What the Coaches Say: 8 Quotes from College Basketball's Greatest Leaders

What the Coaches Say It’s time for the Dance! We hope you’re as excited as we are for March Madness, as the top college basketball teams from across the country compete for a national championship.

The vision of Upward Sports is to develop young athletes mentally, athletically, spiritually, and socially through the 360 Progression™™. We believe that focusing on those four pillars of growth are critical to building total athletes who excel both on and off the court.

To celebrate the beginning of the NCAA tournament, we have compiled some of our favorite quotes from college basketball’s greatest coaches, sorted according to how they apply to one of our pillars. Enjoy!


"What to do with a mistake – recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it."
- Dean Smith, coached at University North Carolina (1961-1997) 

"Mental toughness is to physical as four is to one."
- Bob Knight, coached at Army (1965-1971); Indiana University (1971-2000); Texas Tech (2001-2008)  


"We want to make the other team play a game we think we can play better. We do this by making them play at a speed they’re not used to."
- Pete Newell, coached at University of San Francisco (1946-1950); Michigan State (1950-1954); Cal Berkeley (1954-1960) 

"When the legs go, the heart and the head follow quickly behind."
-Don Meyer, coached at Hamline University (1972-1975); Lipscomb University (1975-1999); Northern State (1999-2010)  


"Material possessions, winning scores, and great reputations are meaningless in the eyes of the Lord, because He knows what we really are and that is all that matters."
- John Wooden, coached at Indiana State (1946-1948); UCLA (1948-1975) 

"To win men for the Master through the gym."
James Naismith, inventor of basketball, explaining his personal vision for the sport. Coached at University of Kansas (1898-1907) 


"Help one kid at a time. He’ll maybe go back and help a few more. In a generation, you’ll have something." 
- Al McGuire, coached at Belmont Abbey College (1957-1964); Marquette (1964-1977) 

"To me, teamwork is the beauty of our sport, where you have five acting as one. You become selfless."
- Mike Krzyzewski, coached at Army (1975-1980); Duke (1980-present)