Grit Machine DNA: David Dempsey

by | Jan 13, 2022

Coach David Dempsey, the epitome of servant leadership

Listen to the full podcast here. 

Coach Dempsey was my high school football coach and continues to serve as my lifelong mentor. Along with my father, Coach Dempsey taught me how to be accountable, how to serve others, how to lead from the front, how to live with integrity, how to stand up for what’s right and to never, ever back down especially if God is on your side.

Coach Dempsey is a man of few, but powerful words.  Although he coached me well over 30 years ago, I still adhere to many of the lessons he taught me about life on and off the football field.  He is one of the many angels God used to help shape me and guide me.

One of the many incredible things about Coach Dempsey is that he helped hundreds of men and women like me go to college.  His legacy has impacted hundreds of people to this day and he is not done!

Coach Dempsey has a lot of memorable lessons that I still cherish, and I use them still to this day.  He even coined the phrase Grit Machine DNA when I was in high school to define the type of grit we were building.

Among the many lessons he taught me I include these:

  • Do what’s right, no matter the consequences
  • People don’t have to believe what you say, they have to believe what you do
  • The only person who can stop you is the person who is staring back at you in the mirror
  • Leadership is not about who is the most popular person, it’s about who leads best by example regardless of who is watching
  • Football is not about the X’s and the O’s, it’s about the Jimmies and the Joe’s