10 Coaches Who Give the Best Locker Room Speeches
Not every college football coach is created equal.
For every Nick Saban and Les Miles, there are two or three Robb Akeys who can't hold down the job.
And it's not just in on-field performance where these guys differ.
Some coaches know how to speak, and speak well, having the ability to motivate, congratulate and celebrate with a flair and panache that many of us will never hope to attain.
That's who this list is about—nine current head coaches and one blast from the past who have/had the ability to convey their emotion to their team, and in turn feed off the team's locker room energy and celebrate with the best of them.
10. Bear Bryant
The Bear was, without argument, one of the greatest coaches to ever walk a sideline.
In this video, we see demonstrated part of the reason why.
This is the only clip found here that is not of a current coach, but the man deserves all the homage he gets.
He's quiet, not too worked up, but demonstrates an intensity and confidence that inspired the best in his players.
9. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
No speeches or great oratory here.
However, this remix of Mike Gundy's dance after his squad's victory over a top-10 ranked Texas A&M team back in 2011 is epic.
Not often do we get to see video of coaches having a good time in this way with their team after a game, but Gundy's moves spawned a segment on ESPN and became something that Oklahoma State fans still love to reminisce about.
No, it's not disrespectful, just a coach that knows how to have a great time with his team.
8. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
Brian Kelly, for all of his team's exposed flaws in the BCS title game, has done a great job in his short time at Notre Dame.
He's passionate, has made sound coaching decisions and hasn't besmirched the name of the university too bad to this point.
Repeatedly over the course of his tenure, the Irish have been down at halftime and had to make a comeback to win the game.
Statements such as Kelly's in this clip help to motivate his team.
7. James Franklin, Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin knows how to celebrate a victory.
In the middle of this clip, around the 4:30 mark, Franklin heads to the Vanderbilt locker room to celebrate his team's victory.
En route, he bumps into the team mascot. Chaos ensues as Franklin scoops up the mascot and hurls him into the locker room—after which both coach and mascot disappear under a mass of celebrating players.
Both emerged unscathed, and Franklin's infectious enthusiasm has continued to bubble over repeatedly.
6. Les Miles, LSU
The intensity, fire and passion to win are all present in his locker room demeanor, and although it appears he will always play second fiddle to "Nicky Satan" over at Alabama, he's a great coach in his own right.
Miles' intensity is second to none, and it comes through in his locker room speeches.
5. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
This is a coach who knows how to relate and excite his players.
Coming off of Texas A&M's 30-27 win over Ole Miss, Kevin Sumlin joined his boys in the locker room for some jubilation.
While there are other celebrations on this list, Sumlin's exuberant run through the locker room amping up his players is an excellent example of why he has become one of college football's hottest coaching commodities.
4. Bo Pelini, Nebraska
Anyone who watches Nebraska coach Bo Pelini understands that he is an intense, invested man who puts everything he has into coaching.
He has been maligned and ridiculed for his somewhat aggressive demeanor.
However, he has helped keep Nebraska respectable in the Big Ten, in spite of a difficult conference switch.
All that aside, Pelini deserves some credit for his ability to change gears and give credit where it is due.
He takes the opportunity to do so in the clip found here, after the Huskers made their biggest comeback in history against Ohio State at home to win the game.
3. Mark Hudspeth, ULL
This particular speech was prior to the Ragin' Cajuns' first bowl win last season.
Coach Mark Hudspeth obviously knows how to make his wishes, feelings and passion known, and to pass them on to anyone in the room.
That's what it takes to be a great speaker—the ability to share your emotion with your audience.
There are other instances of Hudspeth making passionate pleas with his players to get the job done, but this one, prior to the program's first-ever bowl win, is not only one of his best, it's one of the best available by a current head coach.
2. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina
We love to laugh at Coach Spurrier; the man is constantly dropping nuggets of wisdom that leave his audience in stitches.
In one of his more recent gems, Spurrier was involved in a war of words with in-state rival head coach Dabo Swinney.
Spurrier, in spite of his age (67), continues to crackle with wit and wisdom.
Although, in this particular clip, taken after the Gamecocks clinched a berth in the SEC title game a few years back, Spurrier completely forgets the game SC has left on the schedule against Clemson, telling the team they are going to "get ready for Atlanta."
All slips of the tongue aside, there are few coaches that have been more consistent, or know how to get men motivated the way that Spurrier is able to.
1. Dabo Swinney, Clemson
Dabo Swinney is excitable.
After Clemson's bowl game upset of LSU, Swinney grabbed ESPN reporter Jeannine Edwards in a bear hug and twirled her around.
The exuberance has been seen on other occasions, and it was even present back in 2009 after a win against Coastal Carolina.
Let's see, Dabo mentions that ACC stands for "Another Clemson Championship," uses the term "November to remember" and tells his players to "bring an axe to work" all in the space of roughly 43 seconds.
At the very least, he's entertaining in the locker room.