40 Best Brian Kelly Quotes On Coaching, Success, and The Process

40 Brian Kelly quotes to motivate you to become your best and experience team success.

motivational best brian kelly quotes

We’ve created a list of the 40 Best Brian Kelly Quotes on coaching and success to help motivate you to reach your goals in life. Brian Kelly is currently the head football coach at the University of Notre Dame, where he has returned the program to a national powerhouse. On top of creating one of the strongest college football programs in the country, Coach Brian Kelly is widely known for his fiery passion for the game of football.

Brian Kelly’s Coaching Career

Since 2010, Coach Kelly has led the fighting Irish on to the field at Notre Dame Stadium after an exceptional season as the head coach of the Cincinnati Bearcats in 2009. In that season, Kelly guided the Bearcats to the Sugar Bowl against the #3 ranked Florida Gators after a 12-0 season. Additionally, Brian Kelly’s Cincinnati team finished the year with the highest academic rating (75% graduation rate) amongst the top 10 BCS teams. 

At Notre Dame, Kelly has been the head coach of the Irish for more than 10 seasons. That accomplishment puts him in the company of Notre Dame Football coaching legends Knute Rockne, Ara Parseghian, and Lou Holtz as the fourth coach in the history of the program to coach more than 10 seasons. 

Since his tenure at Notre Dame, Kelly has earned several accomplishments and honors that have recognized his efforts and success as the head coach of the Irish. Kelly was named the AP College Football Coach of the Year twice (2012 & 2018), the Home Depot Coach of the Year three times (2009, 2012, 2018), the Walter Camp Coach of the Year (2012), and the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year (2018). The 2012 season was most the most notable for Brian Kelly as he led the Fighting Irish to a #1 BCS ranking during that season along with a spot in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game. Kelly did not go home with the trophy that year as the Irish lost to Nick Sagan and the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Championship game. 

As the head coach of Notre Dame, Brian Kelly has been in the media spotlight a ton. And, with that media coverage, Kelly has had the opportunity to share his coaching philosophy to the world. In his “W.I.N.” philosophy, Kelly has produced tons of motivational quotes to help get his players ready to take the field.

We’ve decided that they’re too good not to share, so we’ve created a list of the best Brian Kelly quotes about coaching, experiencing success, and taking leadership of your life to help motivate you to achieve more. 


Brian Kelly Salary & Net Worth

According to USA Today, Brian Kelly earned $2,129,638 in 2018 as the Head Football Coach of the Fighting Irish. In total, Kelly has added more than $11.5 million dollars to his net worth since he started coaching the Fighting Irish in 2012 (no records found for his 2010 & 2011 salary). 

Year Title School Compensation
2018 Head Coach Notre Dame $2,129,638
2017 Head Coach Notre Dame $1,645,847
2016 Head Coach Notre Dame $1,624,730
2015 Head Coach Notre Dame $1,187,272
2014 Head Coach Notre Dame $1,457,284
2013 Head Coach Notre Dame $1,088,179
2012 Head Coach Notre Dame $2,424,301
2011 Head Coach Notre Dame N/A
2010 Head Coach Notre Dame N/A 

40 Best Brian Kelly Quotes about Coaching, Success, and Leadership

40 Best Brian Kelly Quotes on Coaching and Winning

#40 of the Best Brian Kelly Quotes: “To me, it’s about our players, it’s about our coaches giving them a great game plan, it’s about my job to make sure we put together the best possible preparation for our team.”

39. “Look, it is still about a standard. When you catch the ball, you run over three people regardless of who they are, you know. Go ahead, take that, and show that on film.” – Brian Kelly

38. “The most important thing will be how we prepare. I mean, it will be in our preparation. If we do a great job preparing, we can go play the game, play fast, play free and then the best team wins.” – Brian Kelly

37. “It is an ongoing battle in this recruiting process that you’re never exactly where you want to be. You’re always trying to augment, strengthen areas. We’re always, always looking to strengthen the depth of our program.” – Brian Kelly

36. “We came here with a chip on our shoulder today. With the things that went on back home this week and the way we were perceived… we wanted to show the country that in no way, shape, or form could we not win this football game.” – Brian Kelly

35. “I think we will be an underdog every game this season until we prove differently. We will take that and use it as motivation as a whole team, not just the defense. We will be prepared.” – Brian Kelly

34. “The difficult matchups are the kind of matchups that you sign up for.” – Brian Kelly

33. “Im proud that we’ve been able to bring Notre Dame Football back to the level that it should be – and that’s competing for championships.” – Brian Kelly

32. “As a coach, you have to recognize how important it is for players to hold their peers accountable.” – Brian Kelly

31. “We’re trying to find the right guys that fit into our team with their skill set.” – Brian Kelly

#30 of the Best Brian Kelly Quotes: “If you want a championship, you’ve gotta sacrifice.”

29. “I wouldn’t be here today without the great staff that I have.” – Brian Kelly

28. “Everybody wants to be successful, for us to be successful, we need to develop our young men.” – Brian Kelly

27. “As a coach, you need to create an environment on a day-to-day basis where your kids enjoy going to work every day.” – Brian Kelly

26. “For those who like to go to work and look at each day as a challenge and as an exciting opportunity to do new things – we have a chance to connect.” – Brian Kelly

25. “If you want to create an atmosphere where you’re going to be successful, then you have to work on winning every single day.” – Brian Kelly

24. “You can’t start winning until you stop losing.” – Brian Kelly

23. “Anything that takes away from being productive or takes away from the team on a day-to-day basis, has got to be eradicated.” – Brian Kelly

22. “When I go to work each and every day, I know I’ve got the opportunity to be successful.” – Brian Kelly

21. “When guys are playing like it’s work for them, then we have to go to the guys that want to play for fun with passion and energy.” – Brian Kelly

#20 of the Best Brian Kelly Quotes: “I don’t care what your resume says. I don’t care if you were a ‘5-star’, if you had 100 tackles, 80 receptions, or 30 touchdown passes. You better have some damn fire and some energy if you wanna play.”

19. “You can still be an emotional coach and have a fiery side to you, but you have to know when to dial it back or it can be too much.” – Brian Kelly

18. “There’s three types of listeners – Those who don’t listen at all. Those who listen, but who already have a fixed mindset on what they’re going to do. Those that listen and become the best mentors.” – Brian Kelly

17. “Care about others more than you care about yourself. If you show that true compassion for your teammates, you’ll gain the trust on a day-too-day basis.” – Brian Kelly

16. “To give requires great leadership. sometimes you have to step out on that limb and be that trend setter, be that trail blazer to make a difference.” – Brian Kelly

15. “You obviously have to have the skill, but most importantly you’ve got to have the traits – a great character, you’ve gotta be smart, and certainly a guy that has a great attitude – the traits are just as important as any of the skills.” – Brian Kelly

14. “What you don’t want is to be defined by your job. Your job is not who you are. Its about what you’re passionate about. Your passion will define your why.” – Brian Kelly

13. “To be worried about what is out there is not the important piece. The important piece is that you’re prepared to go out and follow your ‘why’.” – Brian Kelly

12. “To be a leader, you have to have that sense of ‘I’m willing to go out on the edge of that limb because I have a vision of what our success is going to look like.” – Brian Kelly

11. “I want the players that understand how important it is to be committed, to be able to trust, and to trust others.” – Brian Kelly


10. “Don’t be someone else. Walk your walk. Be who you are.” – Brian Kelly

brian kelly coaching quote on success and winning

9. “Having a great attitude on a day-to-day basis is a reflection on you and the environment you thrive in.” – Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly coaching quote on positive attitude

8. “It’s those who fight through it, over a long period of time, having ups and downs, and come through it on the other side, will develop the traits that will allow them to have excellence down the road.” – Brian Kelly


7. “Winning starts with the basic values – commitment, trust, caring.” – Brian Kelly

best Brian Kelly quotes on winning commitment

6. “On a day-to-day basis, its about attention to detail. All of the little things – showing up early, never being late, how you do all of the little things means a lot.” – Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly quotes on attention to detail

5. “Winning is about unconscious competence. You don’t have to think about doing the right things.” – Brian Kelly

Best Brian Kelly quote on winning unconscious competence

4. “A good communicator is clear, concise, and to-the-point.” – Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly quote on communication

3. “You’ve done the work. You’re ready to go. Now let’s go out and win the game.” – Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly coaching quote on winning

2. “We have the acronym WIN – Focus on What’s Important Now.” – Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly quote WIN what's important now

1.”Focus on the process and not the outcome.” – Brian Kelly

Brian Kelly coaching quote on winning