25 Bill Bowerman Quotes For Champions

Cross the finish line of your greatness with our Bill Bowerman quotes. 

When it comes to pushing yourself and reaching new levels, it is hard to match the work ethic of Bill Bowerman. 

Bowerman impacted millions of people with his brand of success. 

Find out how with our Bill Bowerman quotes below. 

Who was Bill Bowerman?

Bill Bowerman is a world-famous track and field coach and one of the co-founders of Nike

Check out these interesting Bill Bowerman facts below:

  • He coached at Oregon University for 24 years. 
  • Bowerman trained 31 Olympic athletes and 51 All-Americans. 
  • He designed two of Nike’s most popular shoes, the Cortez and Waffle Racer.

Bowerman is an elite-level track and field coach but never liked being called a coach.

He often said, “One of my principles is, ‘Don’t over-coach.’”

Rather, he enjoyed helping athletes discover the greatness inside of them by guiding them, not coaching. 

He would joke to his athletes, “God determines how fast you’re going to run; I can help only with the mechanics.” 

Hubris aside, Bowerman’s impact on the world of sports and business is undeniable. 

For Bowerman, life was like a race

Bowerman compared life to a race, and the analogy is fitting. 

He noted, “As I have said in the past, one of the reasons that I love running so much is that I am learning something all of the time.”

Running was his classroom, which is why he shared, “Many of the lessons that I learn are not just applicable to running but to life itself.”

How did Bowerman change athletics?

Aside from training various elite and Olympic athletes, Bowerman shifted how athletes perform from the boardroom.

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As a founding member of Nike, one of the world’s largest footwear and apparel brands, he helped transform how athletes and people perceive sports and competition. 

Under his guidance, Nike went from a company that distributed other shoe brands to one that designed and manufactured its shoes in-house. 

What was Bill Bowerman’s goal?

Bowerman wanted to empower people. 

When asked what drove him to keep working, he answered, “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”

We can all benefit from the example of people like Bill Bowerman. 

To learn more, check out our Bill Bowerman quotes below. 

Short Bill Bowerman quotes about victory

Check out these short and sweet quotes about winning

1. “Victory is in having done your best.” — Bill Bowerman

2. “If you’ve done your best, you’ve won.” — Bill Bowerman

3. “Everything you need is already inside.” — Bill Bowerman

4. “The importance is in the process and our motives.” — Bill Bowerman

5. “We should treat ourselves and others with the utmost care, meaning, ‘We believe!’” — Bill Bowerman

Famous Bill Bowerman quotes about teachers and students

Bowerman considers humility an essential factor for authentic learning

6. “Basic principles never change.” — Bill Bowerman

7. “A teacher is never too smart to learn from his pupils.” — Bill Bowerman

8. “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just soft people.” — Bill Bowerman

9. “If you have no talent, you have no limits. It’s all an act of will.” — Bill Bowerman

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10. “See, what’s good for you might not be worth a darn for the next guy.” — Bill Bowerman

The top Bill Bowerman quotes about talent and working hard

Bowerman was a firm believer in defining your own greatness

11. “Don’t give anything away.” — Bill Bowerman

12. “Never make it easy for the guys you are trying to beat.” — Bill Bowerman

13. “Your insistence that you have no talent is the ultimate vanity.” — Bill Bowerman

14. “The idea that the harder you work, the better you’re going to be is just garbage.” — Bill Bowerman

15. “The greatest improvement is made by the man or woman who works most intelligently.” — Bill Bowerman

The best Bill Bowerman quotes about running a business like a race

Bowerman was a master of sports-business analogies. 

16. “If at the end of a race, you know yourself that you have done your best, you’re a winner.” — Bill Bowerman

17. “We should always strive to be our best and to believe in ourselves, even if we don’t always achieve our immediate goal.” — Bill Bowerman

18. “There are few things that can compare to being young and healthy and a part of a team that you want to be on, and doing well as well as you could and being proud.” — Bill Bowerman

19. “If someone says, ‘Hey, I ran 100 miles this week. How far did you run?’  Ignore him! What the hell difference does it make? The magic is in the man, not the 100 miles.” — Bill Bowerman

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20. “The alternative is costly to our health, to what we can achieve, and to what the world will miss. Personal values, sports training, and business believing isn’t relegated to any sector!” — Bill Bowerman

Bill Bowerman quotes and sayings about running and life 

Check out these awesome quotes. 

21. “If you have a body, you are an athlete!” — Bill Bowerman

22. “You don’t run at the mouth; you run on the track.” — Bill Bowerman

23. “It’s easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission.” — Bill Bowerman

24. “As long as we live, we can benefit from exercise; we need exercise.” — Bill Bowerman

25. “Running, one might say, is basically an absurd past-time upon which to be exhausting ourselves.” — Bill Bowerman

What does victory look like for you?

The word Nike means victory, and Bowerman was all about personal victories. 

Each of us will run a different race in life, and it is a mistake to compare goals. 

What does victory look like for you?

Be sure to let us know in the comments section below. 

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