Quotes from New Football Coaches Summers and Turner

Jan. 23, 2010

 

Head coach Joker Phillips and new football assistant coaches Mike Summers and David Turner had an opportunity to meet and take questions from the media on Sat., Jan. 23 at Rupp Arena.

Mike Summers, Offensive Line Coach

On telling Coach Bobby Petrino that this was a job you couldn't pass up...

"The opportunity is something exciting to me, it's energizing and is something in the back of my mind that I have always wanted to do. The coaching path takes you a lot of different directions, and certainly mine has done that, but Lexington has always been home to me, and the opportunity to come back here was something I couldn't pass up."

On if Coach Petrino was respectful of that...

"Well, we have had seven years invested with each other and it is a difficult separation because of the time we put together, but this opportunity was something really exciting not only to me but to my family separation because of the time we put together. I am here because of Coach Phillips, and we have had a relationship for a long time, dating back to when he was a player here and the opportunity to come back here and be a part of his staff was really important to me."

On the transition to Lexington...

"It has been a whirlwind. We loaded everything we could into our truck and headed this way, and it has been nonstop since we have been here. It has been so exciting and so energizing to be a part of this staff, and to be with Coach Phillips. The passion that he has for Kentucky football and all of us have on this staff as far as being successful, you can feel it every day you come into the office, and certainly that shows on the recruiting trail as well."

On if you have coached this kind of a physical style...

"I think that on the offensive line, that is a reputation you would like to have. I am appreciative of the words he had to say, I think those guys up there embody the contact part of the sport, and that offensive line has to be the most physically dominant position on the field, and I think that we can establish that attitude. We have players that believe in that, and trust what they have been told. I think that is the style of play we will see."

On if it is a good time for change for you...

"It presented itself, and that is what got me here. Coach Phillips is someone that I really respect and am excited to come to work for."

On if it is accurate that you make it easier for linemen to see what they are supposed to do...

"Well, I consider myself a teacher. I think that the way you present the stuff you are trying to communicate, and reaching them on a number of different levels, allows them to understand what you are doing and certainly when the whistle blows, they have to go across the white line. Your ability to communicate and get them to know what to do with a very large man about a foot away from them is important, and I think that I have been fortunate in my career to be at a number of places where that message has gotten through."

On if you have been able to study your personnel yet...

"That part is yet to come.  We have had a meeting with all those guys and I introduced myself to them, told them my background, and how when I was 12 years old I would wait in the end zone at Stoll Field and wait to grab the chinstraps and sweatbands of the UK players. So I try to let them know that this is more than just a job to me, and the opportunity to be with Coach Phillips and the opportunity to be here at Kentucky is very important."

David Turner, Defensive Line Coach

On the keys for this year's team...

"It all comes down to fundamentals. You have to have a fundamentally sound defensive line. Coach Phillips talks about being physical and in this league you have to play hard, because it's a tough league. This is a grown man's league. There is only one league better than ours, and that is the NFL. I would like to think that my guys show a physical nature during the game in the way it's played up front. I'm a big believer in keeping things simple. We will be fundamentally sound and simple, guys will know what to do, and we will have fun. It's a game of emotions and the guys need to go out there and have fun, but also play hard, fast, and physical."

On the advantage from having been at Kentucky and in the SEC before...

"The biggest advantage is being a part of this league. Like I said, it is a grown man's league. It takes a while sometimes for coaches to adjust to the speed of the game, but I think it's a plus that I know the league, I understand the league, I know the talent of the league, and I know what it takes. I have been at four (SEC) schools. It has been amazing. This is something, growing up in North Carolina, I did not think I would have the opportunity to coach in the Southeastern Conference. It has been fun and I have been fortunate. There is no comparison, week in and week out, top to bottom, enthusiasm, intensity, fans and passion in the SEC."

On what he brings to the staff and recruiting...

"I have some good contacts that will help. Hopefully there will be some good guys that will be interested in coming to UK. The thing with recruiting from junior college football is that you are trying to fill specific needs. It helps to bring in guys that know football and have been around football. Sometimes they can come in and change things around."

On Kentucky contending for an SEC championship...

"I do not see why that would not be a possibility. If you are not here to be the best then you are in the wrong line of work. Obviously at Kentucky the basketball program has been great and I think that helps. From what I hear and the people I have talked to they want this football program to be the best it can be and I do not see why we cannot contend. It is not going to happen tomorrow, it is going to be a process. That is why I am here. I want to help Coach Phillips build this team and take it to the next level. I think it can be done."

Head Coach Joker Phillips

 

Opening statement...
"A lot of changes have been made. The thing I look at when we are looking for coaches is that I want a guy that can recruit. Everyone understands that our livelihood is recruiting. The next thing in looking to hire a coach is looking at the x's and o's and how he teaches. I think we have hired some great teachers. The last thing we're looking for are guys that have passion for what they do and passion for the place they do it at. We have been able to attract two guys that have a passion for this place. Both have been here before, which is a huge plus for us. They understand the lay of the land, but the lay of the land has changed a little bit since they were last here. Mike Summers, who is a Lexington native, was here when I was school. So I have had a chance to watch him work here and from afar. He's done some amazing things in the offenses he's been in and has put up big numbers. He's been a coordinator and a recruiting coordinator. When you look at the makeup of our staff, we have six ex-recruiting coordinators, which is big. Does it make you a better recruiter? No, it makes you a better organized recruiter. Mike's coached in the NFL , which is one of the things that you have to have in the selling to's in today's recruiting. Kids want to play in the NFL. Mike has that experience and knows how to get guys there."

"The other guy we hired, David Turner, who was here in '93 and '94, has also been a recruiting coordinator. When we were here last, the one thing I saw from his unit was that they were physical. He was at four other schools in the SEC, so we competed against each other. The one thing that I saw was that the team played physical. That's what we want to be. We want to be a physical football team, especially up front. David brings that to us. We are excited to have both of them. We will continue to hire guys like these two guys here. They will have a passion for what they do, will be good recruiters and great teachers."

On whether there will be more adjustments to the staff...
"We just had to have those guys in place now. We have one spot, which was my spot at the wide receiver position. We are evaluating that position and will make changes and go forth with the change we make there. That announcement will come at a later date."

On if the hires would positively impact recruiting...
"They better. If we didn't think they would impact recruiting we would have waited until after recruiting to fill those spots. I've been at home with both of them this past week and they do an unbelievable job. They are great salespeople, which is what you have to be. They have a passion for this place and that is what is important to us."

On how active he is to complete the recruiting class with the spots he has available...
"We're very active. We have three or four spots that we will try to fill. Those spots have to be the right three or four guys. I won't take guys just to take guys. We want to take better than what we have and what we have committed to us. There are a couple of need areas that we need to fill and a couple of guys out there that we will target and will only take if we get those guys. We are not in the position where we think we have to sign 25 guys with all these guys popping up throughout the year. We want to take the next best four guys that we can find out there."

On what the need areas are...
"We always need defensive linemen. We have to find guys that can compete at this level and a high level. That high level is the SEC. We have to get guys that can control the line of scrimmage, and you can never have enough of them. So if there's a guy out there that we have targeted and tried to get to say yes, we have to keep them. We have been in this business a long time and what we haven't had is scholarships at this time of the year. We usually are not able to wait on people. This time we have a chance to wait on some really good football players and defensive linemen. Other need is finding a wide-receiver to add to this class.

On whether he evaluates the talent of his class based on stars...
"We don't worry about stars. We turned Wesley Woodyard into a five-star. We turned Rafael Little into a four or five-star. How many stars does Jeremy Jarmon have? Trevard Lindley is going to be a high draft pick and had very little stars to begin with. We are worried about whether they are making us better. We have to continue to get better players every year."

On whether he was prepared on how hectic the job would be...
"A friend of mine said that there was nothing you can do to prepare you for what is about to happen. He's right. There is a lot dumped into your lap. I have been out recruiting last week and I come into the office with six players lined up. There is an operational guy and a secretary lined up to see you. There is nothing that can prepare you, but you just have to relax and take it one day at a time. It gets slower every day."