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These Broyles Award speeches will be the best coaching education you receive all week


For obvious reasons, there aren't many coaching clinics between the months of September and December. That means the annual Broyles Award ceremony, where the folks in the Rotary Club of Little Rock are smart enough to make each finalist give a speech, is the best coaching clinic there is during the season.

This year's finalists represented the entire spectrum of career stations -- young, up-and-coming coaches, career coordinators who will become head coaches soon, and a former head coach now working on someone else's staff.

We've posted each of the four finalists' (former Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart didn't make it to Little Rock) speeches below, while pulling out the best nuggets of wisdom for you to take and apply to your own career.

Gene Chizik, North Carolina defensive coordinator

Money quote: "Family is the most important thing.... We have a perception about us as coaches and we get liked or disliked, basically, in direct proportion to how many wins or losses we have. That's the way it is. It's never changing. People don't know you. People have no idea who you are as a person. They like you or dislike you based on your record. Right? That's the way it goes. But unfortunately, the wives are left at home to pick up the pieces for the kids that don't really understand that. 'Why do they hate Daddy?' Or, 'why do they love Daddy?' Well, it's because you won 13 games. They have to be the stronghold, and they have to be the head coach of the house, and it is an unbelievable task. I said when I got let go at Auburn, 'Before I let anything affect my family, I'll lay asphalt.' I don't care what I'll do but I'm not letting anything get to my family."

Brent Venables, Clemson defensive coordinator

Money quote: "The most powerful that thing I've received from my coaches was the power of belief. I knew my coaches believed in me. To take that one tool for the rest of my life has really helped me become who I am. It wasn't saying, 'Hey, I believe in you, Brent.' It was how he loved me, how he respected me, how he treated me, how he talked to me."

Kendal Briles, Baylor offensive coordinator

Money quote: "Like a lot of us (who) played high school football, I had the opportunity to play high school football for my dad, who was the head football coach, I was the quarterback. A one-horse town. It's an interesting dynamic. You better win games or you'll get ridiculed pretty bad."

And the winner:

Lincoln Riley,Oklahoma offensive coordinator

Money quote: "Ten years ago I was a student assistant, which is a volunteer coach. My dad was not a big-name high school coach, I was not a big-name recruit. I had no ins to the business. I happened to get an opportunity and took it and ran with it. I know there's a lot of young coaches out there today that are like me and think something like this is never possible. This profession is tough, it's a grind, it's trying, but it's worth it. If you'll keep firing away, if you'll surround yourself with good people like I've been able to do, if you'll keep your mouth shut and just listen and learn, you can really take this thing a long way."