What is it like working with recruiting coordinator John Lilly?
"I can't imagine working with anybody but John. He just makes the job so easy. He's such a personable guy. I would venture to say he's actually probably one of my best friends, as best coworker. He and I, we kind of read each other's mind I think to a certain extent. I kind of foresee what he needs, and I do it. In turn, he's looking ahead to what is going to involve me. We just have a really good relationship that way, we can kind of predict of what each other is going to do and take care of it."
Since recruiting is a year-around process, when is your busiest time?
"It's during the season, because we do so much on game days with recruiting. It keeps us busy during the season, but it really cranks up for me the first part of December. Probably over the last four or five years, (you have) official visits in December as well as having them in January. It used to be you only had official visits in January. Now that we've started doing them in December, right after the season, there is no down time. We crank it up."
What do you specifically do with official visits?
"I handle everything in-house as far as making all the travel arrangements for any recruit coming in. There's probably 10 pieces of paperwork involved with every prospect who makes a visit. I have to make sure everything is done and sent to compliance for their records. Arrange all the hotel accommodations. Any meals that we have. Work with academics in terms of their academic setup. Get their travel money if they are being reimbursed for mileage. Get the host money for their student hosts. Send out their letters inviting them for their trips. Everything that is involved in getting them here on campus is what I do."
Do you also serve as a buffer for John?
"A little bit. In addition to recruiting, John is a football coach first and foremost. Pretty much day and day out, he's in meetings with the offense. It's kind of left up to me and Matt Ayer (recruiting assistant) to field all the calls. Something I run into and I will continue into as long as I am in this position, if somebody wants to talk about a recruit, they want to talk to a coach. I am more than happy to tell people what our current situation is, if we are recruiting at a particular position or what we are looking for. They normally want to hear it from a coach, so in that case I will pass that onto John because they don't want to talk to me (laughing). That's okay, I don't get offended. But we field all of that for John because he is unavailable during the day with practice and meetings."
Is it more fun talking to the recruits or their parents?
"It's fun talking to the boys because of their age. They are so young - I don't want to sound like I am getting old (laughing). It's fun talking to the boys if you get a hold of one that's talkative and will open up. But the parents, I've enjoyed meeting so many of the parents. They are excited about their son, so they tend to open up and be more talkative and embellish a little more than in talking to the recruit. I know John enjoys talking to the recruits so much. I've heard him on the phone so many times. He can talk they like do. He can talk on their level in terms that understand."
You have seen three recruiting coordinators during your tenure - Brad Scott, Ronnie Cottrell and John Lilly - how does John's personality compare?
"John is so much more relaxed. A little bit laid back. Brad was very driven. Any little scrap of paper he would almost stress over to make sure it was taken care of. He was very detailed oriented. Ronnie, it was that way to a certain extent, but he stayed so busy it seemed like he and I didn't really connect as much. John has a unique way of prioritizing and not stressing over the little things until it's time to and taking care of the big situations first. They were all three fantastic. Just in different ways."