Jack Gibson

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Jack Gibson, OAM (27 February 19299 May 2008) was an Australian rugby league footballer and coach. He is best remembered as a coach who introduced new coaching and training methods in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. He was selected as coach of Australian rugby league's Team of the Century. He was well known for collecting quotes and knowing which one to apply to each situation to inspire the team he was coaching.


  • Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead!
    • Gibson quotes the title of the song from The Wizard of Oz at the start of his post-game speech to fans after his Parramatta Eels side win the club their first-ever Australian Rugby League premiership title in 1981 after thirty four years in the competition. Gibson then promptly ended the speech and went back to his celebrating players.
  • He's getting closer.
    • When Mal Meninga had missed a succession of penalty goal attempts during the second Ashes Test in 1984 and another chance hit the upright.
  • He is about as big as Clive Churchill was when he played and he owns an ugly dog.
    • When asked about the weaknesses of his former Parramatta charge Paul Taylor.
  • I realised fairly early that the 'wisdom of the ages' - whether from 3000 years ago or yesterday - often was simply and perfectly adaptable to the context of the football arena, and immensely valuable. From my regular morning habit of reading, I would write down any wise, pragmatic and smart quotes and ideas that struck me, and that I felt could be of use in coaching.
    • On how he displayed the ability to deliver a one-liner or quote that always perfectly summed up a situation.
  • I think he must have an egg-timer - every four minutes, he blows the whistle.
    • On Queensland referee Barry Gomersall.
  • In football, if you are standing still, you're going backwards fast.
    • Gibson shows his passion for constant innovation in his coaching.
  • Kick it to the seagulls.
    • Gibson told a young Peter Sterling to kick the ball into open spaces rather than into the opposition's hands at the end of his team's set of six tackles in possession; seagulls often congregate on empty spaces on sports fields in Australia.
  • Played strong, done good.
    • One of his most famous lines.
  • Talent is secondary to whether players are confident.
    • Gibson often put trust above pure playing ability when selecting teams.
  • That guy is so quick, he can switch off the light and get into bed before the room is dark.
    • Gibson making an assessment on fast winger Andrew Ettingshausen during his summary of a match on television.
  • The use of video evidence is not always conclusive, but it sure beats the memory bank of most witnesses.
    • Gibson is a massive supporter of modern technology being used in top-grade Rugby League to clear up any decisions that the match referee may not be able to adjudicate on definitively.
  • There is nothing in the contract that says a football coach has to be sane or a good loser.
    • Jack on the the science of coaching.
  • There's always free cheese in a mousetrap.
    • One of his favourite sayings.
  • They'd boo Santa Claus, this mob.
    • On the Lang Park crowd during a State of Origin series.
  • They all seem to limp a little extra when they are replaced.
    • After a player was replaced during the 1984 Origin series.
  • Waiting for Cronulla to win a premiership is like leaving the porch lamp on for Harold Holt.
    • Gibson on Cronulla Sharks' long premiership drought.

'The Last Word' by Jack Gibson (with Ian Heads)[edit]

  • The game today is entirely different to when I played. But I still think it's pretty smart. Maybe the biggest change lies in the simple fact that if you're a bit slow today, mentally or physically, you're not going to survive.

'Played Tough, Done Good' by Jack Gibson[edit]

  • To win a championship, you've got to have a nucleus of five or six real tough, hard competitors. To win anything, the team's got to think tough and that infiltrates into the individual. You've got to have a tough leader.
  • The big test in football is how a captain leads under conditions of adversity.


  • The Encyclopedia Of Rugby League; Alan Whiticker & Glen Hudson