Grant Teaff, in his 20th year as executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, coached Baylor University for 21 seasons, 1972-92.
Teaff's Baylor teams went 170-151-8 and won Southwest Conference titles in 1974 and 1980. The former season was called the Miracle on the Brazos, after Baylor had endured 10 straight non-winning seasons.
Now Teaff is enjoying another Baylor renaissance; the Bears are unbeaten and ranked sixth nationally going into their Thursday night game against OU.
I try to say this in a very humble way and not in a self-serving manner at all. Winning a championship in '74 turned everything around at Baylor. The mentality that was created by winning and beating Texas, who they hadn't beaten in 17 years, and we made a very strong habit of that. So much of it was the mentality that developed.
The administration spent the night in Baylor Stadium after the ('74 Texas) game, with the scoreboard on. Spent all night looking at it. That's the shock that was radiated across the campus.
My first book, I've written six, was called “I Believe.” That really was the story of what we were able to do with the turnaround. We were able to convince, not only our players and the fans, but the administration, who at the level when I came in, did not really believe that Baylor could compete. They wanted to, but they didn't really believe that.
There's been people that say, look, Baylor was headed in a direction, drop the program, blah, blah, blah. They had had some miserable times. Stadium had been there 21 years and about all that had been done to it was some paint put on the wood.
It changed the mentality, is what it did. It gave Baylor the pride that they could stand toe to toe and win. That is really an important step. There has to be that moment when things change. That's what happened with the '74 championship.
I grew up in Snyder (Texas). Eighty miles south of Lubbock, 80 miles west of Abilene. It gave me everything. First of all, I had a family that were hardworking people. I was born in 1933, and there weren't many jobs. My father found a way every year to support his family. He couldn't go to college, he married my mom, and I came along. He was an amazingly hardworking individual who found a way to take care of his family. Growing up in that environment, I was given a set of values that has been amazing throughout my lifetime. They have always allowed me to settle in on the strengths of the values I was taught. Work ethic. I not only heard the importance of an individual working hard, but I saw it.