Prior to Army's game with Georgia Tech on October 20, Kevin Anderson gave a letter to the Yellow Jackets' Athletic Director Dan Radakovich informing him that the Black Knights would be opting out of the 2008 game between the two schools. Specifically in the letter,
Several fans were angered by his remarks because they thought they were disrespectful to Army cadets.
"I think some people took what I said out of context," said
"What I was trying to express to him was – a prime example – when we played back-to-back games with Wake Forest and Boston College, we lost 3 or 4 of our lineman and you know all service academy's depth is a very difficult thing to achieve…so we had to go and play a plebe who came in the academy at 285 pounds and was down to 245…that's what I'm talking about. It doesn't give us a fair advantage when we are not as deep as these other teams…that are averaging 295-300 pounds."
But considering that the letter was made public,
"I would have handled it differently…[for] one, I thought that the letter was…I was sending that letter to that athletic director and I thought that it would be dealt with between the two of us. I was a little taken back that he did share it with the media."
"I'm not embarrassed by anything that I said in that letter. It's my job to make sure that I put these young people in the best possible light to be successful and to compete," he continued.
Even though some fans were discouraged about some of the wording in the letter, the fact that Army is looking to lighten the schedule has been greeted favorably by most.
As to what
"I don't have to go any further than to talk to [GoMids.com] about how [Navy Athletic Director] Chet [Gladchuck] came in and how he's been able to get that competitive balance in Navy's schedule. When he first came [to
"Coming in here, what has been inherited has been a challenge to get a competitive balance," said
So when exactly will Army fans be able to see the results of
"Right now there are a couple things I'm working on to finalize the schedule and until I do that I'm not comfortable releasing that information because some things could change and once you make this public sometimes assumptions are made [and it] can create ill will. I think in the next couple of weeks I should have the last piece to the puzzle and then I'll announce who we will be playing next year."
Does that mean Army is still looking for opponents next year?
"I'll tell you this. There are two schools we are trying to help out that have scheduling problems. And that can create some changes in games, and times, and everything else. And until those two areas are straightened out, I'm not comfortable commenting on the schedule."
Fair enough, but Army fans don't want to know about just next year, they want to be able to look on the
Can Army do that?
"Yes, we would like to do that and once we start finalizing things, we will be releasing that kind of information," said
As to where those contests may be held, according to
"Our philosophy has been that we feel we are
Regardless of who Army is playing, it's very likely that
"That's a good question," said
In this interview and others,
"I had been prepared [for his departure] because eventually a year or two down the road [Ross] was going to retire – he made that very clear to me. So I had already started putting together a list – and in fact I had used a search firm as a consultant and we went through a litany of names and once we went through and we looked at it – the best person for the job was Stan," said Anderson.
"He was competitive with most people who were on the list. Now some of the folks who were on that list were hired by other people…so we looked at it at the end of the day and Stan was always on that list – he was always on the top of that list and so the decision wasn't that difficult," continued Anderson.
"The other thing is Stan has really embraced what the academy is all about and what cadet-athletes are all about. He had an advantage over many people because of just the learning curve coming into any academy and understanding what it's all about."
However, some critics have wondered why give someone with no head-coaching experience at the Division I-A level a multi-year contract. After all, with the timing of Ross's announcement, one could argue that an interim label would have been justified. Just this year, with the untimely and tragic death of
"If I was recruiting against a coach with a one-year contract…the first thing I would say to that player is why would you go play for that person when they are not committed to him? He could just be there for one year and you're signing up for four, possibly five years," said
Army's athletic director is definitely committed to his coach, but what does his coach think about his athletic director sitting in on strategy meetings?
"I think just like the Naval Academy, what West Point is all about is leadership and developing leaders and I think every good leader will look at what they are doing and if it's successful then [they will ask] how can I make it better, and if it's not [they will ask] how can I improve – what do I need to change," said Anderson.
"All we need to do is look statistically and see how we've played and we know that offensively we struggled this year and we do need to overhaul and look at doing things differently and I think Stan is demonstrating that he is a good leader – we can't stay the status quo and keep trying to force this because it's not working," continued Anderson.
"I was in
Even with the major challenges that
"There's no better place to work than the Academy. I get up every day with a smile on my face wanting to come to work even after we've lost a football game because I get to work with some of the best young people in this country."
There is no doubt that if
Have a comment for David? Send him an email.