May 6, 2011
Press Conference Video from Cat Scratches | Cat Scratches Q and A | Garrison Named Head Coach | Garrison Bio
University of Kentucky gymnastics head coach Tim Garrison was introduced as head coach at a press conference Friday in Memorial Coliseum. Below are quotes from the press conference.
Opening Statement …
“I am very excited to be here at the University of Kentucky. It is a great program. I would like to thank our athletics director Mitch Barnhart, our senior women’s administrator Lisa Peterson and our gymnastics liaison Candice Chaffin. I realize that they have placed a great deal of faith and trust in me and I will do everything in my power to make this program successful.
We have a young team this year. We have two seniors, two juniors, seven sophomores and we are going to have five incoming freshmen. I believe that those seniors will provide a great role and they will mentor those young athletes and bring them along.
Being here for a few short days now I realized that we have everything that we need in place to be successful here at Kentucky. We have tremendous support from our administration. We have support from our academic services, support from our athletic medicine department, strength and condition, nutrition, the list goes on. We have everything that we need here to be successful, including facilities. It is going to be something where now it is up to us to get the job done. We intend to do that.
Finally, I would like to address the community of Lexington. Obviously, for the past four years this program has been top 12 in attendance in gymnastics and that is impressive. That tells me that there is great interest here in gymnastics and our job is to increase that. How we are going to do that is get in the gym and work hard. That way, come January when our season starts, we want to put a lot of people in those seats inside the coliseum. If we are in town, beginning in January on Friday at 7 p.m., we want that coliseum full. We need the support.”
On competing at the highest level in the SEC …
“Top to bottom it is the toughest conference in the country. There is no doubt about that. When I started looking at this position, I basically took a play from President Todd’s playbook and I wrote a business plan. What I mean by that, I started from scratch and wrote a plan on not only what we want to do but how we are going to get there step-by-step. It won’t happen overnight and I told our administration as much. They seem to be on board with that. It is going to take some time to turn it around and it will take time to climb that ladder but we intend to do it.”
On the feedback that the players have given him after meeting with them …
“They are a fairly quite group for the most part except for the seniors. But from the seniors I had great feedback. They are looking forward to moving forward with this program. We are going to make some changes and raise the expectation level and I expect great things from all of them.”
On his style of coaching …
“Passive wouldn’t be a way to describe me, I would say it is more direct. It is very matter of fact but not at all crude. I don’t like vague, I like specific. If there is something going on that is wrong, here is how we go out fixing it and here are the drills we do and the progression we are going to do to get it fixed. We are going to work together on the composition on the routines that way we can get the best skills that we can possible have on that floor.”
On facing some tradition-rich schools like Georgia, Florida and Alabama …
“I am looking forward to it. Like I said, from top to bottom this is a great league. Look at Florida. They were ranked No. 1 pretty much all season. I am looking forward to competing against all of them. I realize that we have had some success. The University of Kentucky gymnastics program beat LSU this season. We came close to beating Georgia here on our own home floor and we came close to beating Arkansas. I don’t think we are that far off. As I said earlier, we have everything here in place support wise to get that job done. Now it is up to us to get in there and close the door. When they open the door, we have to walk through it.”
On the hiring process and how difficult it was to leave Nebraska …
“First part of that is when the job was opened I looked at it and knew it was there. Actually, Dan Kendig, who is the head coach at the University of Nebraska, is an alum here and used to work here. He was talking about it and it seemed to me a tremendous opportunity. I didn’t bite on it right away. I didn’t think right when it first came open that I was going to be interested in it. As time went on it grew and grew into something where I knew I needed to go for this position. This is a tremendous opportunity and tremendous challenge.
The second part of that as far as leaving Nebraska was very tough. I was not at all unhappy at Nebraska and I felt I could have probably stayed there a long, long time. I developed relationships within the community with the athletes and I enjoyed my time there and my family was comfortable there. This position is one of the few positions I would have considered going for. I don’t want to go too many places. This one is special.”
On his success at Nebraska and how he uses it at Kentucky …
“I had a lot of success at club before that. Then going to Nebraska and being under Dan Kendig with his coaching style and his approach to things, I learned a great deal. I plan on using every bit of it and getting more from it. I am a first-time head coach at this level. If I have a question he is on my speed dial as are others that are highly ranked coaches. Greg Marsden of Utah and Valorie Kondos from UCLA have had great experiences that I will draw on. I don’t plan on doing this alone.”