Heading into the rematch with perennial power Arizona, Bay Area Panthers head Coach Kurt Bryan looks to pull off the upset while navigating the growing pains of an expansion franchise in the Indoor Football League. Bryan discusses the keys to slowing down the six-time champions along with his foundation for remaining positive in the face of life’s obstacles–a critical trait in the inaugural season. The coach breaks down the team’s core principles of “Performance, Class and Culture. He also expresses gratitude to the organization for the commitment and support of his wife, Dolly in taking on the new challenge. Bryan also discusses the creation of his revolutionary A-11 offense in search of a competitive advantage during his time at Piedmont High School.
Panthers’ Kurt Bryan on building winning culture in the IFL
"I'm what's known as an 'over-communicator' so the players never have to wonder what I'm thinking or how I'm feeling. They know it's all about them. The staff is human, too. So don't mistake our kindness for weakness. So that's our approach. Always make sure they know what, how and why we're doing something. So win the day, win the week and win every game. I've never met a player or coach who practices to lose...when things don't go your way, we can either change what we're doing, change how we're doing it and/or change who we're doing it with."
"We've only had two NBA champions over the last twenty two years outside of the top ten in defensive rating. The Warriors were 11th in '17 and then it was the Lakers in '01. I believe they were 21st. So now you look at it and ironically the Celtics led the league in defensive rating and the other three remaining teams also in the top 10. Miami fourth, Golden State second and Dallas seventh. So it's true: offense sales tickets, defense wins championships and you've got a very cohesive connected unit. Excellent shell drill defense by the Celtics and you're right Dave when you switch you have less rotations to contend with. "
"You're supposed to be a good sport. Someone is going to win the game and somebody's going to lose the game...I just remember and athletic director of mine saying 'you can't be so hard on yourself if you miss a shot. If you're willing to take the shot, it's either going to go in or it's not. And if you can't handle those odds then you shouldn't take the shot.' And if you can't handle the odds of 'you might lose this game" also then maybe you shouldn't be a part of it. I think that we ought to be able to fist bump or shake hands and respect what an opponent is capable of doing maybe better than you were capable of doing that day."
"We're trying to figure out what movie she goes hey let's see this movie here. It's Rocky 3. I go 'I don't want to see a boxing movie' and and I didn't I did not want to see a boxing movie I wanted to see something like you know Somewhere in Time or On Golden Pond or something like that, right? So we ended up going to see Rocky 3 and that movie changed my life... I remember the movie opening it said 'starring Sylvester Stallone' and then I remember it said 'written and directed by Sylvester Stallone' and I go and this is when I'm doing extra work in movies and I'm trying to figure out what I'm gonna do. Am I going to be a makeup artist? Am I gonna be a stunt man? Am I gonna be an actor? What am I? I know I want to do something. And I say 'I want to do that." And not to mention the shape that he was in...I've never seen any human being like this in my life so that movie changed my life and it made me do the things that I've done in in the film world."
"We're fascinated by random things. I'll see a weird Tik Tok like this woman who said, 'I just learned that pigs can eat people and to this day in 2022, farmers are having heart attacks in the pig pen and they die because the pigs eat them.' And so I said, 'That's crazy. That is so random. How weird.'...and we had a bunch of calls and text messages and e-mails like 'That does happen. There's a First 48 episode about it' or "My uncle was on a farm and it's true. He lost his brother to a pig eating accident.' So it just goes down a rabbit hole. "
On passion for golf: "It's not a team sport. I think it's all on me. So it's probably one of the first times, maybe the first thing I've ever done where it's all on me. So If I play bad, it's on me. If I'm good it's on me. As a team, we're winning together, we're playing well together, playing bad together. The second part, it's a nice mental break from soccer...In any aspect of life, you can't really harp and (focus ) on one thing all the time."