Chad Walthall Chimes in on Coaching Change

Chad Walthall spoke with Hawkeye Insider Monday night after learning that his boss, Todd Lickliter, was let go by Iowa. Walthall shares his thoughts on how Lickliter feels, the job they did with the Hawkeyes and more in this premium interview.

Q: What have the last few days been like for you?

Chad Walthall: Well, the rumors were swirling. You're uncertain. We have a family of six, total. Obviously your first concern is making sure you're providing for your family. You're always trying to understand what the conclusion might be. You try to prepare yourself for the worst but expect the best. That's what we've been doing.

Q: It seemed like during the year that Gary backed you guys. Did it come as a surprise to you?

CW: I wasn't surprised because Todd kept us all informed of what was going on the last few days. I wasn't surprised. You're always disappointed because it comes to this conclusion. I think everybody's disappointed. No one would wish this on anybody. That's just human nature. It's something that happened. Coach is moving onto the next step, the next stage in his life. He'll do very well wherever that is or whatever that is. The rest of is, I would assume, will do the same.

Q: How does Coach Lickliter feel about this? What can you share with me about your conversations with him?

CW: Yeah, well, obviously he's disappointed as anybody would be. Gary is disappointed. Again, nobody likes to see this happen. I think the program is in good shape for the future with young players and with incoming kids. I think Todd feels like he left it in better shape than when he got it. I think most people probably would agree with that. As a coach, he probably takes some pride in that. We wish we could have turned the corner a little bit quicker. It didn't happen that way.

You know, I think he leaves here with his head held high and wished no ill will. Decisions like these are never easy to any party.

Q: Is the most disappointing thing that you don't get to see what happens in Year 4? It seems like you guys were building to that this season.

CW: Sure, there's disappointment. We're not going to be able to…the reason you get into this business is to coach and teach young people. You establish relationships, bonds, you have with these guys. There's disappointment there. But it is what it is. You can't change what's happened in the past. The only thing you can do is move ahead. That's what we told our guys. Whoever comes in here will be a great coach and a great hire. Again, I think they're getting a great young nucleus that will continue to get better. That's the only way you can look at it. There's really no other way to look at it unless you want to be a pessimist. And that's just not my nature. I think future is very bright at Iowa. I really, really do. I really believe that.

Q: Have you spoken with parents or kids? If so, what have you said to them?

CW: They made a commitment to the University of Iowa. I think they're disappointed but I think they're trying to take a broader look at it, which they should. Anytime you're in this situation, you have to take a deep breath and inhale deeply. Then, take a step back and try to evaluate it. They're in that process now. And these are 18 year olds that are very good people. They're very good basketball players. They have wonderful parents. Being a parent of four kids myself, you definitely want what is best for their future. I certainly understand that there are high emotions as they're going through it, but these parents are wonderful people. They'll take a logical approach to the next steps.

Q: Gary mentioned today that the assistants are under contract through June and that he would be asking for your help. Are you going to hang around here and work with the players?

CW: That's something that hasn't been discussed at all. With the kids being on spring break, it was probably on the back burner because they're not on campus. I imagine when Gary has the time that will come to surface. Without the kids on campus, that's probably not a priority for anyone right now.

Q: Beyond working through your contract at Iowa, what does the future hold for Chad Walthall?

CW: It's been a wonderful experience these last three years. I've met wonderful people. It's a fabulous university. I'm every grateful for the opportunity. I really, really mean that from the bottom of my heart. The big thing in this life is that you're going to come to some crossroads all the time. As long as you have your family, friends and faith, things are going to be OK. You have to look at it as things happen for a reason. I'm a big believer in that. I really believe that whatever happens next was meant to be. I have no idea what that is. I probably tend to get more calm in these situations than anxious. I don't know why because it probably should be opposite. Things will work out.

I do know that I've just absolutely loved recruiting these guys coming in. I've loved coaching these young guys this season. Let the chips fall where they may, so to speak, and we'll just see what happens.

Q: Will you stay in the business?

CW: Yeah, I hope to be. I love teaching young people. It's been my life for 23 years. It would be tough to part with that. I love teaching. I love communicating with young people. We can have a great effect on their lives and their growth and development. I take that very seriously. It's a fun, fun profession. Never in my career have I felt I went to work one time.

Q: Any regrets or anything you would change during your time at Iowa?

CW: You know, it's what we signed up for. It's the Big Ten. It's a big business. I think we'd like to win more. I guess that's the one regret. Whether we could have done things differently or not, I don't know. I don't know if we could control some of the things that we walked into. I think a lot of people probably would agree with that. We didn't have probably the best of luck in some situations. I do truly believe that the program is in much better shape than when we first got it. I think everyone would probably agree with that if you took a good look at it. Obviously we would have liked to win more and more quickly. At the same time, the program has really at a base level, at a ground base level, where it needs to be now.

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