CN: This is your first season
Brandtner: Growing up in
CN: A lot of players talk about how Coach Mac I like a father to them. Would that be accurate in your case as well?
Brandtner: I wouldn't really compare him to a father because fathers are not replaceable. I almost look at him like an older brother or an uncle. He's someone who you can always go to and he'll tell you the honest to God truth. He won't sugarcoat you. He'll tell you what you need to do on the field and off the field. That's why he's a great guy.
CN: You talked about how you were
a Hawkeye growing up in eastern
Brandtner: My dad went to
CN: Do you think that he'll have any problems finding a coaching job somewhere else?
Brandtner: No way. Never. He's one of the
most respected coaches in the nation, not I
CN: Coach Mac is really well known for all he does for this community. Talk about that a little bit.
Brandtner: Every Friday he takes a handful of players and we go over to the hospital and go through all of the rooms of some really ill people. Coach Mac is always the first person in the room. He shakes their hand regardless of anything. He'll just try and brighten their day as best as he can. I feel like that's kind of the way he is with everyone in the community. He just tries to lift their day.
CN: Does that rub off on the team?
Brandtner: Definitely. His character and his leadership definitely rub off on guys on this team. He's our leader and it's like what you said about being a dad or being a role model. You try to be like your dad, or be better than your dad. He gives off that impression and we follow.
CN: What does the team think about when Mac can always turn a negative into a positive?
Brandtner: It's a great quality to have. Sometimes he stresses it with like the weather, the Cyclone weather. It could be like 10 degrees out and it's Cyclone weather. I think the only time that it's not Cyclone weather is when it's 72 and sunny with no wind of course. I think that's the only time it's not Cyclone weather. It's got to be rainy, windy or snowy. Anything is Cyclone weather, according to Coach McCarney.
CN: Watching Coach Mac's press conference, what was that like for you?
Brandtner: It was sad to see his wife and all of the other coaches around. All of the players faces. Even some of the media guys who I was looking at got upset and tearful. It's just tough to see a great coach like that leave a place that he built from the ground up. Without him here, I don't know what this place will be like. That's what I'm thinking about.