Press Conference Quotes
February 6, 2001
On being named new head football coach at Kentucky
"I want to thank Dr. Wethington and Larry Ivy for giving me this opportunity. I want to thank them for their trust and faith. I want to thank my family for their love and support. I ask for the support of the alumni and the fans who have weathered this whole investigation with us. We need those people to make this transition successful. I just want you to know I am going to do everything in my power to make this football program the best it can possibly be. I have already asked our players for their support. I talked with them this afternoon and they are genuinely excited to roll up their sleeves and get to work to make 2001 a successful season. We are going to do everything we can to right the ship and get this program back on track."
On his emotions from taking over for his old boss
"It's been an emotional 12 hours. I haven't slept a wink yet. I honestly wish it had been under better circumstances. I have been trying to think about some changes we think we need to make. We have talked to the players because they are my number one concern. They are the biggest asset we have in our football program right now, and I wanted them to know that."
On the staff staying intact
"For the most part, I think it will. I talked to the staff today, and I will talk to each one of them individually. We will talk about all that over the next couple days so that we can get it in place and move on. We are going to talk to a couple of people (about being offensive coordinator). We have two or three people in mind right now, and we will see which one is the best fit for us. We are obviously looking for someone who is familiar with our style of football."
On whether he will use the same type of offense
"I think that style of football has been very productive for us here at Kentucky. It is certainly a style I enjoy coaching and playing. We are going to tweak the system a little bit. We have some areas we think we can improve in, and we are certainly going to give those areas attention."
On the challenge of turning around a program after a 2-9 season
"The most important thing that I can see is that our players are resilient. They want to win. I talked to them today, and it was like, 'Coach, any changes you want to make, we are ready to go to work.' Dougie Allen got up, talked to the team. Those guys are ready to rally behind us and keep this thing going. They just want to win."
On this season's recruits
"We've contacted them and the response has been very good."
On whether he will be able to recruit with only one year being guaranteed to coach
"I think so. It's a situation where I asked for an opportunity. I've got it. We are going to go in and sell it to our recruits. It's like Larry Ivy was saying, every coach here gets evaluated on a year-to-year basis, and I don't have any problem with that."
On when he first started talking to Larry Ivy about taking over the program
"We started talking about it just a few days ago, about three days. It was kind of a feeling-out process and was just hypothetical in the beginning. I was here to support Coach Mumme. I didn't want to push him out the door. But the responsibility I have now is to start delegating and letting our coaches coach."
On having the support of the players
"It's better than a sharp stick in the eye [laughter from the audience]. It makes me feel good that they have supported me. That gets me fired up."