Reaction from the 'Cut

The termination of Rick Neuheisel's contract by the Washington Athletic Department resulted in reverberations felt far and wide. Here's a quick sampling of thoughts from coaches, players, signees and high school players about Neuheisel's departure. You'll find the sentiments to be pretty similar, regardless of class or position.

Tim Hundley:

On getting things done: "There's work to be done and everyone has assignments, so in that regard there are things getting accomplished. And while I say that, I think I need to qualify that by saying that, the guy that's in charge of the football program and is a friend of all of ours isn't here, and we all know why he's not, so it makes things difficult in that regard. Everybody has concerns for Rick, so that has slowed the process of the things that need to get done for the remainder of the year."

On job security: "Our contracts end in July and you always have concerns for your contract, how your family is going to be."

On working with Neuheisel: "He's always been fair to us, staff-wise. He's always looked out for your family first. He's a tremendous family guy, and not just his, although he's very good with his wife and his kids, but he also makes time for you and wants to make sure your family is doing well. He's been a great friend of Jake and Nick, our sons, and always had their interests at heart, and the same thing with my wife."

His favorite Neuheisel moment?: "He's such a tremendous competitor, that the best moments are when you've had a chance to help him be successful. There have been a lot of successful moments with him - he's won a lot of games. So any of those situations have been great."


Joe Lobendahn:

"Coach Neuheisel was great with everyone. He was there for everyone and he was like a father to us in that he would do anything for us to keep us happy and keep us going, as well. Now, with him gone, I'm not sure if the next coach will(fill) his shoes or not. But, I bet they're going to try. We just got to move on."


Donny Mateaki:

"He was cool. I thought he was a good coach. The situation he got himself into, none of us players had any control over that or any control over what actually happened to him. It's very unfortunate. I heard a lot guys saying they want to transfer here or transfer there. But, hopefully they see we've got a good thing going on if we can keep it together for next year."

On Keith Gilbertson: "He's a guy that yells a lot! (Laughs) He's very intense. Hopefully, he can take it back to when they (went to) three Rose Bowls in a row, how practices used to be. Hopefully, he takes it back to then because I think we have the talent to do it."


Rich Alexis:

"It's been kind of hectic. We're just trying to see what's going on. We want our coach to stay here. He brought us in and watched us grow into mature men. It's hard to see your leader go. I tried to go up to the office a couple of times just to see his face and to let him know that I support him. I'm behind him 100 percent regardless of the outcome. The only time I got to talk to him was during our meeting at the Don James Center. It's a lot of disappointment and I'm kind of hurt by the whole situation. You never want to see someone you came up with and grew up with leave at that point when it's your last season. We feel that we're going to have a great season and we want Coach Neuheisel around because he built this program pretty much these last four years. But he's not going to be here. It's my senior year and I have to go out there and stay focused. That's what he would want me to do. He always told us to stay focused no matter what you do and keep fighting and hope for the best."

On Coach Neuheisel: "He was a genuine guy and a great, sincere, person that took care of each and every one of his players. He didn't put us on a pedestal. He treated us all the same, and there was no special privileges. That's a great feeling. And if I have kids one day and he's still in the coaching ranks, they are going to Coach Neuheisel's school, wherever he is. Every time I was around Coach Neuheisel, I enjoyed every minute of it. Every time when you were down he would give that talk and that golden look in his face, and you knew it was going to be alright. He's a people person and a players' coach and I know it's going to be really hard to see coach gone but we all have to dedicate the season to him and go into Ohio State and get the job done."

On his relationship with Neuheisel: "It was a great relationship. It went way beyond coaching. Coach Neuheisel is a great guy. He took a chance on me with that one year of experience playing football and gave me a full ride, a scholarship to play football for the University of Washington. He gave me an opportunity to play my freshman year. That was the greatest thing ever. He was always honest with you. You could trust this guy. You could talk to him about anything. He was great to all the players. He was a good guy, a real good guy. College football is going to miss a coach like him."


Clarence 'Dre' Simpson:

"It's horrible. I'm truly shocked. I really don't know why they are making such a big deal out of this. But I'm coming up July 10th. I'm ready to come in and play hard."


Bobby Whithorne:

"I was really looking forward to playing for Coach Neuheisel, but first and foremost I'm a Husky. Washington is a great school and they will hire a great coach . All I want to do is win Rose Bowls."


Erik Berglund:

"Well, I signed to play football for the University of Washington. Washington is a great school and they are going to provide great coaches in the future after Coach Neuheisel. All I can do is come in and work hard and play hard. Of course it's a disappointment that Coach Neuheisel won't be there. I really liked him, but I'm loyal to the school."


Louis Rankin:

"I don't really have too many things to say about what's going on. All I know is that I'm getting ready to come to Washington and I'm getting ready to play."


Casey Tyler:

"It's definitely disappointing, but all I can do is work hard, get ready, show up and make the best of things."


Casey Bulyca:

"I don't think he should have been fired. They are losing a great coach at U-Dub, but he did break some rules and it looks like he's going to have to pay the consequences. U-Dub will be fine with the coaches they have and Coach Gilbertson should be the coach. As long as Coach Gilbertson is the coach, my commitment is pretty solid, but if they go outside I would have to wait to find out who they hired. I might have to start checking things out again."

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