Tidbits from press conference

New Rebel football Coach Ed Orgeron handled the media well in what is termed the 'second press conference' after the formal press conference ended.

The following are some snippets from Chancellor Robert Khayat, AD Pete Boone and Coach Ed Orgeron during and after the formal press conference. About 500 people attended the press conference. Orgeron and his family got several ovations during the function.

* Chancellor Khayat - "We have repeatedly said we will not settle for mediocrity in anything at Ole Miss. The hire we are announcing today, in our opinion, solidifies that statement. The hiring of a new coach was a long process. First, we defined the type of person we wanted to lead our program. Then we had to identify the candidates who fit that criteria. We brought in a consulting firm to help with that and we exhausted all avenues to find the right fit for us. We took four visits (Ed Orgeron twice, Randy Shannon and Dennis Erickson) and made only one offer - to Ed Orgeron. We looked into every aspect of his life. He has made some mistakes in his life, but he who is without sin, cast the first stone. We are completely comfortable with Ed as a role model and a leader. The Orgeron Era at Ole Miss will be successful. Finally, I'd like to say it has been an absolute joy to work with Pete Boone in this process. He has one of the most difficult jobs on this campus. He has been strong, courageous and thoughtful in this whole process."

AD Pete Boone: "This has been a great experience for me. I have met so many wonderful people. Our charge, however, was to find the best fit for our job. I thought I was in charge of our interview with Ed, but he took charge immediately. I asked him about his philosophy and he told me a story about a pecan tree, he pronounced it pea-can, that they used to stand under waiting on the pecans to fall. His Grandpappy told him that in life he couldn't wait on the tree, he had to climb up there and shake the branch. He said he has been shaking the branch ever since - if he wants something, he goes after it. He shook Chancellor Khayat and I. He had us in three-point stances doing defensive fits and showing us things about defensive line play. We knew he would fit at Ole Miss. He has all the qualities of leadership. His defensive coaching skills are unquestioned. We talked to Deuce McAllister during this process and mentioned Ed's name to him. Deuce called Cortez Kennedy, who played for Ed at Miami, and asked him about Ed. Deuce called us back and said 'they all love him.' On offense, I'm going to take his word that he is going to install Southern Cal's offense - open and attacking, creating mistmatches. They are only scoring about 48 points a game. Enough said. Then I got to visit with him yesterday at USC at their athletic department. They are a true family and they all love him. Reggie Bush told me he hated to see Ed go. I told him I thought Ed was tough. He said, 'he's damn tough, but we love him.' I knew we had the right man before that, but that solidified it even more with me."

* The following are Orgeron quotes of interest. . .

* On recruiting: "In recruiting, our philosophy is simple. We will not take 'no' for an answer and we will recruit Mississippi hard."

* On the Ole Miss community: "I believe the Ole Miss family can become extremely powerful if we are together in this mission. We will have an open door policy here - everyone is family that wears the Red & Blue. Everyone is welcome to practice and in the inner circles of Ole Miss football."

* On how long before we can expect to see results: "We will be good when we get good - that's all I can promise. Our goal will be to get good in a hurry and stay good for a long time."

* On his first goal: "To get a staff together and start recruiting. I'll have 80% of my staff together by Sunday. I'll be recruiting this afternoon."

* On his background: "My family speaks Cajun. I learned to be tough on the bayou. Down there, we compete for everything. Sports was my life as a youngster and it remains my life."

* On meeting his wife, Kelly, who is from Jonesboro, AR: "We met on a blind date. I was coaching at Syracuse and we were playing in the Liberty Bowl. We had a blind date the Tuesday before the bowl game. We ate some ribs in Memphis and hit it off. We've been together ever since. Let me tell you - she is the boss of my family."

* On his coaching style: "I coach with fire and energy and my teams will play that way. I believe that Tuesdays and Wednesdays practices should be harder than the games. We will be a hard-nosed, excitable football team. That's a guarantee."

* On what he expects from his players: "Effort in everything they do. Passion for the game. Passion for their academics. Team - pulling together. Family - every member of the staff and team will be family."

* On the pressure of coaching in an area with no pro football and being a head coach: "All eyes will be on me and our team. That's where I want them."

* On his staff: "I will first talk to the coaches who are here and who have been working to hold this thing together the last two weeks. Then I will make other decisions."

* On his familiarity with Mississippi: "I'm from Louisiana right next door and I recruited Mississippi JUCOs when I was at Syracuse. I have to learn more about the lay of the land, but it's not foreign turf."

* On immediate recruiting: "We will honor all previous commitments. They committed to Ole Miss and we are Ole Miss now. We will use the current data base of recruits and add to that. We will make our own evaluations off that data base and ours and just roll our sleeves up."

* On his offense: "We will not be predictable. As a defensive coach, I know that when I figure someone out I can stop them. We will not be figured out easily. We will have multiple sets and try to create a lot of confusion to create mismatches."

* On Matt Luke and Jay Hopson: "They have done a tremendous job the last two weeks. I'm sure they will be an important part of this staff."

* On the IPF: "What can I say? It's awesome. I have not had these kinds of facilities to work with anywhere I have ever been. They will help in recruiting, in training and in our feeling about ourselves."

* On current S&C Coach Ruben Mendoza: "We met this morning and we are full go and on the same page. He will be going out to USC to meet with the Trojan S&C guy to exchange ideas, but we are definitely on the same page."

* On the importance of linemen: "You can't win without great linemen. Defensive linemen don't come ready-made. You have to mold them and you have to be good evaluators of potential. It might be a 230-pounder who will grow to be 285 or a 330-pounder we have to trim down to 285, but you have to be able to spot the ability and potential. Cortez Kennedy, Warren Sapp - those guys did not step on campus with an 'S' on their chests. They were developed and nurtured. That is what we will do here. The same holds true on offense."

* On his decision-making process in the search: "I had offers to go to the NFL, but college is where my heart is. I knew my chance would come one day if I was patient. My patience ran a little thin when this job came open because it is my dream job. SEC, great tradition, etc. I wanted this job badly and have been blessed to get it."

* On the pressure of SEC coaching: "I want that. I want our program to be a focal point and be under a microscope. I think those are positives."

* On the main recruiting areas: "We will start with Mississippi and Memphis, but we will also recruit Louisiana, Florida, Georgia and Alabama hard. Then we will branch out nationally. We will work inside-out."

* On him being the defensive coordinator: "Pete Carroll is the head coach and DC at USC. I will be that here at least until I get someone groomed to take over those duties. I don't know how long that will take, but that's the plan."

* On what reaction he got from his family on the job: "They were elated. I come from a hard-working family. My Father was a construction worker and my Mom worked in a furniture store. Nothing came easy and I learned you have to work for everything in life from them."

* On learning Hotty Toddy: "We worked on that on the flight to Oxford last night. I almost have it down! A great cheer."

* More on his recruiting philosophy: "Recruiting is not easy. Nothing is over until it is over. We recruit commitments as hard as we do guys we are trying to get committed. I don't give up until after Signing Day. That's the way it is."

* On when his family will move to Oxford: "As soon as humanly possible. I would say after the national championship game, maybe before if things work out right."

* On one of his son's reaction: "He said 'Dad, can we have a dog?' I asked him what kind he wanted. He said 'a golden receiver.' I told him we'd get him a golden receiver after we signed two or three golden receivers!"

* On his desire to have the Ole Miss job: "I would have crawled to Oxford from Southern California."

* On one thing that intrigues him about living in Oxford: "The five-minute drive to work. I commuted 47 miles one way at USC."

* On what to expect from his teams: "Fire and enthusiasm and a love of the game that will be evident when you see them play."

* On his early hero: "Johnny Unitas."

* On the perception that Ole Miss can't be an elite program: "The only perception that counts is the one we have of ourselves. We can't let outsiders influence how we feel about ourselves. We will have no inferiority complex to anyone."
Our friend, replayreb, will post the audio transcript of the entire formal press conference this afternoon. Here is the URL and link.

Click here to listen to press conference

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