"When a passionate vision is combined with a proactive daily attempt to succeed, the vision will manifest itself into reality.''
The dream could have taken him down a different path if Marc Trestman had heeded the advice of a well-respected elder.
Onetime Miami coach Howard Schnellenberger remembered when a young Trestman sat in his office before the 1981 football season and pleaded for an opportunity. Trestman had just completed law school.
"I asked him what he wanted to do after graduation, and he said, 'I want to coach.' And I told him, 'You're out of your damn mind,'" Schnellenberger said. "I was like, 'You have a law degree and you already have an invitation to join one of the top law firms in Miami Dade County.'
"I spent a few months trying to talk him out of being a coach. As hard as I tried, I couldn't convince him that he was being an (idiot).''
Schnellenberger finally caved after initially turning Trestman down, allowing Trestman to come on staff as a volunteer quarterbacks coach. As Schnellenberger explained, the NCAA frowned upon the whole volunteer-coach label at that time, so he was forced to give Trestman a salary.
"That was around the time Jim Kelly was graduating, and so we're leaving this guy responsible for the training of Bernie Kosar, Vinny Testaverde,'' Schnellenberger said. "With Marc there, it was really smooth. We win a national championship (1983), and I didn't have to spend as much time with the quarterbacks. He was there to refine and be detailed."
The two continue to share a bond. Schnellenberger, a longtime college head coach who also led the Baltimore Colts briefly, probably wonders if he was the "idiot'' after watching Trestman leave behind the CFL Montreal Alouettes to succeed Lovie Smith — who once tried to hire Trestman as offensive coordinator (2004).
Trestman brings with him a resume that includes tutoring Steve Young, Rich Gannon and Jerry Rice and being mentored by Bill Walsh, Bud Grant and Jon Gruden.
"Marc wasn't born into the NFL like so many of the other coaches," Schnellenberger said. "He had to work his way up to that position.''
Trestman's background includes 12 previous coaching stops — 13 if you include the offensive coordinator role he briefly accepted with Schnellenberger at Louisville before turning it down.
It always left Schnellenberger perplexed when Trestman's name rarely surfaced for NFL head coaching jobs. He figured the fact Trestman never remained in one place very long worked against him in the coaching circles.
There was another barrier he noticed.
"He developed such a superior position just by his presence and how he handled himself, and, you know, in the NFL, that's pretty much a buddy-buddy situation,'' Schnellenberger said. "If some young guy rises up and blows by them, they have a problem with that.''
There was at least one head-coaching job Trestman should have secured well before he joined the Alouettes in 2008. And it wasn't in the NFL.
In 2007, Trestman was in contention for the top job at Minnesota. The position, however, went to Illinois grad Tim Brewster.
Former NFL linebacker Bob Stein, the first president and CEO of the Minnesota Timberwolves, was Trestman's agent at one point.
"He interviewed at Minnesota, but it ended up being a much better fit for him to go to Canada,'' Stein said. "Tim Brewster? Oh my God. I don't want to beat up on the guy at this point, but he really had no qualifications.''