Coach Lombardi is best known as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers (1959-1967). Under his leadership, the Packers won five NFL Championships in seven years, including the first two Super Bowls. The annual trophy awarded to the Super Bowl champions is named the Vince Lombardi Trophy in his honor.
Lombardi was known for his strict discipline, attention to detail, and a relentless focus on fundamentals. He emphasized teamwork, perseverance, and a strong work ethic. His coaching style and philosophy had a profound impact on football.
His coaching achievements extended beyond the football field, as his inspirational speeches and leadership principles left a lasting impact on numerous individuals, both within and outside the realm of sports.
Vince Lombardi was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971, the year after his death. His name is synonymous with excellence, leadership, and the pursuit of greatness in the world of football and beyond.
Pro hall of fame
assistant coach, 1939 – 1942
head coach, 1942 – 1947
football & basketball coach, 1947
assistant coach, 1948
assistant coach, 1949 – 1953
Offensive coordinator, 1954 – 1958
head coach, 1959 – 1967
head coach, 1969 – 1970
“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all of the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.
There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game, and that’s first place. I have finished second twice in my time at Green Bay, and I don’t ever want to finish second again.
There is a second place bowl game, but it is a game for losers played by losers. It is and always has been an American zeal to be first in anything we do, and to win, and to win, and to win…
Every time a football player goes to ply his trade he’s got to play from the ground up – from the soles of his feet right up to his head. Every inch of him has to play. Some guys play with their heads. That’s O.K. You’ve got to be smart to be number one in any business. But more importantly, you’ve got to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body. If you’re lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he’s never going to come off the field second.
Running a football team is no different than running any other kind of organization – an army, a political party or a business. The principles are the same. The object is to win – to beat the other guy. Maybe that sounds hard or cruel. I don’t think it is.
It is a reality of life that men are competitive and the most competitive games draw the most competitive men. That’s why they are there – to compete. The object is to win fairly, squarely, by the rules – but to win.
And in truth, I’ve never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline. There is something in good men that really yearns for discipline and the harsh reality of head to head combat.
I don’t say these things because I believe in the ‘brute’ nature of men or that men must be brutalized to be combative. I believe in God, and I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour — his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear — is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.”
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