"I would like
to give thanks to Skip Bertman, the Tiger Athletic Foundation, the Board of
Supervisors, President Jenkins, that they entrusted in me the responsibilities
of coaching this football team. I realized that if I looked at LSU from afar
that they had everything. They had a great school, a wonderful community,
world-class facilities, tradition of 111 years, nine championships, two national
championships. I think a great debt of gratitude combined in our football team
and community that I represent today goes to Nick Saban. He is a guy with
tremendous vision. I found out really about that vision today, walking through
campus when I saw an academic center that is a magnificent piece, completely
done and operational, well behind the brand new football operations facility. A
football coach has to understand that it is academics first. You will find that
in me as well. I met with a small group of players today and how much I enjoyed
hearing them say 'we are committed coach.' 'We are going to win championships
and do the right things.' Of course, I haven't met the team yet. I can only tell
you that the only fit to me for those players on this campus is extremely good.
The goal, and Coach Saban set it up for us, is to run the finest football
program in the country where our guys can have experience that is second to
none. That is my intent. I am very respectable and understand what an honor it
is to be the LSU head football coach."
On the coaching staff ...
"There are a number of guys that I
have talked to already. There is a very qualified LSU staff here. I am going to
presume that they are or are not on my staff until I meet with them and make
sure. This is a team that has had an incredible amount of success. This is the
staff from that team. I am going to evaluate it very seriously. A number of guys
On his offensive scheme ...
approach a good balance of run and pass. We want the defense to have to defend
both the run and pass. We are going to see the talent that we have available and
really fit the talent that we have and the ability to get the ball to the most
talented guys. We are going to see how that works and factor that in as we go
On when he was first approached ...
"Skip Bertman called to speak to my athletic director and in turn suggested that there was interest. I immediately had interest. I asked that we not meet until we play our bowl game. Skip said he thought we should and I said 'I think we should too.' It happened three days before we played. We visited for a couple of hours. I was in sweats and certainly felt like I did not make the exact impression that I wanted to, but they stayed directed towards me. Thereafter, they pursued me, and I wanted this job."
On taking over a program that recently won a national championship as compared to taking a program over that was down ...
asked me, 'you know you found a great coach there. They have won a national
championship. I know that some point in time, wherever you are at, you should
have it up and running here and I want that opportunity. I want the opportunity
to step along side a great team, a great school and be a part of extending a
very competitive tradition."
On recruiting ...
"What we will do is take the group of young men that LSU has been recruiting and I will start communicating with them in earnest beyond this press conference and beyond a meeting with the current LSU staff."
On having a chance to tell his former team of accepting the LSU job ...
"I have not
yet. I will return and speak to a group of guys that have done everything that I
have asked and that I am very beholding to. Anytime you say goodbye to really
good people, it is a difficult thing. When school is in at
On keeping the talent in
On having coaching experience in
the NFL at the
"I was the
offensive coordinator at
On seeking advice from former head coach Nick Saban ...
"I absolutely will. I am told on the plane ride back from the Capital One Bowl game wrote about three pages of notes about players and really anything that he wanted to tell me. In the very short future, I will talk to Nick Saban and first of all thank him and suggest to him to tell me where he would go from here. I will revere his recommendations."
idea of keeping current Defensive Coordinator Will Muschamp and Offensive
Coordinator Jimbo Fisher ...
"Everybody I talked to, whether officially or inofficially, represented the LSU coaching staff as professional and confident and wonderful people. Certainly, I need to consider them, but this will eventually be my decision. That is how we will go."
On the philosophy of recruiting ...
On speaking to his current staff of coming to LSU ...
"Every man was excited as he can be
and looked forward to the challenge.
On his defensive scheme ...
"I think the
evolution of what we did at
On welcoming the challenge of being the flagship university in the state as compared to his previous job ...
On dealing with the media and the fans ...
thing that I can tell you is that I am relatively honest and somewhat deceptive.
I had a great relationship and one of the things that I will miss from
On expressing interest in the LSU job before being approached ...
"I certainly said it to (David) LaFleur after he told me about it in our Dallas Cowboy meeting room. I don't know if I said, 'boy I sure would like to go there.' But there was interest in growing up and seeing Coach McClendon and understanding the tradition of LSU. There was great interest there as soon as that interest was mutual."
On the mystique of Tiger Stadium on Saturday nights ...
"I don't know what night that was,
but I was in awe and there wasn't a person in the stands. It is a majestic,
grand venue. I am told that the opponents have a very difficult time in hearing
the snap count. I think that is a wonderful advantage for the home folks. I
understand the opponents go by Mike (the Tiger). I understand it is called