McCarney: Opening Remarks

Click here to read the transcript of Coach McCarney's opening comments at his press conference on Wednesday night.

I appreciate everybody being here. Thanks for coming, especially on such short notice. I think it's only fitting on a tough day for all of us that it was sunny and about 80 degrees out there in November. How about that? Wasn't that nice?

 

I began an unbelievable journey at Iowa State about 12 years ago this month and that journey will be ending for me in just a few days. I am announcing tonight that I will be stepping down from my position as head football coach at Iowa State at the conclusion of this season after the Missouri game.

 

Jamie Pollard and I have had consistent dialogue all season long. I realize and understand that this is an institution that's definitely bigger than me, we all know that. Sometimes you have to put the organization ahead of yourself. I think the best thing for this program right now is for me to step down as the head football coach at Iowa State.

 

Unfortunately we've had somewhat of a divided Iowa State community and I know at the bottom of that is that we've really struggled this year. I'm sorry for that. That's a shame. It tears me up because we've got to have a department that moves forward and an athletic department that moves forward. We've got great leadership in Jamie Pollard and believe me; I want the best for this place because I love Iowa State. I think it's time to reenergize the future of Iowa State football and yet build on the tremendous foundation that's been built for the past 12 years here at Iowa State.

 

I'm only stepping down one time at Iowa State in 12 years so please bear with me because I'm going to say thanks and goodbye to a lot of people. I've never been one to hide my feelings and I've never been one to hide my opinions. I've never been one to hide my emotions. As I tell my players, showing emotion is not a sign of weakness but a strength, especially if you really care about people. Boy, there are so many reasons to care about people with the friendships and the relationships that we've built here at Iowa State over the years.

 

First of all, I want to thank my wife Margy for her amazing loyalty, commitment and source of strength for me and every one in the football family. I really honestly believe that Iowa State couldn't have a better first lady of Cyclone football over the last 12 years and I'm really proud of you Marg, thanks a lot. (crowd applause)

 

To my children Jillian, Melanie and Shane, they've grown up as Cyclones. That's all they've known and they'll always be proud of their life improving experiences while here in Ames. Melanie, my middle one is going to graduate early from high school. She's going to enroll at Iowa State in January. She's driving right now to get here this evening. She starts orientation tomorrow. I have to find someone who is going to chaperone her in that student section next year for the football games. But she'll be a freshman at Iowa State and I think it's a real indication of how much Iowa State means to Margy and me and to our family. What a great institution and great university that this is.

 

To my coaches, their wives and their families, God could not have blessed us with a better group of people to help me raise the level of success, expectations, attitude and respect. We've shared wins, we've shared adversity, we've shared our dreams, and you've helped me carry the Iowa State torch with class and dignity and I love all of you. I think that these coaches, their wives and their families deserve a real round of applause. (crowd applauds)

 

I got a couple of calls today, just a few, I didn't get a chance to get to all of them. One of them was from Gene Smith, who is now the athletic director at Ohio State but I want to thank Gene Smith and Dr. Jischke for bringing me to Iowa State. I think that they saw things in me that I may not have even seen in myself 12 years ago as a young defensive coordinator up at Wisconsin. I remember the first press conference like it was yesterday. If it wouldn't have been for Gene and Dr. Jischke, I wouldn't have had this opportunity and this amazing journey and this experience that I've had here at Iowa State. I wouldn't have been able to come home, which Iowa is home for me, the state of Iowa. 10 of my last 12 years I got to spend with my parents. We let mom go a couple of years ago but I got 10 great years with my mom. We moved to Ames and every single night, with almost no exceptions, I leave my office, I go to Green Hills Retirement Home Health Center and get to go see my dad and see how he's doing. If it wouldn't have been for this opportunity at Iowa State, I would have never been able to do that. I'm really thankful for that.

 

I really want to thank Bruce Van De Velde. He was my AD here for a number of years. I really want to thank Jamie Pollard and Dr. Greg Geoffrey for their faith and confidence and belief that you gave me and helped all of us climb some really big mountains. I can assure you this. I've been around division one athletics for 36 years. The future leadership at Iowa State is really in fantastic hands under the leadership of Jamie.

 

To the players, both past and present, thanks for putting such meaning behind the words Cyclone football family. You've been classy, humble and heroic in the victories and you've been classy, unselfish and mature in the losses that we've had. I've tried to teach you to reach higher to impact your minds, your hearts and your lives. You have done a lot more of that for me than I have for you. You'll never know what an honor it's been for me to be your head coach as we try to bring honor, prestige and respect to Cyclone football through the years.

 

To the Iowa State fans, thanks for your support and your loyalty as we put Cyclone football on the national map. Your phone calls, your e-mails, your letters, your suggestions, sometimes recommendations. I appreciate all of them. Breaking the all-time stadium attendance records. The Cyclone Club. Going to all of the summer outings. The Cyclone Gridiron Club. It goes on and on and on. Thanks for embracing my family and making us feel so appreciated for whatever we've done here since we've been at Iowa State.

 

To all of the Iowa State athletic department staff, the secretaries, the clerical staff, all of the assistant coaches, the head coaches. My life has just been so affected and touched by you. You have no idea how I will continue to cheer for you wherever our life leads us and wherever we go. You've been so good to us and so supportive of us through great victories and tough losses and great seasons and tough seasons like we've gone through this year.

 

Billy Fennelly, I just want to take this opportunity to thank him and I don't even know if he's here tonight. I couldn't love him any more than if he was my own brother. We came in at the same time. Unfortunately, we're not going to leave at the same time. You've got the best women's basketball coach in the country in Bill Fennelly. He's helped me triumph over so much adversity in my time here and I'll really, forever treasure our relationship and our time together. I just want to take this opportunity to thank Billy for all that he's done.

 

Mac then went on to thank everybody in the athletic department.

 

I'm sorry that we haven't been able to get more wins this year. I understand that the measuring stick in athletics is to win games. All though it's been a tough season so far, we still have two more opportunities to be together. These are really good young men in this program and they haven't quit and they won't. That's part of their legacy here at Iowa State. Unfortunately, their wins have not matched their investment. As I told the kids tonight in my team meeting, we're going to go to Boulder and do everything that we can to try and have one last shining moment on the road out there in the Rocky Mountains as a football family for one last time.

 

The focus now should be on this team, the last two games and these great seniors. They deserve all of our support these last two weeks and I'm sure that all of these Iowa State fans, and there's so many of you, will really show the appreciation to these young men in our final home game here against Missouri a week from Saturday.

 

As the season wraps up, I've challenged our team to stay on task academically and to continue to be a great reflection of our program both on and off the field. I'm really proud of our academic success here, graduation rates. We were honored as only one of 27 teams in America recognized for their football academic success. That means an awful lot to me because they are student athletes, not athlete students. 

 

 

 


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