COACHES HOT SEAT

Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Tuesday, July 19, 2016 – Ronald Reagan

 

RonaldReagan72727

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

And

“One legislator accused me of having a nineteenth-century attitude on law and order. That is a totally false charge. I have an eighteenth-century attitude. That is when the Founding Fathers made it clear that the safety of law-abiding citizens should be one of the government’s primary concerns.”

And

“I’m convinced that today the majority of Americans want what those first Americans wanted: A better life for themselves and their children; a minimum of government authority. Very simply, they want to be left alone in peace and safety to take care of the family by earning an honest dollar and putting away some savings. This may not sound too exciting, but there is something magnificent about it. On the farm, on the street corner, in the factory and in the kitchen, millions of us ask nothing more, but certainly nothing less than to live our own lives according to our values — at peace with ourselves, our neighbors and the world.”

And

“Let it show on the record that when the American people cried out for economic help, Jimmy Carter took refuge behind a dictionary. Well, if it’s a definition he wants, I’ll give him one. A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.”

And

“Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.”

And

“A troubled and afflicted mankind looks to us, pleading for us to keep our rendezvous with destiny; that we will uphold the principles of self-reliance, self-discipline, morality, and, above all, responsible liberty for every individual that we will become that shining city on a hill.”

And

“Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.”

And

“If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth. And this idea that government is beholden to the people, that it has no other source of power except to sovereign people, is still the newest and most unique idea in all the long history of man’s relation to man. This is the issue of this election. Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.”

And

“The defense policy of the United States is based on a simple premise: The United States does not start fights. We will never be an aggressor. We maintain our strength in order to deter and defend against aggression — to preserve freedom and peace.”

And

“Some people work an entire lifetime and wonder if they ever made a difference to the world. But the Marines don’t have that problem.”

And

“History teaches that wars begin when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.”

And

“We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.”

And

“I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.”

And

“It is time for us to realize that we’re too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams. We’re not, as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline. I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing. So, with all the creative energy at our command, let us begin an era of national renewal. Let us renew our determination, our courage, and our strength. And let us renew our faith and our hope. We have every right to dream heroic dreams. Those who say that we’re in a time when there are no heroes, they just don’t know where to look.”

And

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden.”

And

“Directly in front of me, the monument to a monumental man, George Washington, father of our country. A man of humility who came to greatness reluctantly. He led Americans out of revolutionary victory into infant nationhood. Off to one side, the stately memorial to Thomas Jefferson. The Declaration of Independence flames with his eloquence. And then, beyond the Reflecting Pool, the dignified columns of the Lincoln Memorial. Whoever would understand in his heart the meaning of America will find it in the life of Abraham Lincoln. Beyond those monuments to heroism is the Potomac River, and on the far shore the sloping hills of Arlington National Cemetery, with its row upon row of simple white markers bearing crosses of Stars of David. They add up to only a tiny fraction of the price that has been paid for our freedom. Each one of those markers is a monument to the kind of hero I spoke of earlier. Their lives ended in places called Belleau Wood, the Argonne, Omaha Beach, Salerno, and halfway around the world on Gadalcanal, Tarawa, Pork Chop Hill, the Chosin Reservoir, and in a hundred rice paddies and jungles of a place called Vietnam.”

And

“You and I, as individuals, can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but for only a limited period of time. Why, then, should we think that collectively, as a nation, we’re not bound by that same limitation? We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow.”

And

“The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted, it belongs to the brave.”

And

“How do you tell a Communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.”

And

“Freedom is the right to question and change the established way of doing things. It is the continuous revolution of the marketplace. It is the understanding that allows to recognize shortcomings and seek solutions.”

And

“The ten most dangerous words in the English language are “Hi, I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

And

“”We the people” tell the government what to do, it doesn’t tell us. “We the people” are the driver, the government is the car. And we decide where it should go, and by what route, and how fast. Almost all the world’s constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which “We the people” tell the government what it is allowed to do. “We the people” are free.”

And

“I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace, a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it and see it still.”

And

“I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there’s purpose and worth to each and every life.”

And

“Well I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — America’s best days are yet to come. Our proudest moments are yet to be. Our most glorious achievements are just ahead.”

And

“General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

And

“There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect.”

And

“While I take inspiration from the past, like most Americans, I live for the future.”

And

“Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.”

And

“Don’t be afraid to see what you see.”

And

“Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we’ve ever known.”

And

“Heroes may not be braver than anyone else. They’re just braver five minutes longer.”

And

“I’ve often said there’s nothing better for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse.”

And

“Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music.”

And

“My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose – somehow we win out.”

Wikipedia:  Ronald Reagan

(more…)

Mark Stoops, Kentucky In 2016 – It’s Put Up or Shut Up Time Meaning Win 6 or More Games Mark Stoops In 2016!

 

Mark Stoops, Kentucky

MarkStoops3891818

4 th season at Kentucky

Overall Record:  12 – 24

SEC Conference Record:  4 – 20

Mark Stoops enters his fourth season at Kentucky in 2016 and the two past Kentucky head football coaches we use as measuring sticks for all UK head coaches are…

Rich Brooks, Head Coach at Kentucky 2003 – 2009

RichBrooks8281281

Jerry Claiborne, Head Coach at Kentucky 1982 – 1989

JerryClaiborne7u1717

In seven seasons as the head coach at Kentucky Rich Brooks averaged winning…

5.57 games per season

…and in eight seasons at Kentucky Jerry Claiborne averaged winning…

5.125 games per season

…and after three seasons on the job at Kentucky Mark Stoops is averaging winning…

4 games per season

Here’s the thing though about comparing Mark Stoops to Rich Brooks and Jerry Claiborne…

Mark Stoops took over a pretty decent football program in 2013 from Joker Phillips although it was certainly going downhill from the four straight bowl games that Rich Brooks had achieved in his last four years in Lexington and with that in mind 2016 is…

Put Up or Shut Up Meaning Win 6 or More Games Mark Stoops

….or Kentucky may very well go head coach hunting again come December this time looking for an offensive coach that can help the Wildcats shake things up in the SEC East which has been ripe for Kentucky or someone else to take control of in recent years just as UK football has been spinning its wheels going No Damn Where!

Let’s go to Kentucky’s 2016 schedule and see if Mark Stoops can get the Wildcats to 6 wins a bowl game and hang onto his job in the process:

Southern Miss
At Florida
New Mexico State
South Carolina
At Alabama
Vanderbilt
Mississippi State
At Missouri
Georgia
At Tennessee
Austin Peay
At Louisville

Well…Bozo the Clown could win….

BozoTheClown771177

2 Games

….coaching Kentucky in 2016 and Mark Stoops will need 4 more wins than Bozo to hang onto his job so which other 4 games, besides New Mexico State and Austin Peay, could the Wildcats win this upcoming season?

Southern Miss = Yes!
At Florida = Doubtful
New Mexico State = Yes!
South Carolina = Yes!
At Alabama = NO!
Vanderbilt = Yes!
Mississippi State = Maybe
At Missouri = Maybe
Georgia = Maybe
At Tennessee = NO!
Austin Peay = Yes!
At Louisville = Doubtful

Let’s see here that makes…

5 Yes! Games = 5 Wins Minimum

3 Maybe Games = 3 More Wins Possible

2 Doubtful Games = 2 Not Likely Wins

2 NO! Games = 2 Games Forget About It

In our opinion with 5 pretty sure Wins and 3 Maybe Games there is…

No Damn Reason at all for Mark Stoops and the Kentucky Wildcats to NOT win 6 games in 2016!

AND

Anything less than 6 Wins in 2016 and Mark Stoops is DONE at Kentucky come December…in our humble opinion of course!

Coach Hard Mark Stoops!

Of course, there was another head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats football program who won a Helluva LOT more games at UK than Rich Brooks or Jerry Claiborne meaning…

Paul “Bear” Bryant

PaulBryantKentucky27271

….who coached at Kentucky from 1946 to 1953 and posted…

8 Straight Winning Seasons

AND

Averaged Winning 7.5 games a year at Kentucky

….but we aren’t going to waste our time comparing Mark Stoops to Paul “Bear” Bryant…right?

RIGHT!

Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Monday, July 18, 2016 – Joe DiMaggio

 

JoeDiMaggio773

“When baseball is no longer fun, it’s no longer a game. “

And

“A person always doing his or her best becomes a natural leader, just by example.”

And

“I’d like to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee.”

And

“I can remember a reporter asking me for a quote, and I didn’t know what a quote was. I thought it was some kind of soft drink.”

And

“I think there are some players born to play ball.”

And

“I’m just a ballplayer with one ambition, and that is to give all I’ve got to help my ball club win. I’ve never played any other way.”

And

“If anyone wants to know why three kids in one family made it to the big leagues they just had to know how we helped each other and how much we practiced back then. We did it every minute we could.”

And

“The phrase ‘off with the crack of the bat’, while romantic, is really meaningless, since the outfielder should be in motion long before he hears the sound of the ball meeting the bat.”

And

“There is always some kid who may be seeing me for the first time. I owe him my best.”

And

“We need a hit, so here I go.”

And

“You always get a special kick on opening day, no matter how many you go through. You look forward to it like a birthday party when you’re a kid. You think something wonderful is going to happen.”

And

“You start chasing a ball and your brain immediately commands your body to ‘Run forward, bend, scoop up the ball, peg it to the infield,’ then your body says, ‘Who me?'”

Wikipedia:  Joe DiMaggio

(more…)

Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Sunday, July 17, 2016 – Seve Ballesteros

 

Seve27171

“I look into their eyes, shake their hand, pat their back, and wish them luck, but I am thinking, ‘I am going to bury you.”

And

“To give yourself the best possible chance of playing to your potential, you must prepare for every eventuality.  That means practice.”  

And

“I know where I am and I know which way I’m going, … Only winning will satisfy me. You don’t think it is possible? It is very possible.”

And

“I don’t see any players who really impress me from either side of the Atlantic, to be honest. There are a lot of players with great talent and a great future ahead. But impress me? I don’t get impressed that easily.”

And

“I’d like to see the fairways more narrow. Then everyone would have to play from the rough, not just me.”

Wikipedia Page:  Seve Ballesteros

(more…)

Mad As Hell And… Quotes of the Day – Saturday, July 16, 2016 – William Tecumseh Sherman

 

WilliamTSherman88119

“An Army is a collection of armed men obliged to obey one man. Every change in the rules which impairs the principle weakens the army.”

And

“An army to be useful must be a unit, and out of this has grown the saying, attributed to Napoleon, but doubtless spoken before the days of Alexander, that an army with an inefficient commander was better than one with two able heads.”

And

“Courage – a perfect sensibility of the measure of danger, and a mental willingness to endure it.”

And

“I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.”

And

“I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are.”

And

“If I had my choice I would kill every reporter in the world but I am sure we would be getting reports from hell before breakfast.”

And

“I make up my opinions from facts and reasoning, and not to suit any body but myself. If people don’t like my opinions, it makes little difference as I don’t solicit their opinions or votes.”

And

“In our Country… one class of men makes war and leaves another to fight it out.”

And

“It’s a disagreeable thing to be whipped.”

And

“My aim, then, was to whip the rebels, to humble their pride, to follow them to their inmost recesses, and make them fear and dread us. Fear is the beginning of wisdom.”

And

“If nominated, I will not run; if elected, I will not serve.”

And

“I think I understand what military fame is; to be killed on the field of battle and have your name misspelled in the newspapers.”

And

“War is cruelty. There is no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over.”

And

“Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster.”

And

“Grant stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk, and now we stand by each other.”

And

“War is the remedy that our enemies have chosen, and I say let us give them all they want.”

And

“I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices today than any of you to secure peace.”

And

“There will soon come an armed contest between capital and labor. They will oppose each other, not with words and arguments, but with shot and shell, gun-powder and cannon. The better classes are tired of the insane howling of the lower strata and they mean to stop them.”

And

“There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but, boys, it is all hell.”

And

“I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah.”

And

“If the people raise a great howl against my barbarity and cruelty, I will answer that war is war, and not popularity seeking.”

Wikipedia: William Tecumseh Sherman

(more…)

Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – July 15, 2016 – John McKay

 

JohnMcKay677

“The most successful coaches on any level teach the fundamentals.”

And

“No coach, no matter how successful, ever completely escapes the pressure of winning.”

And

“You don’t beat people with surprises, but with execution.”

And

“It bothers me that they (the national media) have picked us to be the worst team in football. Because what they are doing now is challenging your physical and your mental capacity and my ability to coach you. Now, this hurts me. Second worst team, I could stand it. But not the worst team.”

And

“Kickers are like horse manure. They’re all over the place.”

And

“Intensity is a lot of guys that run fast.”

And

“Emotion is highly overrated in football. My wife Corky is emotional as hell but can’t play football worth a damn.”

And

On his team’s blocking strategy: “Hold when you’re at home and don’t hold when you’re on the road.”

And

“If you have everyone back from a team that lost ten games, experience isn’t too important.”

And

On how coaching an expansion team is a religious experience: “You do a lot of praying, but most of the time the answer is ‘no.’ “

And

On the play of Joe Namath in the Jets 34-0 victory over Tampa Bay, “Namath is still Namath, but I must say that our guys were nice to him. I noticed when they knocked him down, they helped him to his feet. That was gentlemanly. I thought one stood around long enough to get his autograph.”

And

“I told our players that there were 700 million Chinese people in the world who didn’t even know the game was played. The next week, I got five letters from China asking “What happened?””

And

“Behind every fired football coach stands a college president.”

And

“Nobody becomes great without self-doubt. But you can’t let it consume you.”

And

“We didn’t tackle well today, but we made up for it by not blocking”.

And

“Three or four plane crashes and we’re in the playoffs.”

And

* On the execution of the Bucs offense: “I think it’s a good idea.”

And

“On the Bucs early games: “Every time I look up, it seems we’re punting.”

Wikipedia: John McKay

(more…)

Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Thursday, July 14, 2016 – Frank Thomas

 

FrankThomas77888

From Wikipedia entry on Frank Thomas:

Frank Thomas played quarterback for Knute Rocke at Notre Dame from 1920 to 1922. According to Rockne, Thomas was the smartest player he ever coached. Thomas’s best friend and roommate at Notre Dame was George “The Gipper” Gip.

Frank Thomas was the head football coach at Alabama from 1931 to 1946 putting up records of…

Overall: 115 – 24 – 7

SEC: 68 – 18 – 3

2 National Championships

Frank Thomas coached Paul “Bear” Bryant at Alabama who played for the Tide between 1933 – 1935 which included the 1934 Rose Bowl win over Stanford and the National Championship in the same year (which Coaches Hot Seat wrote about HERE in late November of last year)

Frank Thomas Quotes

“Keep the players high. Make practice a pleasure, not a lark. Be a disciplinarian, but not a slave driver. It’s better to have a short, full practice than a long lazy one.”

And

“No matter what the other fellow does on the field, don’t let him lure you into a fight. Uphold your dignity.”

And

“Proper conditioning is that fleeting moment between getting ready and going stale.”

Wikipedia: Frank Thomas

FrankThomas2

Frank Thomas in middle and Paul “Bear” Bryant, then Alabama player, on far right

(more…)

Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Wednesday, July 13, 2016 – General Robert Neyland

 

RobertNeyland8918181

“General Neyland’s 7 Maxims

1. The team that makes the fewest mistakes will win.

2. Play for and make the breaks and when one comes your way – SCORE.

3. If at first the game – or the breaks – go against you, don’t let up… put on more steam.

4. Protect our kickers, our QB, our lead and our ball game.

5. Ball, oskie, cover, block, cut and slice, pursue and gang tackle… for this is the WINNING EDGE.

6. Press the kicking game. Here is where the breaks are made.

7. Carry the fight to our opponent and keep it there for 60 minutes.”

And

“You never know what a football player is made of until he plays Alabama”

And

“The team that makes the fewest mistakes wins”

And

“To defeat a weak opponent is not the problem: The problem is to win when he is as good or better than you”

And

“Gentlemen, touchdowns follow blocking as sure night follows day”

And

“If my teams win, my press will be good. If we lose, the press can’t help me anyhow.”

And

“People think I’m the greatest damn coach in the world,” said the great Bear Bryant, “but Neyland taught me everything I know.”

Wikipedia Page: General Robert Neyland

(more…)

Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Tuesday, July 12, 2016 – Mike Slive

 

MikeSlive1

The below is from May 2015 on Mike Slive

Over the last few months we have been giving a lot of thought to Mike Slive’s retirement from commissioner of the SEC Conference and Mike’s remarkable run with the SEC over the past 13 years, and there really isn’t a lot we could say in this space that hasn’t been said by lots of people already including the below piece by Tony Barnhart on Mike Slive that is a brilliantly written piece about a brilliant man.

A few years back several Coaches Hot Seat members were invited to a retirement party slash roast of a well-known tech executive who was being sent out in style at a lavish dinner and party at one of San Francisco’s finest hotels. The party and roasting lived up to our expectations as this very fine man retiring after forty years working at the highest levels of technology in Silicon Valley was getting the send-off that he rightly deserved meaning he was being praised and ribbed hard as he was walking out the door.

Everyone in the room that night was very excited to see what the last speaker of the night was going to say about the retiring honoree because that speaker had been in a multi-decade business battle with the well-known retiring tech executive, and there had been some bad blood along the way so the likelihood of some great lines was high and the speaker did not disappoint as he got off some zingers that we can’t even repeat in the Coaches Hot Seat Blog which is saying something!

After about 10 minutes of the last speaker giving it to the honored retiree good the speaker then went silent after he got off a great laugh line and didn’t say anything for what seemed like an eternity, but was only 30 seconds or so. The speaker then looked across the entire audience and then down the dais at the retiring executive and said to a hushed crowd:

“I would like to finish by saying that certainly “X” and I have had our disagreements over the years and I have cussed his ass out in private more times than I can count, but for anyone that doesn’t know it already let me make this abundantly clear. Not only has “X” been a Helluva competitor and terrific businessman over the years, but the world is a better place today because of the life this very fine man has lived and for that I Thank You “X” and wish you the very best of luck in the future.”
Of course, the audience that night rose to their feet to applaud that very accurate statement about “X” which was said in the most heartfelt way possible by a man everyone in that room respected to the utmost.

To Mike Slive from the 117 142 Members of Coaches Hot Seat:

The world is a better place today because of the life you have lived over the years and for that we Thank You and wish you the very best of luck in the future.

Thank You Mike Slive and hopefully one of us will make it to Hoover, Alabama in July and tell you that in person.

MikeSlive8899

“The hostile atmospheres when you play on the road in this league are incomparable. If you can go through that [undefeated] and win this game, you deserve to be in the national championship game.”

And

“We really don’t have any concern about that. One thing this tragedy taught us is that we all need to be flexible.”

And

“The conference didn’t have to take any action of any kind,”

And

“Coaches develop relationships with these students, and if they come to believe in them as people, not just athletes, they want to give them the benefit of the doubt if they can. Not all of them make it. We know that. But we have given them the opportunity.”

And

“After reviewing all of the information, I felt this was the best decision for the game, … The safety of our student-athletes, coaches and fans is our priority.”

And

“One of the great things about the Southeastern Conference is our fans and our support — the importance of college football. On occasion that exuberance goes over the top. What we’d ultimately like to do is channel it on the field.”

And

“Hurricane Katrina has devastated the lives of victims in four of the SEC’s states, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi, and may continue to do so for months and years to come,”

And

“The MVP program will raise awareness about issues that can adversely affect our student athletes. It is important for the SEC to be aware of the challenges facing our student-athletes so that we can assist them whenever possible.”

And

“Coach Vaught certainly was one of the great icons in SEC football. If you look at the list of names (of) great all-Americans from here that played for him … you just get a sense of what he’s meant to this conference.”

And

“We’ll evaluate everybody. But in terms of the work ethic and the commitment of our officials, I think it’s very strong.”

And

“I used to go to more games than I do now. Every game you see in person you probably miss somewhere between five and 10 games.”

And

“Right now, there is peace in the valley. We hope to keep it that way for a little while.”

And

“No one person, no matter how popular, can be allowed to derail the soul of an institution.”

And

Tony Barnhart on Mike Slive, SEC Sports, October 2014

“The first time I talked to Mike Slive was in a ballroom of the Hyatt-Regency Hotel in Atlanta. The year was 2002 and the event was a reception to honor Roy Kramer, who in March had announced that he was stepping down as commissioner of the SEC after an ultra-successful 12-year reign.

Among the invited guests was the diminutive, silver-haired former circuit court judge who was then serving as commissioner of Conference USA. I saw Slive and his wife, Liz, from across the room and made a mental note to say hello before the night was over.

“You probably need to do that,” said a friend of mine who worked at an SEC school. “I’m pretty sure he’s going to be your new commissioner.”

My first reaction to this news? I knew Slive was from the North (Utica, N.Y.) with an Ivy League background (Darmouth College). I knew he had hung out a shingle after U.Va. Law School and had worked in administration with the Pac-10 before becoming a commissioner. But that’s all I knew. And as someone who grew up in the SEC and had been covering the conference as a reporter for almost two decades, I didn’t see any way this guy could replace Roy Kramer.

Kramer was a former coach (he won a Division II national championship at Central Michigan), a former director of athletics (Vanderbilt), and one of the most brilliant men I’ve ever met. And he was tough. The football coaches listened to Kramer even when they didn’t agree with him because he had been one of them. The presidents and the athletics directors listened to Kramer because from Day 1 he was looking 10 years down the road and could see it very clearly.

I just didn’t know if someone with Slive’s background would have the gravitas to wrangle the collection of powerful people with egos to match that was the SEC at the beginning of the 21st century.

We had a short, cordial visit. I didn’t bring up what I had heard. It wasn’t the time because we were there to honor Commissioner Kramer. But his smile and his handshake let me know that we’d be seeing each other soon enough.

On July 2, 2002 Mike Slive was introduced as the seventh commissioner of the Southeastern Conference. After the formal press conference at the SEC offices in Birmingham he met with a smaller group of reporters in a conference room. From the minute he sat down Mike Slive was comfortably in charge of the room. His words were thoughtful and measured. Like a good lawyer he had anticipated the questions and had his answers ready.

He knew that there would be a learning curve to the job but was confident he could handle it. He knew that he had just been handed the keys to one of most powerful vehicles in the world of college athletics.

But he also knew that his job not to be a caretaker. Mike Slive realized that his challenge was to take the world-class franchise that Roy Kramer had helped to build and to make it into something even better. I left Birmingham that day with no doubt that he would be a great commissioner.

That was the first memory that raced back to me on Tuesday when Commissioner Slive announced that he would retire on July 31, 2015. He will remain on as a consultant for four years. In a brilliant 13-year run he has:

**–Turned the SEC from a strong regional brand into powerful national brand with long-term television contracts and the creation of the SEC Network, which launched on Aug. 14.

**–Presided over what was nothing less than the Golden Age of SEC football, with seven consecutive BCS championships from 2006-2012. Auburn was 13 seconds short of making it eight straight back in January.

**–Added two strong institutions-Texas A&M and Missouri-to an already strong conference.

**–Maintained an across-the-board commitment to all 21 sponsored sports, which have recorded a staggering 75 national championships during his tenure.

**–Introduced the proposal that would eventually become the four-team College Football Playoff, which begins his season.

**–Spearheaded the movement to give the Power Five conferences greater autonomy in the NCAA governance structure.

**–Through the force of his leadership, increased the SEC’s commitment to diversity. He created the SEC Minority Coaches Database. He made sure everybody in the conference understood that the SEC was not going to pay lip service to diversity. The SEC was going to live it. In 2011 Kentucky played Vanderbilt in the league’s first-ever meeting of African-American head football coaches. It wasn’t a big story. To Slive, that was a good thing.

**–Launched the SEC Academic Initiative, which used the power of the athletics brand to highlight and advance the great accomplishments of the members on the academic front.

The list of Slive’s accomplishments as commissioner goes on and on. But what I really want to share with you today is not what Mike Slive did but the way in which he did it.

He has been the ultimate consensus builder. Like the good lawyer who never asks a question to which he doesn’t already know the answer, Commissioner Slive would make sure he had the votes lined up before the meeting ever took place. And no matter what the vote actually was, it would be unanimous when Slive walked out of the room.

He has always understood the importance of strong coaches, but those coaches always understood who was in charge. In 2009 a number of the SEC football coaches had been sniping at each other in public. At the SEC Spring Meetings in Destin Slive walked into the room and read his coaches the riot act. Problem solved.

“I’d say the commissioner made his point,” Steve Spurrier told me after the meeting.

When Slive took over as commissioner he made it clear that he would have zero tolerance for schools that knowingly broke NCAA rules. The rules were also changed so that if one member had a problem with another member in the area of rules compliance, that complaint would first go through the SEC office.

When Auburn was left out of the BCS championship game with a 13-0 record in 2004, the commissioner started putting together the idea for the four-team college football playoff. Slive’s original version was called a “Plus-One” and he presented the idea to his fellow BCS commissioners during a meeting in South Florida in April of 2008. Only one other commissioner, the ACC’s John Swofford, supported it.

Slive’s idea was shot down and he was clearly disappointed when we talked in a hallway outside the meeting room. I asked the commissioner if he actually floated the idea just to set the table for 2012, when the current BCS deal was scheduled to end.

He just smiled.

In 2008 Slive knew his fellow commissioners weren’t ready to make the change. He was betting that four years later they would be ready. And he was right. When two SEC teams-LSU and Alabama-played for the 2011 BCS championship the commissioners came around to Slive’s way of thinking.

His work ethic is legendary. If you’re on Mike Slive’s staff, be prepared for 6:30 a.m. meetings at Starbucks. George Schroeder of USA Today wrote a wonderful piece on the commissioner last summer.

The Quiet Man:  Mike Slive’s placid approach to SEC power, George Schroeder, USA Today

In that piece Schroeder quotes Slive’s daughter, Anna, on his ability, at age 74, to still outwork men half his age.

“He only has two speeds,” she told Schroeder. “High and off.”

In the interest of full disclosure, I need to point out here that I’ve been fortunate to have a close personal and professional relationship with Commissioner Slive. I have used him as a sounding board when I have had to make some tough career decisions.

Each year, on the day before the Spring Meetings begin in Destin, we sit down for about an hour and reflect on where the conference has been and where it is going. Those conversations invariably turn personal and every year I ask how much longer he wants to go at this pace. Last May he just said: “You’ll see me until you don’t see me.”

In June of 2012 he became a grandfather for the first time. In August of 2012 I became a grandfather. And every meeting we’ve had since begins with the sharing of photos-his of Abigail and mine of Sloane.

That’s what I was thinking about when Commissioner Slive announced that he would retire next July. Because at the end of the day it’s really not about the money you make or the power you accumulate or the championships you win. It’s about the lives you have touched.

Mike and Liz Slive have touched a lot of lives in their time at the SEC. Lucky for us, they will do so for many years to come.”

Wikipedia:  Mike Slive

(more…)

Coaches Hot Seat Quotes of the Day – Monday, July 11, 2016 – Alexis de Tocqueville

 

AlexisDemocracy111

“In the United States the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own”

And

“In politics… shared hatreds are almost always the basis of friendships.”

And

“I cannot help fearing that men may reach a point where they look on every new theory as a danger, every innovation as a toilsome trouble, every social advance as a first step toward revolution, and that they may absolutely refuse to move at all.”

And

“There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle.”

And

“Born often under another sky, placed in the middle of an always moving scene, himself driven by the irresistible torrent which draws all about him, the American has no time to tie himself to anything, he grows accustomed only to change, and ends by regarding it as the natural state of man. He feels the need of it, more he loves it; for the instability; instead of meaning disaster to him, seems to give birth only to miracles all about him.”

And

“As one digs deeper into the national character of the Americans, one sees that they have sought the value of everything in this world only in the answer to this single question: how much money will it bring in?”

And

“As for me, I am deeply a democrat; this is why I am in no way a socialist. Democracy and socialism cannot go together. You can’t have it both ways.”

And

“Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”

And

“Equality is a slogan based on envy. It signifies in the heart of every republican: “Nobody is going to occupy a place higher than I.””

And

“History, it is easily perceived, is a picture-gallery containing a host of copies and very few originals.”

And

“He who seeks freedom for anything but freedom’s self is made to be a slave.”

And

“God does not need to speak for himself in order for us to discover definitive signs of his will; it is enough to examine the normal course of nature and the consistent tendency of events. I know without needing to hear the voice of the Creator that the stars trace out in space the orbits which his hand has drawn.”  Democracy in America, Volume 1, 1835

And

“I know of no country, indeed, where the love of money has taken stronger hold on the affections of men, and where the profounder contempt is expressed for the theory of the permanent equality of property.”  Democracy in America, Volume 1, 1835

And

“There is in fact a manly and legitimate passion for equality that spurs all men to wish to be strong and esteemed. This passion tends to elevate the lesser to the rank of the greater. But one also finds in the human heart a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to want to bring the strong down to their level, and which reduces men to preferring equality in servitude to inequality in freedom.”  Democracy in America, Volume 1, 1835

And

“The will of the nation” is one of those expressions which have been most profusely abused by the wily and the despotic of every age.”  Democracy in America, Volume 1, 1835

And

“In order to enjoy the inestimable benefits that the liberty of the press ensures, it is necessary to submit to the inevitable evils it creates.”  Democracy in America, Volume 1, 1835

And

“A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.”
Democracy in America, Volume 1, 1835

And

“The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.”  Democracy in America, Volume 1, 1835

And

“An American cannot converse, but he can discuss, and his talk falls into a dissertation. He speaks to you as if he was addressing a meeting; and if he should chance to become warm in the discussion, he will say “Gentlemen” to the person with whom he is conversing.”  Democracy in America, Volume 1, 1835

And

“What is not yet done is only what we have not yet attempted to do.”  Democracy in America, Volume 1, 1835

And

“The whole life of an American is passed like a game of chance, a revolutionary crisis, or a battle.”  Democracy in America, Volume 1, 1835

And

“In the United States a man builds a house to spend his latter years in it and he sells it before the roof is on. He plants a garden and lets it just as the trees are coming into bearing. He brings a field into tillage and leaves other men to gather the crops. He embraces a profession and gives it up. He settles in a place which he soon afterward leaves to carry his changeable longings elsewhere. If his private affairs leave him any leisure he instantly plunges into the vortex of politics and if at the end of a year of unremitting labour he finds he has a few days’ vacation, his eager curiosity whirls him over the vast extent of the United States, and he will travel fifteen hundred miles in a few days to shake off his happiness.”  Democracy in America, Volume 1, 1835

And

“In the United States, the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own.”  Democracy in America, Volume 2, 1840

Amd

“There is hardly a pioneer’s hut which does not contain a few odd volumes of Shakespeare. I remember reading the feudal drama of Henry V for the first time in a log cabin.”  Democracy in America, Volume 2, 1840

And

“The genius of democracies is seen not only in the great number of new words introduced but even more in the new ideas they express.”  Democracy in America, Volume 2, 1840

And

“Americans of all ages, all stations of life, and all types of disposition are forever forming associations… In democratic countries knowledge of how to combine is the mother of all other forms of knowledge; on its progress depends that of all the others.”  Democracy in America, Volume 2, 1840

And

“What most astonishes me in the United States, is not so much the marvelous grandeur of some undertakings, as the innumerable multitude of small ones.”  Democracy in America, Volume 2, 1840

And

“In democratic ages men rarely sacrifice themselves for another, but they show a general compassion for all the human race. One never sees them inflict pointless suffering, and they are glad to relieve the sorrows of others when they can do so without much trouble to themselves. They are not disinterested, but they are gentle.”  Democracy in America, Volume 2, 1840

And

“I have no hesitation in saying that although the American woman never leaves her domestic sphere and is in some respects very dependent within it, nowhere does she enjoy a higher station. And if anyone asks me what I think the chief cause of the extraordinary prosperity and growing power of this nation, I should answer that it is due to the superiority of their women.”  Democracy in America, Volume 2, 1840

And

“Consider any individual at any period of his life, and you will always find him preoccupied with fresh plans to increase his comfort.”  Democracy in America, Volume 2, 1840

And

“In no other country in the world is the love of property keener or more alert than in the United States, and nowhere else does the majority display less inclination toward doctrines which in any way threaten the way property is owned.”  Democracy in America, Volume 2, 1840

And

“Two things in America are astonishing: the changeableness of most human behavior and the strange stability of certain principles. Men are constantly on the move, but the spirit of humanity seems almost unmoved.”  Democracy in America, Volume 2, 1840

And

“There are two things which a democratic people will always find very difficult—to begin a war and to end it.”  Democracy in America, Volume 2, 1840

And

“No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a democratic country.”  Democracy in America, Volume 2, 1840

And

“All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it.”  Democracy in America, Volume 2, 1840

And

“I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it.”  Democracy in America, Volume 2, 1840

And

“When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness.”  Democracy in America, Volume 2, 1840

And

“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”

Wikipedia:  Alexis de Tocqueville

(more…)