VINCE LOMBARDI, THE TEACHER. In Lombardi’s first eight years of coaching at a high school, he also taught Latin, chemistry, and physics. He was known for his ability to simplify complicated subjects.
Bill Curry played in the NFL for ten years and then was a head coach for more than 15 years at major college programs. He is quoted here about Lombardi teaching him some essentials of the Packer offense on Curry’s second day a professional player: “His sure hand, orderly mind, and clear language described actions in terms a child could understand….How great a teacher was Vince Lombardi? The best way to answer that is to tell you that, 43 years later, I remember each one of the plays he outlined for me that day. I can draw each assignment, make the calls, and teach their installation. I remember the coaching points for the guards, tackles, and tight ends. I remember it all, as if it were yesterday.”
The year before Lombardi became the Packer coach, they had won one game, lost ten and tied one. They were described as a “dispirited” group. There is a story about one of the Packer players who had been on the team the year before. At the first meeting of the team with their new coach, Lombardi explained the new Packer offense to the team. Having heard only Lombardi’s lecture, the player called his wife and told her that the team was going to win.