Shalala talks about Golden hire

Read on to see what UM president Donna Shalala is saying about the hiring of new head coach Al Golden.

On the coach not being the 'big splash' name:
This is the big splash that we need. This is not a little splash. This is a big, important, coaching hire for us. The proof is in the pudding. Each of you will eat your words if you don't believe that we are not here to win championships. Whether it is the playing field or in the classrooms, we want to be the best. We don't want to just compete, we want to be the best.

On first impression of Coach Golden:
I think the energy. The track record. The caring about young people, and about their futures. And the kind of discipline, and message that he wants to send to these young people, and the commitment to higher education. There are lots of good coaches in the world, only a handful want to come and work with college students. Those are the ones that we want to recruit and keep.

On what makes her feel so strongly about Golden being the right man for the job:
Well, we went through a very extensive search and extensive analysis. We know more about him that he probably knows about himself. This decision was made very carefully. A lot of people criticized our athletic director because he took so much time. The fact is, this is not a quick decision that any university wants to make. It's not a question of investing our resources, we are investing the best and brightest young people we could attract to the university. I want to be able to say to their parents that we have a man of character, and a disciplinarian that cares very much whether these young people graduate from school and play their sport at the highest level.

On the faith in Kirby to accomplish this search:
Kirby knows football. The only thing you hire athletic directors for, because everything else you can substitute for, is to hire coaches. That is their primary responsibility in universities. They are supposed to run ethical programs, they are supposed to make sure that we have a support system so our young athletes, student athletes, graduate. Those kinds of things, you could hire lots of people for, but it's the insight and the discipline, and the experience to pick great coaches, that you really hire athletic directors for. I was attracted to Kirby the first time I interviewed him, even though everybody said his young. He has had all of the experience, so I had all of the faith in him. I said ‘Kirby I don't need to see ten candidates, just bring me your recommendation.'


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