Trent Johnson Hiring Press Conference

You have seen some partial quips and clips from the Monday afternoon press conference that announced the hiring of Trent Johnson as the new head coach of Stanford Basketball, but you have missed a lot. Here is the full transcript of Johnson's remarks to the press, including the follow-up Q&A. His comments speak to the style of basketball to come, as well as his outlook on recruiting. Photos from the event as well...

Trent Johnson opening statements:

"Obviously I am overwhelmed. It is pretty evident that I have been fortunate in all of my coaching career to be around good coaches and some outstanding student-athletes. It's been really interesting, and I think my son put it in perspective best. He said, 'Dad, how lucky have you been the last couple of months?' I said, 'What do you mean by that, Terry?' He said, 'An opportunity to coach at the University of Utah. You have the opportunity to replace Coach Montgomery at Stanford. You have had the opportunity to stay at the University of Nevada.' I asked, 'So what are you trying to say?' He said, 'Dad you know what I mean.' I answered, 'Well, how lucky are you, Terry?'" (crowd laughter)

"I am very fortunate to be in this position. Stanford University speaks volumes about what college athletics should be all about. Student-athletes who play and compete at a high level and win at a high level. The Sears Cup trophy championship has been here for years. One of my goals, along with the help of Eric Reveno, Tony Fuller, Russell Turner and these outstanding student-athletes who I will have the pleasure of working with, is to every day and every second get try to get better. Try to put ourselves in a position where we can be the last one standing at the end of the year."

"It is pretty evident that the gentleman who I am replacing didn't have a clue about what was going on with college basketball. (crowd laughter) It is pretty evident that he had a huge influence on me. I have had the misfortune of knowing Coach since I was 17 years old. Am I honored to be replacing him? Yes, I am. But Coach Montgomery will not be replaced. I have my own personality; I have my own way of doing things. And I'm going to try to be myself every step of the way."

"My wife is here, Jackie. She has been by my side for 25 years. It has been interesting this year - she was on board a lot. She liked going to the postseason, liked being in the Sweet 16. The last time I was involved with that was when I was here at Stanford. She had a pretty good comment at the end of the year: 'Boy, we had a great year.' I said, 'Oh, we did? What about when we were 9-20 and 10-18? I didn't hear you say what kind of year we had then. (crowd laughter) She is my biggest fan and has been my biggest supporter, and I always say hopefully she won't leave anytime soon."

"Really, I'm not big on talking about myself. Only thing I'm going to guarantee all of you all is that I am going to do everything within my means necessary to make sure the wheels stay on. The wheels stay on."

"The kids asked me when I met with the team Sunday what did I think I could bring to the table. I don't know if it is a strength or a weakness, but my nature is to be aggressive from start to finish, offensively and defensively. Everything else pretty much is in place. There are going to be no changes on this staff. I couldn't have been in a better situation than to inherit guys like Eric [Reveno], Tony [Fuller] and Russell [Turner]. And of course Sandi [Peregrina] - she's unbelievable."

"To share your excitement with me being here, back when I was an assistant coach here, I never left the office. I slept in the office. So imagine how I feel now - I don't need a place to live." (crowd laughter)

"Again I would like to thank you for being here. To the coaches and administrators, my goodness, thank you for thinking of me. Thank you for helping me through the process. I'm a guy who likes to steal a lot from the other coaches - Tara [VanDerveer] and Coach [Dick] Gould and all of them who have been here for years and have won a ton of championships. I'm looking forward to working with them as well."

Question: Does having been here before as an assistant make it easier than someone who had not been a coach here before in terms of recruiting and admissions at Stanford?

"I would like to think so, but I have never looked at that as a hurdle, from a recruiting standpoint or from me being an assistant. I go back to the history of this place, ever since Eric [Reveno] has been here, and we've continued to get high caliber student-athletes. I know the biggest sale we had to make back when I was an assistant here was that we could compete at an elite level and beat the Arizona's, the Duke's and the UCLA's. Every parent wants their kid to come to Stanford, so I think this place pretty much takes care of itself."

Question: How tough was it to leave Nevada?

"It was tough. This is a great job - Nevada and Stanford don't compare. But I'm a people person and get really attached to kids. Any time you have the caliber of kids that I had, who had bought into the system and bought into the program, basically came from rock-bottom to where we were at the end of this year - I mean, it's going to be tough. All that being said, it was tough leaving here five years ago. It's ironic that when I was an assistant here, Mark Few was an assistant at Gonzaga. At that time, we were the #2 seed and Gonzaga was the #10 seed. Trent Johnson was the last guy out of the locker room crying. Here we are this year, where Gonzaga was the #2 seed and Nevada was the #10 seed. Mark Few is the head coach and I'm the head coach. Don't think for one second that wasn't personal." (crowd laughter)

Question: When did you hear the news about Mike [Montgomery] and what was your reaction?

"I heard about it Wednesday. Mike had nominated me to be on this special recruiting assistant committee back in Chicago. There were probably 20 or so prominent coaches in the business, and then three or four guys like myself. (crowd laughter) Coach [Montgomery] was a no-show, and he's never a no-show. I took a dinner break and was coming back up around 6 o'clock Midwest time in Chicago when I saw flash across ESPN: 'Montgomery to take Warriors job.' I thought, 'Please.'" (crowd laughter)

"Then there were calls from some players and friends here at Stanford, and one thing led to another. But still, until the contract was signed, I couldn't believe it. I called Coach and left him a message letting him know how he screwed up my spring."

Question: How do you pick up recruiting at this point, at such a crucial time?

"I think the three guys up to the left, Coach Rev, Coach Fuller and Coach Russell have done a great job up to his point right now, from what I've heard. We've had about four or five guys that have been on campus with the head coach leaving. Basically I just need to come in and be myself and not screw this thing up. I have to keep in contact with kids; they have to call us. Again, everybody thinks Stanford is a hard sell because of the admissions standards. By no way is it a hard sell. We ask our kids as athletes to be the best possible athletes. My goodness, we want them to be straight-A students and honor roll students. There is a reason this place is so special - because we've got special kids who compete at a high level in the classroom and a high level on the athletic field."

Question: Can you give us a timeline on how fast everything happened this weekend and when you were contacted by Stanford?

"I was contacted Friday, and needless to say I was on pins and needles once I heard. Of course, Ted gave me a call asking when I could be there. My goodness, just tell me - just let me know. I was up here Sunday from 12:30 to 8:30, being put through the chamber by Nick Robinson, who I recruited seems like 20 years ago. (crowd laughter). I was on the phone with Rev, Tony and Russell and those kinds of things. Everything did happen fast. I should apologize for being overwhelmed, but my excitement is just that. Then I talked with Ted last night and here I am."

Question: With a couple weeks left in the academic year and individual workouts with the players, what is your plan to hit the ground running?

"Basically as soon as we're finished this evening, I'm going to meet with our staff and try to pick a time when I can go back to Reno and load up a few things. I'll get in my red pickup truck and come back down here - see the kids workout individually. I know we have a few big recruiting weekends coming up. As soon as possible I want to sit down with the players right now individually. It is going to take time for them to get to know me, and for me to get to know them. It's not like I'm going to come in here and make wholesale changes. I'm going to come in here and be a really, really good listener and go from there."

Question: You talked about your aggressive style. Can you elaborate on that?

"I talked about me being an aggressive person. I just think that regardless of what the score is, regardless what the situation is, you have to be aggressive. The teams who are the aggressors usually get the calls, usually create their own opportunities. So on and so forth. At times, that can also be a weakness. I really believe in giving kids a little more freedom offensively, but none defensively. Like I emphasized to the kids, individual workouts, weight room workouts and practice - everything is going to be like my personality. And frankly like Russell's personality, like Tony's personality and like Eric's personality. Their responsibilities in terms of teaching and coaching on the court are going to change. They are going to have a lot more responsibility, and everything we do is going to be at a fevered pitch, so to speak."

Question: You mentioned that you like to borrow from other coaches. What specifically have you borrowed from Montgomery?

"I think I stated that I am a junkie from the standpoint of watching other coaches, but what I've learned from Coach over the years is the simple subtleties of the game. You don't want to complicate anything. But I've been really fortunate in terms of Coach Montgomery and Lynn Nance, who I worked with at University of Washington. I think [Nance] had the biggest impact on me in terms of being a coach because he gave me a lot of responsibility with teaching and coaching during practices. Any coach in this profession, at any level, even if they have been somewhere a long time - I tend to observe and watch. That's what it's about to me. Anybody who has done it for a consistent period of time must be doing something right."


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