[to player who is praying]
Coach Norman Dale: Strap, God wants you on the floor.
[Just before the big game]
Preacher Purl: And David put his hand in the bag and took out a stone and slung it. And it struck the Philistine on the head and he fell to the ground. Amen.
Coach Norman Dale: My practices aren't designed for your enjoyment.
Myra Fleener: Leave him alone, all right? He's a real special kid and, and I have high hopes for him and... I think if he works really hard, he can get an academic scholarship to Wabash College and can get out of this place.
Coach Norman Dale: Why, do you have something against this place?
Coach Norman Dale: I've seen you guys can shoot but there's more to the game than shooting. There's fundamentals and defense.
Coach Norman Dale: If you put your effort and concentration into playing to your potential, to be the best that you can be, I don't care what the scoreboard says at the end of the game, in my book we're gonna be winners.
Myra Fleener: A man your age comes to a place like this, either he's running away from something or he has nowhere else to go.
Coach Norman Dale: What I'm doing here has *nothing* to do with you.
Myra Fleener: Just stay away from Jimmy. I don't want him coaching in Hickory when *he's* fifty.
[Strap is continuing his prayer as the team gets ready to leave the locker room]
Coach Norman Dale: Strap?
[to another player]
Coach Norman Dale: How long is he going to go on like this?
Rade: I don't know. He'll come when he's ready, not before.
Coach Norman Dale: Hopefully that'll be sometime before tip-off.
Coach Norman Dale: There's a, um tradition in tournament play- not talk about the next step until you've climbed the one in front of you. I'm sure going to the state finals is beyond your wildest dreams, so let's just keep it right there.
[about Jimmy Chitwood]
Myra Fleener: You know, a basketball hero around here is treated like a god, er, uh, how can he ever find out what he can really do? I don't want this to be the high point of his life. I've seen them, the real sad ones. They sit around the rest of their lives talking about the glory days when they were seventeen years old.
Coach Norman Dale: You know, most people would kill... to be treated like a god, just for a few moments.
Coach Norman Dale: Five players on the floor functioning as one single unit: team, team, team - no one more important that the other.
Everett Flatch: [Shooter is coaching the team at a critical moment after Coach Dale was ejected] You think #22's gonna take their last shot, Dad?
Wilbur 'Shooter' Flatch: Yeah, probably... they been pickin' low all night. Rade, let yourself get taken out! Uh, Buddy, drop down and take his place! Close that lane!
Wilbur 'Shooter' Flatch: [after Buddy Walker steals the ball] Time! Time!
Wilbur 'Shooter' Flatch: Alright, boys, this is the last shot we got! We're gonna run the picket fence at 'em! Jimmy, you're solo right! Everett, Merle should be open on the other side of that fence! Now, boys, don't get caught watchin' the paint dry!
Coach Norman Dale: [as Rade gets up to check in the first game after Merle fouls out, even though Coach Dale has benched him] Where are you going?
Coach Norman Dale: [Rade, puzzled, looks at him] Sit down.
Rade: You gotta have five out there!
Coach Norman Dale: Sit... down!
Referee: You need one more, coach.
Coach Norman Dale: My team's on the floor!
Coach Norman Dale: I would hope you would support who we are. Not, who we are not. These six individuals have made a choice to work, a choice to sacrifice, to put themselves on the line 23 nights for the next 4 months, to represent you, this high school. That kind of commitment and effort deserves and demands your respect. This is your team.
Wilbur 'Shooter' Flatch: You gotta promise me you won't get kicked outta no more games!
Coach Norman Dale: Scout's honor.
Opal Fleener: Sun don't shine on the same dog's ass everyday, but, mister you ain't seen a ray of light since you got here.
Wilbur 'Shooter' Flatch: Clete, you tell him. Sectionals of '33, one point down. Five, four, three, two, one, let 'er fly... in and out. Yeah, well, I was fouled...
Wilbur 'Shooter' Flatch: I know everything there is to know about the greatest game ever invented.
Coach Norman Dale: First of all, let's be real friendly here, okay? My name is Norm. Secondly, your coaching days are over.
George: Look, mister, there's... two kinds of dumb, uh... guy that gets naked and runs out in the snow and barks at the moon, and, uh, guy who does the same thing in my living room. First one don't matter, the second one you're kinda forced to deal with.
Coach Norman Dale: Translate. That some sort of threat?
George: I don't know why Cletus drug your tired old bones in here, he musta owed you somethin' fierce. Fact is, mister, you start screwin' up this team, I'll personally hide-strap your ass to a pine rail and send you up the Monon Line!
[George angrily turns and storms out of the gym]
Coach Norman Dale: Leave the ball, will you, George?
Coach Norman Dale: You know, if everyone is as nice as you, country hospitality is gonna get an awful name.
Myra Fleener: What a pleasant thing to say.
Coach Norman Dale: You know, in the ten years that I coached, I never met anybody who wanted to win as badly as I did. I'd do anything I had to do to increase my advantage. Anybody who tried to block the pursuit of that advantage, I'd just push 'em out of the way. Didn't matter who they were, or what they were doing. But that was then. You have special talent, a gift. Not the school's, not the townspeople, not the team's, not Myra Fleener's, not mine. It's yours, to do with what you choose. Because that's what I believe, I can tell you this: I don't care if you play on the team or not.
[a player complains about the training]
Coach Norman Dale: You are in the Army. You're in my Army. Everyday between three and five.
Player: [to shorter player] Didn't know they grew 'em so small on the farm.
Merle Webb: Let's win this game for all the small schools that never had a chance to get here.
Coach Norman Dale: [after sitting an injured Everett] Strap, in for Everett. Don't shoot the ball unless you're under the basket all by yourself!
Coach Norman Dale: [after Strap has scored two quick baskets] What's gotten into you?
Strap Purl: It's the Lord, I can feel His strength!
Coach Norman Dale: What's gotten into you?
Strap Purl: The Lord! I can feel His strength!
Coach Norman Dale: Well... keep His strength in the dribble alright?
Coach Norman Dale: [after history class] What's on your mind?
Everett Flatch: Well, coach... what you're doin' with my dad. I'm not seein' it. I mean, he's a drunk, he'll do somethin' stupid...
Coach Norman Dale: When's the last time anyone gave your father a chance?
Everett Flatch: He don't deserve a chance!
Rollin: [as Jimmy walks in on the town meeting that determines Coach Dale's fate] What can I do for you, Jimmy?
Jimmy Chitwood: I got something to say.
Rollin: All right, say what you've gotta say.
Jimmy Chitwood: [to crowd] I don't know if it'll make any change, but I figured it's time for me to start playing ball.
George: [as crowd is cheering, points to Dale] I told you, once we got rid of him!
Jimmy Chitwood: But, there's just one thing... I play, Coach stays. He goes, I go.
George: [crowd starts murmuring] Uhhh, the coach is dismissed by a vote of 68 to 45...
Opal Fleener: I think we should vote again!
Rollin: All those in favor of the coach staying, say 'Aye'
[majority of crowd says 'Aye']
Rollin: , all opposed...
[a handful say 'nay', tears up George's tally sheet]
Rollin: ...Coach stays!