Gene Chizik Q&A - Part One

CN had a chance to catch up with Gene Chizik after his press conference on Monday night. Check out what the new head coach had to say right here in this Q&A.

Have you ever been here in Ames Iowa before?


Chizik: I have not. This is my first time.


What was your first impression when you came in here?


Chizik: I got a chance to walk the town earlier, but obviously I'll get a chance to see it more as we go. I did a lot of research and heard a lot of great things about the whole community and Ames itself....We've done all our research and crossed all our T's  and dotted all our I's and we're just very impressed with everything.  


When did Jamie first contact you?


Chizik: We met in Dallas last week. Actually this past Saturday right after we finished the A&M game. That's when we met and came to an agreement. They were very respectful of my season....They did it with class and integrity. They did it the right way...That's when they offered me the job and the next morning is the morning I took it.


What made you think that this could be the place for you?


Chizik: It's a level of commitment that has been demonstrated in my opinion by the president (Geoffroy) and the athletic director (Pollard) .....To me, it's important for me to have people that want you to be there. They want you. They target you as their guy, and I really feel like I was recruited. They've made my family feel special and they've made me feel special. I thought that the relationship was clicking and again I thought that there was a high level of commitment there.


Iowa State has provided a lot of money for assistant coaches. It's the third highest in the Big 12. How important is that for you?


Chizik: I think that's huge. I think that's key. Any head coaching job is not about the head coach. It's all about the assistants and the people that day in and day out handle the grind of the daily things. Any head coach, including myself, is only going to be as good as the assistants that he has around him.

You can go to the president of the United States or the president of any company. If the people underneath him can't be compensated, you will not get the best people. This certainly allows us to go out and attract some guys that might otherwise not be interested.


You know what it takes to get to a championship level in the Big 12. What are some of the things that you have to do fairly fast to get Iowa State to more of a competitive level in the Big 12?


Chizik: Again, I think that when you build anything you start from the inside.

It has got to be a foundation that's built on rock. Obviously I have to come in here and re-recruit all the players that are here and make sure that they feel like they're a part of Gene Chizik and the new staff's world. That's the first intention. You just build it from the inside with character and integrity. And it's not always about getting the best guy on your football team to become a competitor to win championships. It's about having the right guy. So that's what we're going to do. We're going to try to target the right young men to try and come here to fit into exactly what we want to do both character wise and athletically, and we're going to really work on the foundation of the program and build it up and build it out.


How did the meeting go with you and the players today?


Chizik: Basically I explained to them why I was here. I explained to them that this day was not about me, that this day was not about Jamie, this day was not about the president, this day was about them. Everything we've done up until this point right now in terms of people guessing who it is and who it's not, it's all about them, it's all about our players at Texas. We felt like we did the best thing we could in terms of trying to shield them (the Texas players)  from things. But this day was not about me. This day was about a new beginning for each player at Iowa State University and that's what I told them.


A lot of these players were very upset when Coach McCarney left and a lot of them said that he should have had more time. Does that make the job of getting these kids to be under you and get under your system tougher? 


Chizik: There's a lot of allegiance to head coaches. Obviously when there's changes made there's a lot of people that are upset, there's some that aren't upset. You have all different facets. It just depends on who you are and how you feel about it. Obviously any time a coaching change is made there's going to be some players that feel a lot of animosity towards that decision. Again

I'll go back to what I think. I know that I have to go back in and re-recruit these players. They are my players. They are Iowa State University football players. So will it be hard to convince them? I don't know, but we're going to make sure that we give every effort we can to re-recruit them and make sure that they understand that we're in this thing together and that Iowa State has nothing to do with me or any individual. It has something to do with our team.


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