In the 25 days leading up to college football's championship game between No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Alabama at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, the Chattanooga Times Free Press is counting down the traditions and memorable moments involving the Irish and the Crimson Tide. Today is No. 14.
When he wasn't coaching Alabama to a 232-46-9 record with 13 Southeastern Conference championships and six national titles from 1958 to '82, Paul "Bear" Bryant was providing plenty of memorable quotes.
Whether dealing with players, assistant coaches or his better half, Bryant clung to his viewpoints.
On his players:
"I can reach any kid who doesn't have any ability as long as he doesn't know it."
On his profession:
"The first thing a football coach needs when he's starting out is a wife who's willing to put up with a whole lot of neglect. There ought to be a special place in heaven for coaches' wives. The second thing is a five-year contract."
On hiring assistants:
"I don't hire anybody not brighter than I am. If they're not smarter than me, I don't need them."
Green Bay Packers coaching legend Vince Lombardi is remembered for the quote, "Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing." Bryant had a sign in his office that read, "Winning isn't the only thing, but it beats whatever comes in second."
Bryant also stated, "Winning isn't imperative, but getting tougher in the fourth quarter is," and he is the subject of one of the most famous quotes in SEC history.
Former rival coach Wally Butts of Georgia once said, "The definition of an atheist in Alabama is someone who doesn't believe in Bear Bryant."