Note: Due to acoustics the Q&A portion (from press table) is more audible than the opening remarks (from the podium).
Opening Remarks (14:05)
Q&A Part I (18:03)
Q&A Part II (18:18)
Opening remarks -
I want to thank everyone today, but I think special thanks goes to a few people. Chancellor Moeser, thank you very much for being here today. Dick Baddour, you couldn't have been any better, just outstanding. I want to thank the trustees and the selection committee for helping make this dream come true. I've had the opportunity to evaluate what would be the perfect place to get back into coaching, and I can tell you there's not a finer place than the University of North Carolina. When I got the opportunity to sit down and talk with the people from Carolina, I knew that this was the place I wanted to be. It had everything I thought that was tantamount to building a championship football team. It had great academic credibility. When you sit in the living rooms with parents of student-athletes and talk about their future, you want to talk about a degree from North Carolina.
On fans' expectations. Are you a golfer? Do you know what a Tar Heel is?
The answer to the last question first… to me the definition of a Tar Heel is a winner.
It's a process. A lot of it is laying a foundation, and a lot of that foundation is – as I told the players earlier today – how quickly do we get to know each other? I want to know actually everything about them. I want to know their moms and dads, their aspirations, their goals, what their majoring in, their girlfriends, because the quicker we can close that gap, the quicker we'll put ourselves in a position. I promised them every single day that I come to work here that we're going to do everything humanly possible to make our football team better every single day. We're not going to put any kind of timeline on it, but I promised them we will be working every single day to be the best that we can be.
Am I a golfer? Yeah, but that seems a long ways off right now.
On the pressure of producing and winning quickly -
I think that all of this is a process. There is pressure to perform and to win, but on the same token, it will take time. There is no magic formula. There's going to be a lot of hard work by the student-athletes that are here right now. There's going to be a lot of action with the players we're recruiting right now, to bring those players in that have the goals and visions that we have, and help us create an environment that breeds success – where winning is something that we cherish. It won't happen instantaneously, but it's something we're going to strive for every single day.
On recruiting -
I actually believe that we can recruit the home state. That's where we'll start. We'll turn over every single stone in every single town in North Carolina and find the players that truly have the passion and the commitment that they want to come to school here and become the student-athletes that we're looking for – that want to excel in the classroom as well as on the field. Every place I've ever coached, that was the beginning place. You start at home. If the state of North Carolina can provide all of the assets that we need in terms of student-athletes, then that would be perfect. If we have to go out of state to find some kids, we will do that. I have a vision of the types of young men that will excel in this type of program, and we're going to go after those kids as hard as we possibly can.
On contacting John Bunting -
I haven't had the opportunity to speak to Coach Bunting. As some of you may know, I was part of the media for the last 18 months. I did get to see some of the highlights (of North Carolina football), and Carolina looked good on the highlights, because there are a lot of touchdowns in highlights. I look forward to the opportunity to spend some time with John. As a rebuilding program, we're looking forward to teaching at this program. We're not going to look back or reflect on the past. I told the players today that everything we're going to do is brand new, and that they have to trust me in the things I'm going to ask them to do. Change is difficult, but it's part of the process of getting where you want to be. The longer we're able to spend some time with each other… I think that they will thrive and flourish in this program.
On his potential staff -
The football network of coaches is spread wide and far. A great plus is that I've been in the business for 30 years at high school, college and professional level. I was amazed at the number of quality coaches that have called and inquired about (working at UNC). That's exciting for me, because I know we're going to make some great choices. The first commitment I made to Chancellor Moeser and Dick Baddour was I wanted to meet the coaching staff that is here. I don't know these guys, and I am looking forward to tomorrow for the first time to find out about them and who they are. I think it extremely important to get the staff right. I promised those players today that I would surround them with assistant coaches with guys that are great teachers. The finest coaches I've ever been around are guys that are great teachers that can motivate players, inspire and take them to levels they never thought they could get to. That's why I'm anxious to get to know the coaches tomorrow, and find out which of those guys that fit that philosophy and find out which of those guys fit that philosophy and which of those guys could conceivably be part of our staff. Obviously, there are guys that are in coaching professions that are on teams that are going to go to bowl games and guys that are in the NFL. But we're going to get out and recruit. We're going to go out into some of the home and schools this week. If we have to wait, I would rather wait a little while and get the staff right than to rush to judgment.
On coaching philosophy -
I want to score more than the other team every single Saturday. Here's what I would love when people come to Kenan Stadium: I want them to see a fast, athletic football team, but more importantly, I want them to see a smart football team and a well-disciplined football team. I want us to be an aggressive team – always on the attack in all three phases. No one dictates to us, we dictate to them. Our style of offense is going to be wide open. Just look at the track record, I was extraordinarily fortunate at Miami with Edgerrin James, Clinton Portis and Willis McGahee and a whole rack of great running backs and great wide receivers. We were explosive scoring 35 and 40 points. Defensively, we want a fast, aggressive and attacking defense. People at North Carolina are going to find out real soon that maybe the greatest passion I've got is special teams. I think it's the deciding factor in winning national championships. With exception of the quarterbacks, there are no prima donnas. Everybody will contribute to try and win the game on special teams.
On football and basketball succeeding at a high level at the same school -
I met with Roy [Williams] today and he's got me in charge of in-bounds plays and he's taught me about the two-minute defense. No, I actually believe they can co-exist. When you look at teams like the University of Michigan…their trying to get to the Final Four and their football team is trying to get to the Rose Bowl and play for the national championship. The University of Texas is doing it. There is absolutely no reason why the University of North Carolina can't be outstanding in every athletic endeavor.