Charles Ramsey is mentioned as one of the top assistants in all of college basketball by pundits and coaches alike. Aside from that, however, he's a genuinely good guy. After unexpected success in the staff's second season in control, they are not resting on their laurels. They are out beating the recruiting bushes as they continue their mission to infuse Michigan with the best kids and talent around. Coach Ramsey sat down to chat with me recently during one of his breaks and addressed just about every aspect of the team.
Have you heard anymore about when the NCAA decision will be coming down?
"You know what…we really have not. We haven't heard anything, and we haven't really been waiting around for it either. The one thing we've done since day one when we got here is we don't dwell on that. I think that approach has helped us immensely. That's something that's out of our control. The one thing that we haven't done is use that a crutch. I think that has been shown in our recruiting. We hit the road from day one HARD HARD HARD! Whatever happens, happens…and we'll deal with it when it does."
Give me your thoughts on what Billy Schmidt brought to the team.
"Wow! He has immense expertise and passion for the game. He spent a ton of time around the players. He also spent a ton of time around the office. We have different assistants traveling and recruiting….but he did everything well. He recruited well, did scouting reports, viewed tapes, and had tremendous energy with the young men. He'll be sorely missed."
Can you refresh the fans on what the changes to Crisler arena are supposed to be?
"As you know, we've already updated the lockerroom, the women's lockerroom has been updated nicely, and we've brought the students down on the floor to the bleachers. What we're talking about now is the lighting and seating in the remainder of the arena. And hopefully not in the too distant future, a practice facility. Bill Martin spoke on that very topic the night of the banquet. He mentioned that as a priority."
Do you have an estimate on when that might take place?
"That's another one of those things that is out of our control. It's a financial issue. That said, people aren't going to hear us cry about a lack of a facility."
Talk about the relationship between the football and basketball programs.
"We have a GREAT relationship with the football program. Not just professionally, but we have a great personal relationship too. I don't know if it's something that's been around for the past thirty years…where the two programs have such a good working relationship. We have football players and coaches at EVERY game…in numbers! During football season, fans would probably think that I was one of the assistants! I'm on the field and everything. The two programs really root for one another. It's a very healthy situation."
Do you have aspirations to be a head coach someday?
How far down the line do you see that happening? Would you take a job tomorrow?
"Well, I've been offered jobs. But they haven't been the right job. My career path has been somewhat different. This is my fifth institution. Every job I've taken has been a step up into a better situation. At the same time, I feel I've done a pretty good job every where I've left. I've had a path of conference championships and NCAA tournament appearances at all but one place. We also did things that we weren't expected to do by taking over teams that had finished eight and ninth and taking them to fourth and fifth. Every thing I do on a daily basis is done with at least a thought toward my head coaching career. One thing I feel really fortunate about with Tommy, and before that Ben (Braun), Rudy Washington, and Franky Allen is that they've all given me a lot of leeway to perfect my skills."
Be sure to check out part 2 of the interview tomorrow.
Conversation with Coach Charles Ramsey #1
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