New Vandy coach wins over SEC media

New interim head coach Robbie Caldwell was lining the football field last week just before he was named head coach after the sudden retirement of Bobby Johnson. Caldwell jumped into the thick of things on Thursday as he addressed hundreds of SEC media representatives. The new coach charmed the throng with his country background and humor.


"I know the first question you're asking is, Who is Robbie Caldwell?"

"I got asked on the radio, they said, What about all the coaches, have they congratulated you? I said, No, not a one. No offense to them, but they don't know me. They will."

"I can talk about pouring concrete, farming, being a pipefitter, all those things, working on a turkey farm. But nobody wants to hear that. Those are the things that I did prior to getting into football. That's the God's truth."

"My family was in a panic. All they heard was 'retirement.' You know all the speculation that goes on as well as anybody. They were all in an uproar, crying, carrying on. They never heard about the part about me getting to be interim head coach."

"Coach Johnson made some adjustments in the spring, shifting the staff around, reenergized everyone. Everyone's excited about it internally. So far fortunately we've been able to hang on to all of our coaches. We won't miss a beat. We'll continue to run."

"My daughter did remind me of one note that you can appreciate. She looked at the schedule and said, 'Daddy, I think there's two teams on there that didn't go to a Bowl game.'"

"That doesn't concern them one bit. Obviously Vanderbilt will do the right thing. They always have. Our chancellor was an interim. I think people make more of that than probably they should."

"Hey, I was a head coach one time, other than in 1977 when I was head baseball coach. We were pretty good, by the way. We were 14-2, had a chance, made the state playoffs."

"On the field I'm different. Obviously I can't be the position coach, the emotional hoop-and-holler, go-crazy type guy. But, you know, I'll be more even-keeled."

"Well, I'm from New York originally, you can tell by the way I talk (laughter). No, obviously I'm a country boy. I enjoy my roots."

(asked "Was there any adjustment period when you went to Vanderbilt just culturally speaking?")
"I think it was a big adjustment for Vanderbilt with my culture." Top Stories