"I'll be honest with you – I don't know. Everybody I talked to said, ‘Don't coach the bowl game. Don't do that. You won't have time. It's impossible to do both.' And they were right. It was impossible to do both. But we had a great group of kids and I was glad to finish that thing off with them and our staff did a great job. You know, going to Hawaii for a week during Christmas isn't bad. And so now we're anxious to get rolling here."
What have you learned about UNC since taking the job that maybe you didn't know prior to taking the job?
"Now I know why the sky is Carolina blue. The first thing I learned is that there are so many great people in this state. Anybody I've ever talked to who has talked about Chapel Hill or the University has said nothing but great things. The day before I was leaving I was packing some boxes and I had a knock on the door and there was a gentleman standing there. He had a North Carolina letterman's jacket on. And he lived about four doors down and he said, ‘I don't get to wear this very often. I graduated from there in 1967, but we're fired up about it.' He lived three or four doors down from me in Hattiesburg, Miss., so there are a lot of people that are extremely excited about what's happened."
Have you been able to familiarize yourself with the roster?
"Well, there are some good football players on it. That's something that the staff and I are working on right now, trying to get a better feel as we get into this. We leave tomorrow night to go hit the road recruiting. So we're trying to get a feel for what the existing roster has and what our needs are going to be, what the immediate needs are going to be. And then we go out and do the best job we can to fill those needs."
Considering the shift in offensive philosophy, how do you shape the current roster into what you want moving forward?
"That's what Blake [Anderson] and the offensive staff will do a great job of. They'll mold the offense to the talent that's there. I think that's what a good coach has to do. You don't have cookie-cutter kids that just walk in and they fit your system. We'll bring the system and we're going to surround these kids with this system and make it work with them one way or another."
What were your goals in building your coaching staff?
"One, a lot of those guys I've worked with before. A lot of those guys were on my existing staff. One thing I can tell you is that they're not going to be outworked. They're not afraid to work; they're not afraid to get their hands dirty and work extremely hard. They love kids. They care about kids. Kids know that. Any time a kid knows that you have his best interest at heart, they'll do anything for you. Those guys are great family men and they're going to represent this University well."
How do you approach recruiting leading up to Signing Day in four weeks?
"We started today and we've been going all day today and we'll do it all day tomorrow. Then we'll get on some planes and we'll get out there and we'll start getting after them. We have such a great product to sell, but it doesn't make it easy because there are a lot of good schools out there fighting for these kids. So we'll get out there and we won't be outworked doing it, I assure you. We're going to find the kids that want to be in Carolina blue."
Are you a big UNC basketball fan?
"You better believe it. It just doesn't get any better, to be honest with you. Again, I'm proud to be here. I'm excited to be here. I'm excited about the future and just to be a part of this great University."
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