133+ Best Bear Bryant Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Paul William “Bear” Bryant was an American college football player and coach. During his 25-year tenure as Alabama’s head coach, he amassed six national championships and thirteen conference championships. Profoundly inspirational Bear Bryant quotes will get you through anything when the going gets tough and help you succeed in every aspect of life.

Famous Bear Bryant Quotes

Don’t give up at half time. Concentrate on winning the second half. – Bear Bryant

Nearly every coach I’ve talked with tells me that the attention you get from media and other people is the thing you miss most. I don’t know if that’s right. – Bear Bryant

It’s not the will to win that matters-everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters. – Bear Bryant

There is a big difference in wanting to and willing to. – Bear Bryant

I make my practices real hard because if a player is a quitter, I want him to quit in practice, not in a game. – Bear Bryant

There’s a lot of blood, sweat, and guts between dreams and success. – Bear Bryant

People who are in it for their own good are individualists. They don’t share the same heartbeat that makes a team so great. A great unit, whether it be football or any organization, shares the same heartbeat. – Bear Bryant

The fun never goes out, but it changes with the years, with winning and losing. – Bear Bryant

If it is worth playing, it is worth paying the price to win. – Bear Bryant

Find your own picture, your own self in anything that goes bad. It’s awfully easy to mouth off at your staff or chew out players, but if it’s bad, and your the head coach, you’re responsible. If we have an intercepted pass, I threw it. I’m the head coach. If we get a punt blocked, I caused it. A bad practice, a bad game, it’s up to the head coach to assume his responsibility. – Bear Bryant

I ain’t never had much fun. I ain’t never been two inches away from a football. Here guys go fishing on the day of the game, hunting, golfing, and all I want to do is be alone, studying how not to lose. – Bear Bryant

No coach has ever won a game by what he knows; it’s what his players know that counts. – Bear Bryant

Baton Rouge happens to be the worst place in the world for a visiting team. It’s like being inside a drum. – Bear Bryant

You must learn how to hold a team together. You must lift some men up, calm others down, until finally they’ve got one heartbeat. Then you’ve got yourself a team. – Bear Bryant

I have had players who are good, and who know they are good; I have had players who are bad and know they are bad; I have had players who are good, but who don’t know they are good; I have had players who are bad, but who don’t know they are bad. It is this last group that has won more games for me than the first three groups combined. – Bear Bryant

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. – Bear Bryant

I honestly believe that if you are willing to out-condition the opponent, have confidence in your ability, be more aggressive than your opponent and have a genuine desire for team victory, you will become the national champions. If you have all the above, you will acquire confidence and poise, and you will have those intangibles that win the close ones. – Bear Bryant

Don’t worry about making friends; don’t worry about making enemies. Worry about winning, because if you win, your enemies can’t hurt you, and if you lose, your friends can’t stand you. – Bear Bryant

Recruiting is the one thing I hate. I won’t do it unless my coaches tell me I’ve just got to. The whole process is kind of undignified for me and the young man. – Bear Bryant

The price of victory is high, but so are the rewards. – Bear Bryant

You’re still going to win with preparation and dedication and plain old desire. If you don’t have genuine desire, you won’t be dedicated enough to prepare properly. – Bear Bryant

If we’d beaten ’em, I wouldn’t be going out. – Bear Bryant

A few minutes ago, I had a hard time getting through the lobby because of all the people. After today, that won’t be happening. – Bear Bryant

I’m not much of a golfer, I don’t have any friends and all I like to do is go home and be alone, and not worry about ways not to lose. – Bear Bryant

There’s no use fussing on a boy who doesn’t have any ability. – Bear Bryant

If you are going to be a successful duck hunter, you must go where the ducks are. – Bear Bryant

I’m known as a recruiter. Well you’ve got to have chicken to make chicken salad. – Bear Bryant

If there is one thing that has helped me as a coach, it’s my ability to recognize winners, or good people who can become winners by paying the price. – Bear Bryant

I’m no miracle man. I guarantee nothing but hard work. – Bear Bryant

If they don’t have a winning attitude, I don’t want them. – Bear Bryant

In order to have a winner, the team must have a feeling of unity; every player must put the team first ahead of personal glory. – Bear Bryant

Don’t tolerate lazy people. They are losers. – Bear Bryant

If you don’t have discipline, you can’t have a successful program. – Bear Bryant

Expect the unexpected. – Bear Bryant

Offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships. – Bear Bryant

The Lord expects you to do some things for yourself. – Bear Bryant

Don’t give up. Reach down inside of you and you’ll find something left. – Bear Bryant

If you want to coach, you have three rules to follow to win. One, surround yourself with people who can’t live without football. I’ve had a lot of them. Two, be able to recognize winners. They come in all forms. And, three, have a plan for everything. A plan for practice, a plan for the game. A plan for being ahead, and a plan for being behind 20-0 at half, with your quarterback hurt and the phones dead, with it raining cats and dogs and no rain gear because the equipment man left it at home. – Bear Bryant

Recognize winners. They come in all forms. – Bear Bryant

If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, we did it. If anything goes real good, then you did it. That’s all it takes to get people to win football games for you. – Bear Bryant

They say I teach brutal football, but the only thing brutal about football is losing. – Bear Bryant

Sacrifice. Work. Self-discipline. I teach these things, and my boys don’t forget them when they leave. – Bear Bryant

But there’s one thing about quitters you have to guard against – they are contagious. If one boy goes, the chances are he’ll take somebody with him, and you don’t want that. So when they would start acting that way, I used to pack them up and get them out, or embarrass them, or do something to turn them around. – Bear Bryant

In life, you’ll have your back up against the wall many times. You might as well get used to it. – Bear Bryant

At Alabama, our players don’t win Heisman Trophies. Our teams win National Championships. – Bear Bryant

A champion pays an extra price to be better than anyone else. – Bear Bryant

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. – Bear Bryant

You take those little rascals, talk to them good, pat them on the back, let them think they are good, and they will go out and beat the biguns. – Bear Bryant

I know what it takes to win. If I can sell them on what it takes to win, then we are not going to lose too many football games. – Bear Bryant

I don’t hire anybody not brighter than I am. If they’re not brighter than I am, I don’t need them. – Bear Bryant

Most coaches study the films when they lose. I study them when we win -to see if I can figure out what I did right – Bear Bryant

I’ll put you through hell, but at the end of it all we’ll be champions. – Bear Bryant

When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it: 1. Admit it. 2. Learn from it, and 3. Don’t repeat it. – Bear Bryant

Little things make the difference. Everyone is well prepared in the big things, but only the winners perfect the little things. – Bear Bryant

Never be too proud to get down on your knees and pray. – Bear Bryant

Have a plan. Follow the plan, and you’ll be surprised how successful you can be. Most people don’t have a plan. That’s why it’s easy to beat most folks. – Bear Bryant

It really doesn’t cost anything to be nice, and the rewards can be unimaginable – Bear Bryant

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. – Bear Bryant

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. – Bear Bryant

It’s awfully important to win with humility. It’s also important to lose. I hate to lose worse than anyone, but if you never lose you won’t know how to act. If you lose with humility, then you can come back. – Bear Bryant

Sure, I’d love 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! – Bear Bryant

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. – Bear Bryant

Motivating people- the ingredient that separates winners from losers. – Bear Bryant

Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself. – Bear Bryant

I have always tried to teach my players to be fighters. When I say that, I don’t mean put up your dukes and get in a fistfight over something. I’m talking about facing adversity in your life. There is not a person alive who isn’t going to have some awfully bad days in their lives. I tell my players that what I mean by fighting is when your house burns down, and your wife runs off with the drummer, and you’ve lost your job and all the odds are against you. What are you going to do? Most people just lay down and quit. Well, I want my people to fight back. – Bear Bryant

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. – Bear Bryant

In a crisis, don’t hide behind anything or anybody. They’re going to find you anyway. – Bear Bryant

Don’t talk too much or too soon. – Bear Bryant

The first time you quit, it’s hard. The second time, it gets easier. The third time, you don’t even have to think about it. – Bear Bryant

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. – Bear Bryant

You win games with your strengths, not your weaknesses. – Bear Bryant

Losing doesn’t make me want to quit. It makes me want to fight that much harder. – Bear Bryant

You never know how a horse will pull until you hook him to a heavy load. – Bear Bryant

If you whoop and holler all the time, the players just get used to it. – Bear Bryant

Back 12 years ago, when Dr. Mathews was president here, we had a plan that when I got ready to quit, we’d bring a certain guy in and he’d take over that day and I’d leave. But as time wore on, I realized that wouldn’t have been good at all. – Bear Bryant

I’ve had many a player tell me all through high school and right up until signing day that they were coming to Alabama, then they signed with somebody else. – Bear Bryant

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. – Bear Bryant

I think I’m telling the truth. I sat by Ray Perkins at the Hall of Fame dinner in New York, and at that time he didn’t know he was our coach and I didn’t either. – Bear Bryant

I didn’t have a thing to do with picking a coach and didn’t want to. But I didn’t think they’d pick one I didn’t like. – Bear Bryant

I hope to get out before they start football next year. – Bear Bryant

I want to make sure I don’t interfere with the success of that team next year. I don’t see any way I could go to practice like most of ’em do, and not hurt the team. I’d go nuts if I tried doing that. – Bear Bryant

It’s been years since I’ve had a real input in the game anyway. For this game, I’ve just tried to keep all the other stuff away from the players and coaches. – Bear Bryant

Georgia Tech beat us and Mississippi Southern tied us last year, and Texas beat us after we had the game won. We only played about five games the way we were capable of playing and lost one of those. – Bear Bryant

A good, quick, small team can beat a big, slow team any time. – Bear Bryant

I can remember loving to recruit. I knew I was going to do my best. But traveling and recruiting doesn’t appeal to me anymore. It’s not as much fun as it used to be. – Bear Bryant

It’s nice to have the opportunity to play for so much money, but it’s nicer to win it. – Bear Bryant

If I miss coaching that much, I could go to some little school where they didn’t recruit, where all the kids wanted to go. I believe I could find somewhere to coach. – Bear Bryant

I’m happy with the coach we have. I think any one of the ones I asked them to consider would’ve been good. – Bear Bryant

I think the most important thing of all for any team is a winning attitude. The coaches must have it. The players must have it. The student body must have it. If you have dedicated players who believe in themselves, you don’t need a lot of talent. – Bear Bryant

I’ve made so many mistakes that if I don’t make the same mistakes over, we’re going to come pretty close to winning. – Bear Bryant

You try to make your team do something they’re not capable of and you get murdered. – Bear Bryant

I ain’t won but one. My team won the rest in spite of me. – Bear Bryant

When you play defense, you have to storm the fort or play cover – you can’t do both. – Bear Bryant

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. – Bear Bryant

I’m no genius, but I’m a damn good football coach. – Bear Bryant

My approach to the game has been the same at all the places I’ve been. Vanilla. The sure way. That means, first of all, to win physically. If you got eleven on a field, and they beat the other eleven physically, they’ll win. They will start forcing mistakes. They’ll win in the fourth quarter. – Bear Bryant

We can’t have two standards, one set for the dedicated young men who want to do something ambitious and one set for those who don’t. – Bear Bryant

Every time a player goes out there, at least 20 people have some amount of influence on him. His mother has more influence than anyone. I know because I played, and I loved my mama. – Bear Bryant

Everybody’s got pretty good players now, more players than there’ve ever been. If you play poorly, you’re going to get beat. – Bear Bryant

Get the winners into the game. – Bear Bryant

The idea of molding men means a lot to me. – Bear Bryant

There is no substitute for guts. – Bear Bryant

First there are those who are winners, and know they are winners. Then there are the losers who know they are losers. Then there are those who are not winners, but don’t know it. They’re the ones for me. They never quit trying. They’re the soul of our game. – Bear Bryant

If a man is a quitter, I’d rather find out in practice than in a game. I ask for all a player has so I’ll know later what I can expect. – Bear Bryant

One man doesn’t make a team. It takes eleven. – Bear Bryant

If you don’t learn anything but self-discipline, then athletics is worthwhile. – Bear Bryant

I’ve never recommended anybody go into coaching, ’cause if they have enough on the ball, if they can do without coaching, they should do without it. If they put as much work into it and spend as much time, the rewards are going to be much better in something else. – Bear Bryant

Lee Roy was the best college linebacker – bar none. He would have made every tackle on every play if they had stayed in bounds. – Bear Bryant

I don’t care how much talent a team has – if the boys don’t think tough, practice tough, and live tough, how they play tough on Saturday. – Bear Bryant

When you win, there’s glory enough for everybody. When you lose, there’s glory for none. – Bear Bryant

Winning isn’t imperative but getting tougher in the fourth quarter is. – Bear Bryant

Football changes and so do people. – Bear Bryant

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. – Bear Bryant

Hell, no! A tie is like kissing your sister! – Bear Bryant

I don’t have any ideas; my coaches have them. I just pass the ideas on and referee the arguments. – Bear Bryant

The summer day is closed, the sun is set: Well they have done their office, those bright hours, the latest of whose train goes softly out In the red west. – Bear Bryant

The faint old man shall lean his silver head to feel thee; thou shalt kiss the child asleep, And dry the moistened curls that overspread His temples, while his breathing grows more deep. – Bear Bryant

Being inside Tiger Stadium is like being on the inside of a drum. – Bear Bryant

Football games are generally won by the boys with the greatest desire. – Bear Bryant

In my lifetime, I may have put too much emphasis on winning, because here I am an old man and the only fun I’ve had is winning, and that’s ridiculous. – Bear Bryant

Here’s a twenty, bury two. – Bear Bryant

The biggest mistake coaches make is taking borderline cases and trying to save them. I’m not talking about grades now; I’m talking about character. I want to know before a boy enrolls about his home life, and what his parents want him to be. – Bear Bryant

Don’t ever give up on ability. Don’t give up on a player who has it. – Bear Bryant

I always want my players to show class, knock’em down, pat on the back, and run back to the huddle. – Bear Bryant

It’s kind of hard to rally around a math class. – Bear Bryant

I tell young players who want to be coaches, who think they can put up with all the headaches and heartaches, can you live without it? If you can live without it, don’t get in it. – Bear Bryant

Scout yourself. Have a buddy who coaches scout you. – Bear Bryant

There is no sin in not liking to play; it’s a mistake for a boy to be there if he doesn’t want to. – Bear Bryant

But it’s still a coach’s game. Make no mistake. You start at the top. If you don’t have a good one at the top, you don’t have a cut dog’s chance. If you do, the rest falls into place. You have to have good assistants, and a lot of things, but first you have to have the chairman of the board. – Bear Bryant

Don’t overwork your squad. If you’re going to make a mistake, under-work them. – Bear Bryant

I left Texas A&M because my school called me. Mama called, and when Mama calls, then you just have to come running. – Bear Bryant

I’d like for people to remember me as a winner, because I ain’t never been nothin but a winner. – Bear Bryant

There ought to be a special place in heaven for coaches’ wives. – Bear Bryant

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