Lickliter Press Conference: Part 1

Gary Barta introduced Todd Lickliter as the new men's basketball coach at the University of Iowa today. Read Barta's opening statement in part 1 of this premium transcript.

In some ways, it seems like it's been a while since I've talked to you all. I told you the other day, when we last visited that i was going to swift, but i also wasn't going to compromise finding the right person. I told you I left with a plan, and I"m very to say the plan worked well. Not only the outcome, which I'll talk about in just a minute, but also the process we went through. We left here after the press conference, we worked here on campus to make sure all our ducks were in a row. We found a great search committee, did a lot of work there to identify who we wanted to go after. I told you i was looking for 3 things. I was looking for somebody who was a proven winner, I was looking for someone who can compete in the classroom and had a demonstrated success at that. I told you I was looking for somebody who would be one of us. Who would fit, feel right, and be at home at Iowa.

I started with a list of people I had in mind or was familiar with. I sat down with the search committee, but I didn't tell them who I was thinking of. I wanted the search committee to identify, who they thought, out of a list of 30 names, they helped me narrow it down. We put together a list, we didn't call it A, B, and C. A shorter list of names that would be our first group, a second group was another group that we had a little less on paper, then the final group. I'm happy to tell you the search committee had most of the same names I was thinking about.

Before I introduce Todd, I want to say thank you to all of you, thank you to the media, for working with me. I know it's been hard not to communicate. Everybody I was interested in already had a very very good job. It was very difficult, through the process, if there was a lot of media attention it would be have been difficult to talk with these people about this job. Throughout the process, I promised all of them that I would not talk about whether or not we interviewed. I'm going to continue to keep that promise. We got the process down to the point where we were interviewing and talked with many, many coaches and interviewed several coaches. That confidentiality, I asked for it to go both ways. I felt good about the fact that people were respecting that.

I do want to make one thing clear. Because I wasn't able to communicate with you, there might be some messages that get mixed. It came down to the final day, yesterday, and there were two candidates remaining. We ended up offering it to one person. We didn't offer it to anybody else, and I want to make that clear. President Fethke was there for the only offer we made.

I want you to get to know our new basketball coach. Those three things I mentioned that were important in our search. We went down the list and winning at the highest level. If you've looked at his record and what he's done, you can check that one off. The same with academic success. He's demonstrated over time that he's committed to academic success that we expect, that we're all used to. We've worked hard to develop that reputation. There were several coaches that had both of those. I have a renewed excitement about college basketball on the mens side. I have met several coaches that do both of those things. Then it comes down to a person I know who would represent the people of Iowa, who I knew had great integrity and would be a perfect fit. The person to my right met all of those.

I want to tell one more story and then I'll let him talk. Yesterday, we were getting down to that final situation, we were going to make the offer. This was the icing on the cake for me. We had talked with Todd, probably 3 times during the morning. Never once in that conversation did he share with us what we learned from President Fethke's wife, Carol. She called us up and said, "Did you know that the guy you're going to meet with this afternoon, last night was at a banquet and won national coach of the year?" The answer was no, because he hadn't told us. That told me a lot about the person we'd been meeting with and talking to. It just, to me, was the icing on the cake.

At this time, I'm very proud and pleased to introduce your new Hawkeye Men's Basketball Coach Todd Lickliter.

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