I’m Ron Rivera. Play my college football at
the University of California, Berkeley. I was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1984.
So I was part of the 1985 Super Bowl championship team. Started my coaching career. Here I was
fortunate enough to be the 2013 Coach of the Year. Being a football coach, in some ways it mimics
military lifestyle. It’s not about you, it’s about the team. It’s about the unit. It’s
about the group. My father was originally from Puerto Rico,
Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Joined the military. Did his basic at Ft. Dix. He’s done tours
in Germany, France. Did two tours in Vietnam. He spent 32 years in the Army. I was drafted for two years. I came in the
Army as a staff sergeant. I was with the US Army Engineers. We deployed to the Mekong
Delta. My base was right next to where the Navy had the river enforcers. They were fighting.
And it was kind of tough. And the second tour was more rewarding. Because
I was an adviser to the Vietnamese Army. And I get to interact with them. We lived with
the Vietnamese, ate their food. Drank their beer. It was bad. But we drank it anyway.
I used to support the schools, get the stuff they needed, and I helped them a lot. I really
enjoyed it. In all honesty probably the best friends I
had growing up were my brothers. Because that was our support. That’s who we were. There were four boys in our family. When we
lived at Fort Gulik Panama, we had the largest lot on base. They said that this is the biggest yard. So
there’s four kids– they need to get this yard. Part of it was sloping down hill. My oldest
brother had a plan to get the grass cut. So what we did was, since I was the oldest,
Ron was the biggest. I put a rope around him. And I would always go downhill. We’d have to push it up. It worked. Because
he got to push it down hill, while the rest of us all had to push it uphill. In the military, we’d never move unless we
had a plan. And then I taught my kids to do that. You know, you always talked about how to do
things. You always had to think about how you would do things. You’d always, always
plan it out. He would just say, make a plan. John, you
got something? Make a plan. And call me. Call me with the plan. And I’ll be here. Thank you, Dad. [INAUDIBLE] No, no. Dino. I talk too long? And my dad’s favorite word is “scientific.”
because when you’re done with everything, in order, you’re a scientist. You know what the difference between a vision
and a dream is? A dream is something you hope for, you fantasize about, you just hope it
happens. But a vision is something you plan. It’s a goal you set, and you map out, and
you go out and you execute it. When I got to Chicago as a defense coordinator,
we had a vision. We talked about it. We talked about being a championship football team.
We talked about being the number one defense in the league. And we mapped out how we’re
going to do it. Have a vision. Have a goal. Set those goals.
Map out how you’re going to get to where you want to be. And then go out and accomplish
it. Each and every one of you guys have the same opportunities that I had. Make the best
of what you can with those opportunities. At some point, you’ve got to realize it’s
your responsibility as well. So if you want something, go get it. Because they will not
send a limousine. You set the standard. You’ve got to stick
to the standard. You’ve got to hold everybody accountable, yourself included. The buck does
stop with me. I mean, it all falls on my shoulder. At the end of the day, I’m the one responsible.
So again, I set the standard. I delegate the responsibility. But I hold everybody to the
same standard. [MUSIC PLAYING]