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Episode 96- Bruce Pearl on Coaching Your Team to Outperform Expectations

August 6, 2020 • Athletes & Coaches
Bruce Pearl

In six seasons as the men’s basketball coach at Auburn, Bruce Pearl has led the Tigers to two SEC championships, back-to-back NCAA Tournament berths and the program’s first ever trip to the Final Four. It’s success he’s replicated at every stop of his 25-year coaching career. A proven winner, Bruce still coaches with a chip on his shoulder and his teams reflect that fighter mentality. On this episode, we talk about his unlikely journey from student manager to big-time college coach, what drives him, and how he consistently gets his teams to outperform expectations.

Follow Bruce: Twitter

Show Notes

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  • Bruce’s unlikely journey from student manager to big-time college basketball coach (1:45)
  • The story of how Bruce stepped in as the Boston College Eagles mascot (3:20)
  • How he got into coaching (4:05)
  • Embracing a non-linear career path (5:16)
  • Surround yourself by great people and empower them. (6:21)
  • Generals need soldiers. Not everyone has to be a great leader. (6:47)
  • What Bruce thinks of his reputation as a salesman (8:40)
  • The “chip on his shoulder” mentality that drives him (9:48)
  • How he helps his team members outperform expectations (10:46)
  • How Auburn has built a successful program with overlooked 3 and 4-star recruits (11:59)
  • Treat your team members fairly; don’t treat them the same (13:04)
  • Why he embraces the underdog role (15:46)
  • What he learned in his time away from basketball (16:37)
  • The one thing he wished he knew earlier in his coaching career (18:43)
  • How he’s evolved as a leader over the years (20:00)
  • His favorite Pat Summitt stories (21:30)
  • “It’s not whether you can. It’s whether you will.” – Bill Belichick (27:27)


Resources / People Mentioned

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