#InspiredCoaching: Coaches talk success, purpose, effectiveness

University of Oregon Head Football Coach Mario Cristobal holds a football while standing in an empty stadium. He provided Amway Connections with Inspired Coaching advice.

What does it mean to be successful? How do you know you’re effective at your job? Do you find purpose in your work? How do you know you’re leaving a mark?

These questions will make anyone think, possibly reassess a few life choices and undoubtedly yield wisdom for others – especially when put to some of college football’s most successful coaches.

Thanks to the Amway Coaches’ Poll partnership between Amway, USA TODAY and the American Football Coaches Association, we were able to do just that.

Penn State Head Coach James Franklin, University of Oregon Head Coach Mario Cristobal and U.S. Naval Academy Head Coach Ken Niumatalolo took time to answer some of those questions for a piece on USATODAY.com.

Here are a few highlights…

Being effective

In order to be effective, you have to want the right things.

“Never chase money,” Cristobal said. “Chase what you feel in your heart and what is best for you and your family.”

For Niumatalolo, it’s about integrity.

“What you do speaks louder than anything you can say,” he said. “I just want to make sure that my example of how I am as a man speaks very loudly to my players.”

Penn State Head Football Coach James Franklin leans against the railing in the stands of an empty stadium. He provided Amway Connections with Inspired Coaching advice.


Success as far more than winning on the field, Franklin said.

“It’s when these players come back as fathers and as husbands and leaders in their communities and CEOs of major organizations,” he said. “That’s when you’re going to really figure out if all the hard work and all the time spent was worth it.”

Success is about his family, too.

“When I come home, and my wife and kids and my daughters run up and give me hugs and kisses, whether we’ve won or whether we’ve lost, it’s my home,” he said. “It’s my family.  It’s my life. Those are the things that ultimately matter.”

Niumatalolo echoed that.

“You can be successful and make all the money in the world, but if you’re not happy at home, it doesn’t matter.”

Finding your passion

Most successful coaches won’t look at their role as merely a job or a paycheck, and Niumatalolo is among them.

“I never saw the long hours,” he said. “I wasn’t ever looking at the clock. I loved it. It wasn’t a job, it was a passion.”

Ken Niumatalolo, head football coach of the U.S. Naval Academy, stands in the middle of the empty stadium where his team plays. He provided Amway Connections with Inspired Coaching advice.


Want to read more? See the whole piece at USATODAY.com and read other blogs about #inspiredcoaching at AmwayConnections.com.

To learn more about Amway’s fun sponsorship of the Amway Coaches Poll and Amway Coaches’ Trophy, visit Amway.com.

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