Fitch:: We're looking forward to it. I'm excited to get there, meet the players and the rest of the coaches I haven't had a chance to meet yet. I had a great opportunity to meet with Coach McCarney when I interviewed with him a couple of weeks ago. I really enjoyed spending a couple hours with him.
He's a dynamic guy that's excited about what he's doing. I think he has a plan. Obviously, he's won there, so he knows what he's doing and what it takes to be successful. A couple people that I know who have worked for him there speak tremendously about him. It's a tough job, but you're going to have a lot of fun and excitement doing it. Those are things you look for when you're a coach trying to pick and choose the job you want and where you want to go.
We talked a lot about the young talent they have and I'll be interested to get there and watch the guys work out, then get on the field with them this spring. I'm anxious to see the talents they do have and what we think we can do to be successful offensively.
CN: Go through the whole process of your being hired at ISU.
Fitch:: It's been going on for about a month or so. I have a couple of good friends who have worked there before, Steve Loney, and then Tony Alford is currently on the staff. Tony played at Colorado State, and Steve and I had worked together at Colorado State years ago. That was really the tie.
They put me in touch with Coach Mac, and he and I spoke on the phone two or three times before we interviewed in Orlando at the coaches convention. He kept me up to date with what he was doing and looking to do with the two positions he had available. He had to sort things out in his mind and I had a couple other things I was dealing with.
It really sold me when I met him face to face. We spent about two and a half hours just talking about football, the way he does things and thoughts I had on some things I've done. I really clicked with him. I came away very fortunate. I had the unique opportunity to meet four head coaches in one day, talking and interviewing. Coach Mac by far left the best impression with me. He's the kind of guy I think I'm going to enjoy working for.
CN: What were you able to learn working under Lou Holtz the past few seasons?
Fitch:: I learned a tremendous amount from him. He's a great believer in fundamentals, no matter what position you coach or play. He comes back to those things. Fundamentals will make you a great offensive team, defensive team, and kicking team. The things that he instills in a coach on a day to day basis helped me grow.
He does a great job of understanding what's important in terms of developing a football team from a year to year basis and keeping them focused. Whether you're winning, losing, having great success or struggling, there are going to be distractions that can cause dissension and selfishness. It comes from a lot of different areas. He does a good job of identifying those things and keeping everybody on the same page.
CN: When will you begin your tenure at Iowa State?
Fitch:: I plan on coming to town Friday. I have to wrap up a few things here and being there for the recruiting weekend. They have a number of players coming in for this weekend, and Coach wanted me to come out and meet the rest of the people, see the place and get my feet on the ground. From there I'll be playing it by ear. I'll have to go back and forth a couple times between here and Ames.
CN: Speaking of recruiting, what areas of the country have you worked and what kind of addition will you be in the area of recruiting?
Fitch:: We haven't talked about what areas they want me to recruit. I was at Colorado State, so I recruited the West Coast. I recruited the Midwest, in terms of Ohio and that area. Obviously, I've been in the Southeast the past five years at South Carolina. I've been very fortunate to be successful at it, and signed a lot of quality players every place I've been. I signed two Parade All-Americans the last two years at South Carolina.
It's like anything, if you're a good recruiter and work hard, they can put you in Alaska and you can find a player if there's a player to be found. That's the attitude I take towards it. I want to go work hard. If you have a good product like Iowa State has academically, on the field, and with the facility upgrades, young men will be interested as long as you're honest. I would imagine I'll probably have some local area in the surrounding Iowa area, and they'll look to put me in Florida where I've done a bunch of work. But wherever they ask me to go is fine with me.