Top 9 Coach Taylor Quotes from Friday Night Lights

by Lauren Thomas
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In 2006 we were first introduced to a man who would quickly become a legend. Coach Eric Taylor, portrayed by the legendary Kyle Chandler, was a high school football coach from the fictional Dillon, Texas. We instantaneously fell in love with the man who refused to lower his standards for excellence and always strived to be the best. He was a compassionate father, a faithful husband, a strong leader, and a good friend. And today we’re taking a look at his Top 9 moments of wisdom.

Here are the Top 9 Coach Taylor Quotes from Friday Night Lights.

On opportunities.

“Opportunity does not knock. It presents itself when you beat down the door.”

In this quote, Eric makes his stance known on life’s opportunities. You are never handed anything on a silver platter, ready for the taking at your own leisure. The best things in life come only when you fight for them and accept nothing less. And we couldn’t agree more.

On taking chances.

“You get one chance in life, fellas. You can either take advantage of it, or you can piss it away. […] do the latter, and you’re gonna regret it the rest of your lives.”

Another hard taste of truth, here Coach lets his team in on a dose of reality: You only get one shot. How it turns out depends entirely on what you do with it. Your dedication and hard work will ultimately be the things that determine your future.

On where to listen.

“You listen to people that love you and you listen to people that you trust. Most of all, you listen to yourself.”

Here, Eric heads for the heartstrings. And he has a point. In life, there are only a select few people we should really take advice from. That primarily includes the people that truly care about you. However, at the end of the day, the only person you can really listen to for the right answer is the one inside of you.

On the art of failure.

“Every man at some point in his life is gonna lose a battle. He’s gonna fight and he’s gonna lose. But what makes him a man, is that in the midst of that battle he does not lose himself.”

One of the things we love most about Coach Taylor is that he doesn’t sugar coat anything. In this quote, he makes no attempt to hide the harsh truth. Life is hard. You aren’t always going to win. But what sets the good apart from the great is the ability to pick yourself up and keep going. And we couldn’t agree more.

On being the best.

“Listen to me. I said you need to strive to better than everyone else. I didn’t say you needed to be better than everyone else. But you gotta try. That’s what character is. It’s in the trying.”

Another moment of clarity. This is a quote we especially love. Once again, Coach hits it right on the head. You don’t have to be better. You just have to try to be better. Life isn’t about being the best. It’s about trying to be your personal best.

On basic facts.

“Stay away from dumb, gentlemen.”

Taking a change in direction, here Eric strays away from the sentimental. Instead, he goes for the brash truth. Sometimes we all need a swift dose of reality to wake us up. And in this moment Coach did just that. Unhappy with his team, he hands out this gem. Every now and then we just need a simple reminder.

On being the best.

“Champions don’t give up. Champions don’t complain. […] give 200 percent. You’re not champions until you’ve earned it.”

In an iconic scene, Coach Taylor shouts out these words as his team runs drills amidst a downpour. And they strike us all right in the heart. If they want to be champions, they’ll have to earn it. Being the best doesn’t come without hard work and endless dedication. And in this scene the Panthers finally start to realize that.

On strength.

“Give all of us gathered here tonight the strength to remember that life is so very fragile. We are all vulnerable, and we will all, at some point in our lives… fall. We will all fall. […] We will be tested to our very souls. […] now all be tested. It is these times, it is this pain, that allows us to look inside ourselves.”

This is the iconic monologue in the Pilot episode after Jason Street is wheeled off the field. We see a stunning mix of shots between the quarterback at the hospital and the rest of the town left behind. However, this is a town all about football. And a boy has just suffered a terrifying injury on the field. In this speech, Coach Taylor reminds us that nothing is untouchable. And at the end of the day, we must all look inside ourselves for strength.

On heart.

“Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.”

Of course we saved the best for last. The six most iconic words in the show, this is the motto Coach Taylor is known for. He says it every game and during practice, and we love it every time. Eyes open to see, hearts full and ready, you really can’t do anything except win.

And that’s our list! Tell us if we missed any of your favorites in the comments!

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