What made this the job to take as your first head coaching job after being a coordinator for so many years?
Chizik: I feel like I was recruited. I feel like there was a great commitment here at Iowa State University in terms of football. If you look at the money that they are going to pay for assistants, that's the first part, it's huge......The relationship that I felt like we were having between Jamie and myself and Dr. Geoffroy and myself and the level of commitment, it all came together in one big lump sum, and we just felt comfortable with it.
What are some of the biggest challenges you will face making that switch now to becoming a head coach?
Chizik: Coaching is coaching to me. It's all about relationships with coaches to coaches, relationships with coaches to players. Coaching football is something I've been doing for 21 years and obviously there's some things that I haven't faced as a head coach. I don't even know what some of those are right now but I know I'll come across some of those. I don't anticipate a great deal of change philisophically the way I've done anything or the way I plan on doing anything. I'm just going do it the way I've always done it and the way I know how to do it best.
Jamie Pollard said he was looking for a guy who could be like a CEO. Do you see yourself in that kind of mold?
Chizik: I do.....You can go to a company, a football team, a church. It's all the same. You have to have somebody in charge that really has a good oversight of the big picture. I feel like I've worked for some great head coaches right now that have really given me a vision of what it's supposed to be like. If you go back to just my last two years with Mac Brown. What a tremendous two years of learning how to be a head coach. That was one of the reasons I went to the University of Texas.....The things that I've learned along the way I think will just help me tremendously. When you say CEO right now, you have to have an overall picture but you also have to have your hands in there and get your hands dirty and make sure the players know that you're a part of everything. You can't be a standoffish guy. Everyone has got to know your hands are in there and you care. That, again, just goes back to relationships.
Where there some other opportunities for you outside of Iowa State?
Chizik: I've been blessed because I've always had a lot of different opportunities. Without going into detail, that's how I'll leave it.
What's your assessment of the talent level that you're inheriting?
Chizik: If you evaluate two or three players, that's one thing. When you say talent level, I envision the whole football team on offense and the whole football team on defense. I'm very aware of who the clippings say are good players. Obviously we played Iowa State this year and Brett is a really good football player and Todd is a very good football player and I'm sure there's some other ones in there too. To me it's unfair for me to point out guys and to point out names when I could name one guy and then I'd watch film and see it's really three others. I don't like to point out individuals until I know exactly what I'm saying. So that's why I don't mean to sound aloof but that's where I am with that.
What do you say to people who say that this is a tough place to work, this is a tough job, this is a tough league?
Chizik: I say to them that every place is tough. I say to them that I was at Auburn and that was tough, I was at Texas and that is tough. Winning's just tough. There is a formula and a recipe for winning. Again, it starts with people at the top right now that are willing to back you and give you a level of commitment. If you don't have that, then it ends right there. We've got that. Again, I feel comfortable with that. We'll take it from there and see what happens, but winning's tough everywhere.
Jamie said you get it. Does Jamie and Dr. Geoffroy get it?
Chizik: Absolutely. Absolutely. I could say that 10,000 more times. You've got to have somebody who gets it. I certainly wouldn't be standing here if I didn't think that was the case.