Rod Q and A

West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez spoke at length with the media following the announcement that he would stay. Here is what the coach said verbatim.

Opening statement: "I appreciate you all coming I apologize for being a little evasive the last three or four days. …"

Q. Was there anything Alabama didn't do that they could have?

A. "Everything they did was first class. I don't want to go into detail about what was talked about. But if you follow football and are a football coach, you certainly know the tradition that goes with Alabama football. It doesn't matter where you grew up. You know the history. When it's something like that, and you are talking about going own there, are you kidding me? Some of our folks might be critical of me talking to them, but, again, the tradition and everything they do is so well-respected in our profession. But, again, there are more reasons to stay."

Q. Can you touch on how much loyalty paid a part in your decision?

A. "It did, and not just from the aspect of a coach for a team. This is not to begrudge coaches that recruit guys and are not able to see them through their careers. I think every coach sincerely believes when they recruit a young man, they see them through their careers. I know I did. I am glad to be able to see that through. The loyalty that my players and staff and my family has shown me has been something. But they loyalty from the West Virginia fans and the people who support the program, I have seen stuff in the last three days that has been amazing. You always think it is there, and you figure it is there more when you have a good season than when you don't. I'd like to list all the names. I have been with my closest friends in the last two or three days. Their cell phone minutes are all used up. There are some that have worked like crazy without me even knowing about it. I can't thank them enough for it. I can tell their passion and enthusiasm, not so much for Rich Rodriguez, but for our University, for WVU and for our athletic program. Alabama and other schools did respect our wishes as far as not contacting us until the regular season was over. They are first class."

Q. How did you address your team?

A. "I told them I appreciated their patience. I addressed the rumors before the last game, and I really had not talked to them since then. I told them I was sorry they had to go through that with all the talk and innuendo and all the talk that was going on. I was so busy this week I was not able to talk to a lot of them. Some of them called the house and talked to Rita. I told them it was hard. I was busy doing my work, and I was still contemplating what was going on. I could not tell them, just like I could not tell my coaches."

Q. Did you realize your former coach, Don Nehlen, said he hoped you did not go?

A. "No, I did not. I am glad you told me. I really appreciate that. He was on the list to call. I called a lot of coaches. I would certainly have listened to his opinion. There were colleagues that I talked to and respected in the business that had been in similar situations and guys I call normally just to bounce things off of."

Q. What was the major deciding factor, besides loyalty? Is there another important thing?

A. "Probably the events of the people that support our program throughout the country, some close friends in West Virginia and people throughout the country, from Arizona to Boston to Ohio and West Virginia that were so passionate about our program going forward. I don't think it was as much as hoping coach Rodriguez stay as much as it was that they hoped the program stays. It was always a goal to make the program the best in the country and rolling year after year. I think we are getting closer to that. There are a lot of people who are behind this program being successful. The only reason I got calls from other places is because of the coaches and staff and people from all over who help us be successful."

Q. How much did Rita influence or support this?

A. "Rita Rodriguez is the ultimate coach's wife. She understands the profession and understands me and what my goals and aspirations are. She made it my decision even though I told her it was a family decision. I know my kids want to be at West Virginia. I asked Raquel what she thought, and she said ‘It's not my decision.'"

Q. Without getting into details, what sort of things were looked at as far as facilities?

A. "There were a lot of things for me personally and a lot of things for the program. West Virginia University, to me, not only wants to be a major player in Division I athletics, but is. It is committed to getting better and better. I am thankful they listened to some of my ideas. The listened to our fans and supporters and me. I could not tell you all the private supporters that called. The people in the Mountaineer Athletic Club did an outstanding job of pushing to get some of these wishes done. I was a little leery about going to the basketball game the other day with all the rumors. But it was neat. Nobody cornered me or put a lot of pressure in the situation. They just said we are friends of West Virginia football and the program and we are here to help. I knew that. But the level that was shown in the last 2-3 days has been amazing."


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