Favorite Quotes of Walt Fiegel
“Go home, give your mother a hug and a kiss and tell her that you love her.”
“Tough Times Don’t Last, Tough People Do.”
“Don’t ever forget where you came from.”
“Treat your girlfriend well. Someday she could be your daughter.”
“By God, when you get off the bus, I want it cleaner than when you got on the bus…pick up all that crap you eat in the back. Hurry up!”
“I know how to get to that dome in Cedar Falls. I know the back roads.”
“The name on the front of your jersey represents who you play for, the name on the back of your jersey represents who raised you. Do them both justice. Be proud of where you come from. Thank God that you are able to wear that jersey.”
“I’m your friend, but I’m not your buddy.”
Walt would end his clinic speeches with this:
“Good Luck! God bless you, and I hope you win ’em all!”
Walt’s way of motivating:
“Hells bells Darin Hildahl…you pushed that Heelan basketball team all over the gym last winter…so they’re gonna be coming after you, Darin…and they’re gonna be double teamin’ you all night on Friday and I’m not sure you’re up to it…that Heelan tackle has a scholarship to Nebraska….you’d better be eatin’ nails this week Darin Hildahl…Darin I’m worried you won’t be able to handle those rich kids from Heelan….I hear they all drive new Camaros and Mustangs…Darin, what is that you drive, an old Ford Pinto…..Hells bells Darin Hildahl, I’m starting to worry…Darin Hildahl, should I be worried?”
“NO SIR COACH FIEGEL!!!!!!”
And then Darin “the Dog” would just go out and beat the snot out of Heelan just as the Croston boys would ….no rich kids were going to push us around…now of course later you would learn that the Heelan kid wasn’t rich and didn’t have a car and was going to Nebraska Wesleyan but Walt never let the facts get in the way of a good motivational speech…
From Dave Adam:
I remember one game when Walt was coaching the East Soph’s and they were in the final seconds and he called time out. Walt wanted to have a field goal, so out on the field he went. He started placing his players exactly were he wanted them. I walked up to him after the game to razz him about this, and he said, “If you think that was bad, you should have heard the ref’s when I asked for a practice kick!” That’s the Walt I loved and miss.
From Greg Hall:
Walt Fiegel is one of the three most influential men in my life. Along with my father and my tight end coach in college, Coach Fiegel pushed me to be the best I could be and most importantly he believed in me before I had the self-confidence to believe in myself. He always thought I could do more than I thought I could do. “Hells bells Greg Hall, you’re the best tight end in the damn state of Iowa and I want you to block that damn Fletcher kid from Central into the damn dressing room behind the end zone.” Then he would take me down to the dressing room and he would pace off the yardage from the back of the end zone to the dressing room….Walt understood visualization well before it became fashionable…
“Now Greg Hall (he always called you by your full name) you have a chance to be another Steve Zediker……now those are big shoes to fill…Steve Zediker is one of the best athletes to ever wear a Black Raider uniform…..now come on over here, Greg Hall…here are the cleats Steve Zediker wore when he played for East…I want you to try them on….(pause while I try on the shoes with the entire team circled around and watching) …ok Greg Hall, now they’re still too big for you to wear….but some day you will wear these shoes because you have as much as ability as Steve Zediker…now I don’t know if you are as smart as Steve Zediker…I don’t know if you have it in you to work as hard as Steve Zediker……but some day you might be able to wear Steve Zediker’s shoes…..right now they are still too big.” I remember walking home from practice and thinking, “Coach Fiegel thinks I could be as good Steve Zediker some day, wow!” And of course Walt knew that I idolized Steve Zediker which is why he made those shoes Steve’s.
Walt Fiegel was the greatest motivational speaker I have ever been around and I’ve been around some good ones including Pat Riley and Rick Pitino…
I would not be where I am today were it not for Walt Fiegel. May God bless his family.
Walt often shared this poem:
An old man going a lone highway
came at the evening, cold and gray,
to a chasm vast and deep and wide,
through which was flowing a swollen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
that swollen tide held no fears for him.
But he paused when safe on the other side,
and built a bridge to span the tide.
“Old Man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“you’re wasting time with building here.
Your journey ends with the ending day.
You never again must pass this way.
You’ve crossed this chasm deep and wide
Why build this bridge at the even’ tide?”
The builder lifted his old gray head,
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“there follow after me today,
a youth, whose feet must pass this way.
This swollen stream that was naught for me,
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim.
Good friend, I am building the bridge for him!”