SPEECH TITLES AND/OR TOPICS
Leadership | Motivation | Sports | Teamwork
Through the ages, there have been great men who have had a major influence on the people with whom they have come into contact. One such man is Hall of Famer, former Buffalo Bills Head Coach, Marv Levy. Marv Levy, who has a master's degree from Harvard, is best known as an intelligent and analytical football coach. Perhaps better suited for the political field rather than the football field, Coach Levy led the Buffalo Bills to an unprecedented four straight Super Bowls. He used his education to motivate and shape the careers and lives of many pro football athletes.
Coach Levy, (more affectionately known simply as "Marv") was born in Chicago, Illinois. He went to Coe College in Iowa where he earned 3 varsity letters in football, 4 in track and 1 in basketball. After graduating college, Marv Levy entered law school; however, about three weeks later he made the decision to become a football coach. Instead of another lawyer, the world ended up with one of the greatest football coaches of all time.
Marv Levy's first coaching job was as at Coe College. He went on to serve as head coach at the Country Day School in St. Louis, the University of New Mexico (1958-59), University of California (1960-63) and William and Mary (1964-68). Coach Marv got his first NFL coaching job in 1969 as a special teams coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. In the next few years, he would serve as a special teams coach for both the Rams and the Redskins. He also coached the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League for five years and led them to two Grey Cup championships.
In 1986, Marv Levy was hired to be head football coach of the Buffalo Bills. He went on to become the most successful coach in their history with a 112-70 record (123-78 including post season play.) Behind the likes of Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed and Bruce Smith, it took Marv Levy only two years to lead the Bills to the AFC championship game. The Bills would win the eastern division six out of the next eight seasons and make the playoffs in eight out of the next nine years. During that run, Marv Levy and the Bills would become the only team in NFL history to go to four straight Super Bowls, from 1991-1994. After 47 years of coaching, Marv Levy retired on December 31, 1997. He is remembered not only as the winningest coach in Buffalo Bills history and a Hall of Fame football coach, but also as one of the NFL's classiest individuals. Marv Levy not only molded football players but he also molded men character, class and pride.
In August of 2001, Marv Levy was rewarded for all of his hard work when he was bestowed pro-football highest honor: induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In his NFL coaching career, Marv Levy ranked 10th all-time with a 154-120 record, had a .634 winning percentage, won six division championships and four straight AFC Championships, and is one of only 14 coaches to win 100 games with one NFL team. Equally as impressive, Coach Levy compiled a 17-5 record against the winningest coach in NFL history, Don Shula and the Miami Dolphins.
Coach Levy and the Bills will be remembered for their ability to bounce back and rise again, and in the words of Marv Levy's personal hero Winston Churchill, "Never, never, never, never, never surrender!"
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