Rodriguez introduced as coach

Rich Rodriguez was introduced as Arizona's head football coach on Tuesday. Read on to see what his goals are, what he thinks of the current team and rivalry, and more.

New Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez walked onto the McKale Center court led by Greg Byrne as the Arizona band played Bear Down.

After an initial introduction, Rodriguez took the podium and made his intentions clear.

"I am really, really excited about this opportunity," Rodriguez said. "I am so excited to be here."

And with that, the Rodriguez era officially began at Arizona, as he took the next 45 minutes or so to make his pitch to the media, fans, and recruits.

For starters, Rodriguez made it clear that Greg Byrne did a wonderful job of selling the UA to him and it is a place he can certainly see himself winning at.

"There are a lot of reasons to be here at Arizona," he said. "Certainly the location. The location is outstanding. The reputation of the university academically and athletically is top notch. I think the opportunity particularly now with the Pac-12 is going to take off like it has never taken off before."

In addition, Rodriguez invited any interested former player to come back to Arizona and be a part of the program, as he stressed that the Wildcats may have a better history than some would initially think.

"I know you had some history of success," Rodriguez said. "You have to give me time to study up on everything. Even though Greg took a few weeks to do this for me it was quicker than that. I am learning. Obviously I have known about some of the great teams you have had here. In fact I talked to a good friend of mine coach Dick Tomey last night."

It is that history of success along with other factors that makes Rodriguez confident he can be successful in Tucson.

"I go down and I see the beautiful weather and it is a great college town," Rodriguez said. "You have a great college town that supports your university and supports your athletics. You have great academics. You have great weather.

"You are an outstanding league that is going to continue to get more and more exposure. You can can recruit great players from the area to come down here, so why not Arizona? Why not us? Why can't we win it all?"

Winning is indeed the goal for Rodriguez and while he hesitated to make any promises, his goal was clear from the beginning.

"I want to win the Rose Bowl at the University of Arizona," he said. "I want to be top ten in the country every year, I want every one of our players to graduate with a University of Arizona degree and I want them to represent our university the right way on and off the field and those are the things I will talk to our players about every day."

In addition, Rodriguez added that while he may not name the number of wins he will help lead Arizona to, he can guarantee a few things.

"Some coaches will come up here and give you false promises and things like that," Rodriguez said. "I know the reasons I was hired. I was hired obviously to win games and win championships, to graduate our kids and make sure the good people represent us the right way, to be compliant, to make sure I am part of the community.

"I understand all of those reasons why. I can insure you this: I guarantee you will get my best effort and the best effort of my staff every day."

Of course, a big piece of how successful Rodriguez will be has to do with his coaching staff, which he could be in the process of putting together.

"There will be a few guys that are probably hired quicker and then I will be more deliberate with hiring the rest, so it may be up to a month before I complete the staff," he said. "Recruiting in this area, the state of Arizona, is going to be very, very important. There's good football players in this state. There are great football coaches in this state. I have recruited, I know. I have recruited California so I know how important that state is. The state of Texas, the state of Louisiana and still stay in Florida.

"There are three or four guys that I think are great coaches that have been with me for quite some time and a couple of them have recruited out here. The best coaches can recruit any where and I don't know if they are coming for sure. They are in great situations right now. I think there are some really, really good coaches on this staff that can recruit. I want to have an opportunity to sit down with some of those guys. Probably the guys that I have not worked with before will probably be the guys that have experience recruiting this region."

Rodriguez may stay in certain areas for the most part, but is also confident that Arizona will be able to recruit a bit nationally.

"We have a good enough brand name to go anywhere in the country," he said. "You have to think about it. When you recruit in December and January they come on their official visits. You think it is not pretty attractive to come to Tucson in January? Particularly over some of those places in North."

People often talk about "winning the press conference" and while Rodriguez did numerous things to make sure he did that, one item in particular got a large ovation.

"My goal is to make this the place in the southwest and western part of the country to come play football and get your degree," Rodriguez said. "I can tell by your reaction today when you talked about the Territorial Cup and how important that game is with the folks up the road, it will be emphasized every day how important that rivalry game is with ASU."

Now that Rodriguez is officially a member of the program, he says that his title of head coach will be much more than just that.

"I know I have a five year contract and some people when you have a five year contract five years doesn't mean five years, but I know how important it is to have success in the football program. I am not just going to coach University of Arizona football, I am going to live it."

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