing season he will be fired in December.”

With that on the table and realizing the Nebraska fans EXPECT and will even as nice as Nebraska folks are will DEMAND that the Huskers start winning 10+ games as season…

At A Freaking Minimum!

….and that takes us to Nebraska’s 2016 football schedule:

Fresno State
At Northwestern
At Indiana
At Wisconsin
At Ohio State
At Iowa

Well….Bozo the Clown could win…


4 Games Coaching the Nebraska Cornhuskers in 2016

….and thus we4 Games Coaching the Nebraska Cornhuskers in 2016 see no Damn reason at all that Mike Riley doesn’t lead the Huskers to at least…

8 Wins in 2016

….with a lean towards Nebraska getting 9 wins if they can beat Iowa on the road to end the season and after all….

Nebraska SHOULD beat Iowa in most seasons

…because after all we are talking about Nebraska….right? RIGHT!

Oh…Bo Pelini was 3 – 1 against Iowa in 4 seasons coaching the Huskers!

Frankly, we will admit that we hope Mike Riley gets things turned around at Nebraska but also frankly we find it hard to believe that Mike Riley will top Bo Pelini’s…

9.43 wins per season at Nebraska

…and thus why in the end Mike Riley will go down in history as the most curious hire in college football since…

Bill Callahan was hired at Nebraska!


Great Luck to you and the Nebraska Cornhuskers in 2016 Coach Riley!

Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Wednesday, August 10, 2016 – Jake Gaither


“I like my boys agile, mobile and hostile.”


”Football is a hard-nosed game. You go into it pulling no punches and asking none. Football is a character-building game—but you can build more character with a winning team than with a losing one.”


“Expect to lose sometimes, but a loss can be a stepping stone to victory if used properly.”


“The Bear can take his and beat yours and take yours and beat his.” Jake Gaither, former Florida A&M coach on Alabama’s legendary Bear Bryant


“Never leave the field with a boy feeling you’re mad at him. You can chew him out, but then pat him on the shoulder.”


“It’s bad coaching to blame your boys for losing a game, even if it’s true.”


“I just organize. Give me credit for selecting good assistants.”


“Excuses are no good. Your friends don’t need them, and your enemies won’t believe them.”

Wikipedia: Jake Gaither


Charlie Strong and Texas in 2016 – Charlie Strong Has Some Running Room at Texas BUT “Progress Must Be Shown” in 2016 or Texas Will Be Looking for A New Head Football Coach Come December – Give Those Damn Irish Hell Charlie!


Charlie Strong, Texas


3 rd season at Texas

Overall Record:  48 – 30

Overall Conference Record:  29 – 18

Texas Record:  11 – 14

Texas Conference Record:  9 – 9

As we have written many times in the Coaches Hot Seat Blog over the years the first time that a few of us ran into Charlie Strong was sometime in the early 1990s on or near the practice fields at the University of Florida when Charlie was on Steve Spurrier’s staff in Gainesville.

The one thing that immediately stood out about Charlie Strong 25 years ago as it does today is that Charlie looks you straight in the eye and you know exactly where Charlie stands on whatever he is talking about and it’s that very simple approach that led to Strong turning around the Louisville football program winning….

23 football games

…in his last two years coaching the Cardinals, and no doubt it’s that straight ahead approach that we still believe will lead to Strong turning things around at Texas.


We have been lucky enough to have 20-plus year friends who live in the Austin, Texas area and are UT alums who have given us a tremendous amount of insight into the Texas football program over the years, and who most importantly told us early on that Longhorns football was going off the rails in the 2010 season after Texas lost the 2009-10 Bogus BCS National Title Game to Alabama when they personally saw an unfocused Texas coaching staff which was the beginning of the end of Mack Brown’s legendary run at UT.

Those same UT alums now tell us that Charlie Strong has some room to run with the Texas football program after posting records of…

6 – 7 and 5 – 7

….in his first two seasons on the job, but that progress must be shown in 2016 and when we asked our UT alum friends just what in the Hell…

“Progress must be shown”

….means for Charlie Strong in 2016 their response goes something like this:

“A Winning Record Overall and in Big 12 Play.”

When hearing the above we naturally asked….

“What if Texas puts up losing overall and Big 12 conference records again 2016 like they did in 2015?”

Their unanimous response:

“Then Charlie Strong is done at Texas.”

With that in mind let’s go to the Texas 2016 football schedule and see what Charlie Strong and the Longhorns are facing this season:

Notre Dame
At California
At Oklahoma State
Iowa State
At Kansas State
At Texas Tech
West Virginia
At Kansas

Well….Bozo the Clown could win….


2 Games Coaching the Longhorns in 2016

….but how many wins should Charlie Strong post in his THIRD season on the job in Austin?

Notre Dame – Toss-Up
At California – Toss-Up
At Oklahoma State – Toss-Up
Oklahoma – Toss-Up
Iowa State – Toss-Up
At Kansas State – Toss-Up
Baylor – Toss-Up
At Texas Tech – Toss-Up
West Virginia – Toss-Up
At Kansas – WIN
TCU – Toss-Up

Geez…with only TWO “Sure Wins” and TEN Toss-Up Games 2016 could really go in any direction but let’s assume that Texas can win FOUR of its SIX home games which is a number that the Longhorns should hit then that means Charlie Strong will have to find a way to win THREE other games out of these SIX…

At California
At Oklahoma State
Oklahoma – in Dallas, Texas
At Kansas State
At Texas Tech
At Kansas

Texas winning FOUR of its SIX home games and then going 3 – 3 in its games away from Austin is something that Charlie Strong SHOULD be able to do this season which would be a record of…

7 – 5 Overall


5 – 4 in Big 12 play

…and thus there is Charlie Strong’s GOALS for 2016 if he wants to be coaching the Texas Longhorns in 2017 which we are quite confident Charlie is interested in doing with the Florida job not coming open anytime soon and with that in mind we can only say…

Good Luck to you Charlie Strong and beat those Sorry Damn Irish in that opening game on Sunday, September 4 in Austin!

Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Tuesday, August 9, 2016 – Amos Alonzo Stagg



“I pray not for victory, but to do my best.”


“To me, the coaching profession is one of the noblest and most far-reaching in building manhood. No man is too good to be the athletic coach for youth”


“All football comes from Stagg.” Knute Rockne


“Winning isn’t worthwhile unless one has something finer and nobler behind it.”

Wikipedia: Amos Alonzo Stagg


Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Monday, August 8, 2016 – Jesse Owens



“A lifetime of training for just ten seconds.”


“Friendships born on the field of athletic strife are the real gold of competition. Awards become corroded, friends gather no dust.”


“I let my feet spend as little time on the ground as possible. From the air, fast down, and from the ground, fast up.”


“I always loved running – it was something you could do by yourself and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.”


“If you don’t try to win you might as well hold the Olympics in somebody’s back yard. The thrill of competing carries with it the thrill of a gold medal. One wants to win to prove himself the best.”


“One chance is all you need.”


“The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself – the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us – that’s where it’s at.”


“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.”


“I wanted no part of politics. And I wasn’t in Berlin to compete against any one athlete. The purpose of the Olympics, anyway, was to do your best. As I’d learned long ago from Charles Riley, the only victory that counts is the one over yourself.”


“To a sprinter, the hundred-yard dash is over in three seconds, not nine or ten. The first ‘second’ is when you come out of the blocks. The next is when you look up and take your first few strides to attain gain position. By that time the race is actually about half over. The final ‘second’ – the longest slice of time in the world for an athlete – is that last half of the race, when you really bear down and see what you’re made of. It seems to take an eternity, yet is all over before you can think what’s happening.”


“I fought, I fought harder . . . but one cell at a time, panic crept into my body, taking me over.”  –on almost not qualifying for the Olympic finals in long jump


“I decided I wasn’t going to come down. I was going to fly. I was going to stay up in the air forever.”  –on his final leap in long-jump competition, a record-breaking 26 feet, 5 and 5/16 inches


“It dawned on me with blinding brightness. I realized: I had jumped into another rare kind of stratosphere – one that only a handful of people in every generation are lucky enough to know.”  
–on his Olympic achievements

Wikipedia:  Jesse Owens


Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Sunday, August 7, 2016 – Jimmy Johnson



“An objective truth and individual reason are feared above all.”


“Do you want to be safe and good, or do you want to take a chance and be great?”


“The only thing worse than a coach or CEO who doesn’t care about his people is one who pretends to care. People can spot a phony every time.”


“Treat a person as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a person as if he were where he could be and should be, and he will become what he could be and should be.”


“Military leaders aren’t made. They are born, … To be a good leader, you have to have something in your character to cause people to follow you.”


“Give your people the feeling that if THEY don’t do the job, it won’t get done. Also let them know that when they accomplish something, they will share in the accolades.”

Wikipedia:  Jimmy Johnson


Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Saturday, August 6, 2016 – Hayden Fry



“I learned a great many things in the Marines that helped me as a football coach.  The Marines train men hard and to do things the right way, just as a football team must train.”


“In football, like in life, you must learn to play within the rules of the game.”


“We probably spend more time talking about individual players in our coaching sessions than anything else.”


“You can’t control people.  You must understand them.  You have to know where they’re coming from, their beliefs and values, what turns them off, what they’re against.”


“I’ve felt sorry for young people who didn’t have an opportunity to play football, because I know what the game can offer.”

Wikipedia Page:  Hayden Fry


Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Friday, August 5, 2016 – Bo Schembechler



“When your team is winning, be ready to be tough, because winning can make you soft. On the other hand, when your team is losing, stick by them. Keep believing.”


“Those who stay will be champions”


“If I make a mistake, I’m going to make a mistake aggressively and I’m going to make it quickly. I don’t believe in sleeping on a decision.”


“A Michigan man will coach Michigan.”


“We want the Big 10 championship. And we’re going to win it as a TEAM. They can throw out all those great backs and great quarterbacks and great defensive players throughout the country and in this conference. But there’s going to be one team that is going play solely as a team. No man is more important than the team. No coach is more important than the team. THE TEAM! THE TEAM! THE TEAM! And if we think that way, all of us, everything that you do you take into consideration what effect does it have on my team? Because you can go into professional football, you can go anywhere you want to play after you leave here, you will never play for a team again. You’ll play for a contract. You’ll play for this. You’ll play for that. You’ll play for everything except the team. And think what a great thing it is to be a part of something that is THE TEAM! We’re going to win it. We’re going to win the championship again because we’re going to play as a team better than anyone else in the conference. We’re going to play together as a TEAM. We’re going to believe in each other. We’re not going to criticize each other. We’re not going to talk about each other. We’re going to encourage each other! And when we play as a team, when the old season is over, you and I know it’s going to be Michigan again. Michigan!”


Book Review: Bo’s Lasting Lessons, Three Star Leadership Blog – ( Bo’s Lasting Lessons)

“Successful sports coaches seem to think that it’s part of their game plan to write books. After all, they’re celebrities of a sort and they know something about “winning” which is a popular topic with readers of all kinds.

Bo Schembechler is one of the most successful coaches in the history of college football. He coached Michigan football for twenty years, compiling a record of 234-65-8. During that time his teams won or tied for the Big Ten championship 13 times. He never had a losing season.

That’s why it’s somewhat amazing that it took so long for Bo’s Lasting Lessons to appear. But Bo Schembechler always did things his own way.

There are three big lessons in this book: values matter, keep the rules simple, and enforce them no matter what.

Values mattered for Schembechler. Honesty was the big one. He was going to be honest no matter what and he expected the same from his coaches, his players, and everyone else. The idea was simple: always do the right thing.

He kept the rules simple. He also made sure everyone who worked for him understood the rules. They included how players were to sit in team meetings and how they were expected to dress on road trips.

He enforced the rules he had. If anyone broke Bo’s rules there were consequences. And those consequences were as inevitable as nature.

Those are the big lessons, but there are lots of lessons and bits of wisdom scattered through the book. Here are some of my favorites.

If you’re the boss you have to accept the fact that you’re the bad cop and your assistants will be the good cops.

Don’t hire smart people and then not listen to their opinions.

Seek mentors, not money, especially in the early stages of your career.

Whatever your philosophy, whatever your standards, whatever your expectations, you establish those on day one. Don’t waste a second!

Recruit for character.

Develop leaders underneath you.

Goals can’t come from the top down. They’ve got to come from the people responsible for achieving them. Your job is to help them get there, and remind them every day what their goals are, and what they have to do to make their dreams come true.

Scuttle the star system. Give everyone a role and make it important.

Emphasize execution, not innovation.

There are lots more but you can find them for yourself when you read the book. I’ve got lots of things underlined, and Post-It notes dangle off lots of pages.

There are some things to watch for. First off, some of Bo’s recommendations don’t translate well to any environment other than an athletic team. Be prepared to modify them to suit.

And some things that Bo did back in the Sixties and Seventies aren’t things you can do today. Some of that involves privacy laws. Some of that is the way the world has changed. Be prepared to adapt that material, too.

Over the years, I’ve read lots of books by athletic coaches about how to achieve personal and business success. I’m almost always disappointed, but not this time.

This is an enjoyable and helpful book, in part because co-author John Bacon lets us see what I’m sure is the authentic Bo Schembechler. And Bo was a wise man and clear speaker.”

Wikipedia: Bo Schembechler


Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Thursday, August 4, 2016 – Tom Landry



“A winner never stops trying.”


“Football is an incredible game. Sometimes it’s so incredible, it’s unbelievable.”


“I don’t believe in team motivation. I believe in getting a team prepared so it knows it will have the necessary confidence when it steps on a field and be prepared to play a good game.”


“I’ve learned that something constructive comes from every defeat.”


“If you are prepared, you will be confident, and will do the job.”


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


“Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve.”


“Right after the game, say as little as possible.”


“Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.”


“The secret to winning is constant, consistent management.”


“Today, you have 100% of your life left.”


“When you want to win a game, you have to teach. When you lose a game, you have to learn.”

Wikipedia:  Tom Landry