Vince Lombardi Biography Essay Example
Vincent Thomas Lombardi was an American football coach and executive in the National Football League. He is best known as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers during the 1960s, where he led the team to three straight and five total NFL Championships in seven years, in addition to winning the first two Super Bowls after the 1966 and 1967 NFL seasons. Lombardi began his coaching career as an assistant and later as a head coach at St. Cecilia High School in Englewood, New Jersey. He was an assistant coach at Fordham, at the United States Military Academy, and with the New York Giants before becoming a head coach for the Green Bay Packers from 1959 to 1967 and the Washington Redskins in 1969. He never had a losing season as a head coach in the NFL, compiling a regular season winning percentage of 73.8% (96–34–6), and 90% (9–1) in the postseason for an overall record of 105 wins, 35 losses, and 6 ties in the NFL. The crowning achievement was winning three straight from 1965 to 1967, something no other NFL team has done since postseason play began in 1933. Lombardi resigned as coach of the Packers on Feb. 1, 1968, to focus on his duties as general manager. He was released from his contract as GM on Feb. 6, 1969, so he could return to coaching in Washington. Including his one season there, his overall winning percentage in all games, including the post-season, was .750, the best in NFL history among coaches with at least 100 victories. John Madden is the only other coach to have a winning percentage above .700. Lombardi is considered by many to be the greatest coach in football history, and he is recognized as one of the greatest coaches and leaders in the history of all American sports. The year after his sudden death from cancer in 1970, he was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the NFL Super Bowl trophy was named in his honor.
Lombardi was born June 11th, 1913 in Sheepshead Bay of Brooklyn. Vince was the oldest of 5 siblings and his mother worked at a barbershop that her father started. And Vince's father worked at a butcher shop that he and his brother created. The Lombardi family did well money-wise during the Great Depression and lived in a middle-class neighborhood. Lombardi's main focus growing up wasn’t actually football, it was always to be a priest, he dreamed of becoming a priest one day and actually studied to become one at the Cathedral Preparatory Seminary a part of Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception in Brooklyn, it was a six-year secondary program to become a catholic priest. He played baseball and basketball at the cathedral. But was cut because of his poor athleticism and eyesight. Against school rules, he continued to play football and other sports off-campus throughout his studies at Cathedral. After completing four years at Cathedral he decided not to pursue the priesthood. He enrolled at St. Francis Preparatory high school for the fall of 1932. He played as a fullback on the Terriers' football teams and earned him a spot on the virtual All-City football team. Vince took off with football and became a city hero overnight.
Vince received a football scholarship to Fordham University to play for coach Jim Crowley. At Fordham University, Lombardi was outstanding in the classroom as well as on the football field, where he was one of the group of linemen known as the “Seven Blocks of Granite.” After completing his undergraduate education in business, he studied law at Fordham but then dropped out because he didn’t like it very much, so he decided to play semi professional football, and then entered high-school football coaching. Vince quickly found a love for coaching after he was offered a job to coach at a nearby high school. He coached there for a few years till he was offered a job to be the assistant coach of Fordham and then West Point Military Academy, Lombardi made his way up the ranks all to the NFL. And coached for the Giants, then to the team, he is best known for, the Greenbay Packers. Vince fell in love with the Organization and the team, and he taught and had a very strong Catholic influence on his coaching. Many of his players said he was the most inspirational coach they have ever had, because of his quotes and stories he would tell the team.
Vince grew up in a catholic family and God was always his main focus, he always made sure his players knew that. He always wanted to become a priest but it never really worked out. So Vince picked up football and he became the greatest coach of all time. Vince led the Packers to five NFL championships and never had a losing record he finished his career 89-29 in 10 years of coaching. And Christianity was a huge factor in his success In fact he said all his strength comes from daily mass and receiving reconciliation. He changed Christianity in football, and because of that, he is very important in and out of the church. Christianity really influenced Vince’s life as a kid, because everyone kinda needed something or someone to lean back on, because of the Great Depression, it was a scary time and place with people everywhere on the streets with no home and no money to feed themselves.
To me personally the three most important things about my topic is Vinces work ethic and how he never gave up after getting cut, how devoted and willing to do anything for God, and his love and passion for the game. Vince's work ethic was something like no other, he was in the church every day and still managed to get to practice to coach his team and never let it have a negative influence on practice or the way he acted, he was always ready. He never ever gave up and even after getting cut, he knew football was what he wanted to do. And he kept with it, and look at where he is now in the hall of fame for coaching football and the Super Bowl trophy is named after him he never gave up and now he is at the top that is truly inspiring and something all of us today need to take a look at and consider it, saying I can do that if I try. Next is how devoted he was to God, he attended daily mass every day and revived communion every day, and he said it had a huge influence on his life and he believed that it helped him in his success, and I believe that as well.
Lombardi coached the Green Bay Packers to 5 championships. He also coached the Washington Redskins close to a championship and most likely would have succeeded if his life hadn’t been cut short by cancer.
Former players, foes, and fans alike, all agree that Coach Lombardi was in a class all by himself. He was a great motivator of men and had a keen eye for talent; he could see undiscovered potential in a player. One of the things I discovered about Coach Lombardi while studying his coaching style, is a lesson I have put in my own spiritual life. I know that may sound strange to some people; how can a football coach teach us a spiritual truth?. Well, when football season began and the players reported to training camp for practice and to prepare for the upcoming season, you would see a mix of old seasoned veterans and those who had only played a few years in the NFL, along with the new crop of rookies. Without fail, Coach Lombardi would start training camp with a good dose of back to the basics and fundamentals of the game of football. For all the new players, which included some seasoned veterans that had been traded and rookies, this back-to-basics approach seemed like a waste of time and energy. Those who won championships under Lombardi knew why getting back to the basics was the foundation of why they were the champions but the new players didn’t. As expected, there was a fair amount of grumbling and complaining from the new guys who had never been coached by Lombardi, they were highly annoyed they had to do repetitive drills of the basics they had known since they were children playing the game. After a few days, some of the new players started to get vocal with their strong dissatisfaction with running these drills over and over again. The veterans knew better because they used to think the same way as the new guys, so they patiently waited for Coach Lombardi to passionately explain why doing these simple basic drills over and over again were necessary. Once Coach Lombardi got fed up with them, complaining about his drills, he called the whole team together and addressed their problems. Lombardi was a captivating speaker when he spoke and he held your attention but he didn’t mince words and always got to the point straight away. With his entire team kneeling before him with helmets in hand, the veterans looked at each other with a smile, knowing what was coming. The new players looked confused and frustrated. “Gentlemen, this is a football.” He would then go on to talk the team through the fundamentals of the game; even taking them out on the field to talk about the boundaries, the end zone, and that the goal was to get the football into the end zone. This legendary football coach, Vince Lombardi, was a firm believer that winning teams were the best at doing the fundamentals well. Pretty basic stuff, especially, for professional athletes who had played the game since they were children, and after all, they were the best of the best. But, Coach Lombardi’s instincts proved to be right. Over his nine years of coaching his team, the Green Bay Packers only finished third once, his first year, and took home a championship five times. In fact, his 1966 team won the first Super Bowl, thrashing the Kansas City Chiefs 35–10. That is why Vince Lombardi is by far the greatest coach of all time and one of the most influential and inspirational coaches ever.