Marquise Moore was interviewed last week by the American Sports Network to discuss his Atlantic 10 player of year week award, the team’s current winning streak, and the program’s first ever triple-double. But I think the most interesting part of the interview was when Moore was asked if the team had any mottos or fun slogans. His response was a quote that Dave Paulsen uses “burn your boats”, that essentially stands for a team being ‘all in’ and like soldiers against great odds, never retreating. You can hear Moore talk about it at the 3:43 mark of the video below:
The motto and vision for the program dates back to Paulsen’s earlier coaching days at Bucknell. This is from a 2010 practice:
“Paulsen basically had to get it through to his guys that no one is going to help them. They had to show up Wednesday, leaving everything they have on shore and protect their house.
Burn your boats, boys.
We’re not leaving until we get this done one way or another. We’re either going to carry the day, or we’re going down swinging.”
I reached out to Paulsen about the motto and he said basically it’s a “historical reference to an “all in” mentality – can’t have one foot on land, one foot in water ready to retreat when times are tough, you’re not playing as much as you’d like, don’t like your role etc. One of single biggest challenges as coach is to get total buy in.”
Here is an example of a handout he gives to his players each season:
Many have asked about our "Burn Your Boats" slogan which is a guiding vision of our program. Here it is. pic.twitter.com/LL0zUP284O
— Dave Paulsen (@PaulsenDave) September 11, 2013
It certainly seems like he has gotten this group to buy in.
[Photo by Bill Bride]