Tom Crean: "At times, it does. There are days it seems like 18. There are days it seems like 8 months, but it has been great. The energy of it. I feel an incredible energy in our program and our staff and it's just so easy to be excited what we're doing on a daily basis.
DK: You've been to the NCAA Tournament four times. Of course, you've been to The Final Four. You've been to three NITs. You're in the Big East, a highly successful conference. You've had a good start in the conference. You talk about energy. You used that word. Where do you get that well of energy because it always seems like you're on your way somewhere to do something.
TC: I just love it. I think for one thing that helps I don't have a lot of things that I[have to do] … if I don't want to do them, I don't have to do them so to speak, like people know I don't golf. So for me to go out there and spend three, four, five hours on a golf course would not only be misery for me, but for the people who were watching me chase the ball. So, it's great. The success of a job comes down to your administration. Eight years there are a lot of things that go into that, but the number one criteria for what a job is like, for the quality of that job, is what your administration is like, and our administration is incredible. And the great thing about it is that it has been in tact for so long which helps a great deal. When you have people who allow you to do your job and do what you feel is necessary for your job, you get a lot of energy from that.
DK: Your job has changed since you took it too. When you think about, the Al McGuire Center, Big East Conference, I mean it's a better job even now than it was when you took it.
TC: The job has grown and there is no doubt about it. I learned early in my time during the first year, but for sure by the third year, that the preparation that I had coming from Tom Izzo and Ralph Willard and people back that I got a chance to start coaching at a young age when I got right out of high school, they prepared me so well to deal with not the good stuff, but the tough stuff. The adversity, and along the way you learn how to appreciate what really matters so much more when you go through some tough times and being in the Big East, having a place where there is a Tajmahal of college facilities on a campus and when I first came to Marquette, it was a parking lot. We have always done the things that really make it great but again that comes down to administration because people believe that the buildings don't get it done. It's the people who put the buildings up, the people who put the money into the buildings and the people who allow the buildings to happen that really make it exciting and that's what's so much of the energy and the passion that drives. I love Marquette. I love being there, and I love selling it on a daily basis.
DK: Tom, how have you changed as a coach and as a person over those eight years?
TC: I think a lot. My wife and I talk about that a lot. I probably haven't changed as much as she thinks maybe I should have.
DK: Joani keeps you honest?
TC: There is no question. She wouldn't want to be referred to as a co-coach, but she's right there for me every step of the way. There's nobody smarter than I have ever been around in reading things and understanding things than her, and I have been around some great people, a lot of great people, since I became a head coach here eight years ago, but she's the best.
But I would think in answer to that question I deal with the lows better than I used to, much better. I never got overly worked up by the highs of the job, but I think we learn to take those … you know I came from an environment where after every game we went straight to the office, broke down the film, went through everything, did all the grading and statistics, things of that nature. The only food you had was, and this was before the Burger Kings, and the Wendys, and the McDonalds were open all night, but maybe we would have some pizza or somebody would run out and get some donuts or burgers or something like that, so I never really sat back and enjoyed the wins but I think that's what's helped me grow as a coach and enjoy it more now. I think that's a huge part of it.
I think you never want to become too patient when you are in a job that you want to be really good at, you want to move faster, but I think I have gained a little understanding there, but the number one thing that clicks eventually is to trust your instincts. I think it's the whole key to what kind of leadership you have and I have learned to trust my instincts and not talk myself out of things, not talk myself into things as much, but I really believe in what happens and not try to change what I feel and think from the very beginning.
DK: You brought up Joani, and I remember talking to the two of you way back in 1999 and if I recall correctly, one of her thoughts was, "Well, I hope he can keep the balance of being a big time college head coach with a young family." You have three children. How has that balance gone? Have you struck the right chord.
TC: I think so. I don't think you're going to go through a day, and I am not speaking for anybody else, but there is always a day where you feel you can do more in your job and there is always a day you feel you can do more with your family, and I think that's just part of it. When you start trying to tie everything else into it, I think that's when it gets harder, so I have a good, I don't want to call it peace, but I don't have hobbies really. Our going out is going to a Brewers' game. Sometimes if the season allows it, going to a Bucks' game. I took my little boy to an Admirals' game. Those are the kind of things that we enjoy. We go to movies once in awhile. We go out to eat. Those are the fun things. Maybe take a run down to Chicago, go to Appleton, so I think the balance is good, and I think Joani would still like me to put it away more, but I think there can be time away but in my mind, I'm not comfortable with time off. I don't mind being away. We took a spring break which we hadn't done in forever a couple of weeks ago when our kids were on spring break, and we had a dead period in recruiting. And that was awesome. I loved it. I felt great coming back, just total re-energy, and it was awesome, so those kind of things you do and I'm not going somewhere to play 18 holes and again that comes down to administration. It really does. The administration allows me to have a great life and be able to work the way I want at my job.
DK: For those who don't know, Joani is from the Harbaugh family. Her dad was a legendary college football coach. Her brother Jim, quarterback, now head coach at Stanford. She has another brother who is a great special team's coach and has just been promoted in fact as an assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles. Her coming from a coaching family, how much has that helped and when you say she is a great reader of people, in other words, when you meet somebody, the two of you together, you might think, "Wow, what a great person," and she'll say off to the side later, "careful" something like that.
TC: She's got a great sense. Bill Cords had that … has that I should say. I'm talking in the past tense. That helps so much. Makes friends in the same way. Joani has no peer in that in my mind. She's always got my back and she knows that I have hers and she gets so much of that from her mom and dad. You know her mother is the same way and they are here which is again such a great thing, and Jack is a part of the administration in the Athletic Department. We're partners. We're partners in everything and we still have our squabbles. We still have our differences like any family does, and right now we are trying to raise a 12 year old, and 8 year old, and on Sunday, May 6, a 2 year old. And that's got all its challenges, but she's really grown into the community. She's grown and we're finding our niche all the time and privacy is important but it's not so important that we can't go out and share and have a lot of fun. That's why the second year I wish we could have had the time to buy a full season ticket package with the Brewers but we have a partial season ticket package. We love going. We try to do family things as much as we can.
**This segment was printed with permission by Dennis Krause of Time Warner Sports. Krause is a two time winner of the Wisconsin Sportscaster of the year and is the Programming Manager for Time Warner Sports. Time Warner Sports can be found on Time Warner channel 32. You can also reach their website at: Time Warner Sports 32