New WKU head coach met the media

Western Kentucky head coach Mike Sanford held his first full press conference on Friday

Western Kentucky first-year head coach Mike Sanford visited with the media on Friday afternoon, taking more than 20 minutes to discuss his new hires, expectations and more.

Check out the video player above to view the entire press conference. (video courtesy WKU Athletics)


On offensive coordinator Junior Adams:

“Going with the theme of trusting my eyes, the big thing with Junior is he’s a guy who I’ve been in the foxhole with. I’ve coordinated with him, and when you get a chance to coordinate it’s really about the guys who surround you, because they really need to take your message, they need to take your scheme, and they need to go teach it to their respective groups. I really don’t believe I’ve been around as good of a football mind, as good of a teacher, and as good of a guy to be in the foxhole with from a game-planning standpoint as Junior Adams.

Additionally, I’ve been exposed to a lot of different parts of the country in coaching, so I’ve gotten to know a lot of the receivers coaches in America. I truly believe this - a lot of people have press conference fodder and what not - that Junior Adams is one of the best two or three wide receiver technicians and developers in the country.

I feel really good about his ability to coordinate and his intellect, because he will be going through that process with me. This receiver core - which is going to be young, but has a lot of talent - is going to be developed by one of the top wide receiver coaches in all of college football.”

On defensive coordinator Clayton White:

“First off, Clayton is incredibly bright and he has an infectious personality, but he also has a high standard of which he wants his players to play, and I’ve seen that both here at WKU back in 2010 and really dating back to Stanford. I’ve had the chance to see first-hand what he could do defensively as a coach, as a teacher, and as one who has a high demand on his players, and they, in turn, play hard for him. I wanted to get a defensive coordinator who has a great track record of being around some of the best defensive minds in college football.

I had the chance to coach against him and Dave Huxtable at NC State this year and - I’m not 100-percent sure, but I don't think I’ve ever been a part of a shutout either as a player or as a coach - we only scored three points against them. Watching them on film and going into that game - and not just because we played that game in a hurricane - we were very concerned about facing that defensive unit because it was a combination of talent, sound and simple scheme, and there are opportunities for guys to play fast and play early. With that being said, Clayton’s a guy who’s going to adapt the system to the personnel, so what you saw from NC State’s defense isn’t necessarily going to be what you’ll see from WKU in 2017. He has surrounded himself with really good defensive coaches who can also implement ideas and add to what he has been around.”

On running back Leon Allen’s potential return:

“I haven’t had a chance to really get to know Leon - Coach Sanford, Sr. certainly has - but I think the biggest thing for me as it pertains to Leon, is I want him to be a success story here at WKU. He was one of the best running backs in the country over the course of his first few years on The Hill. I think Leon has shown a willingness and determination to want to be a guy who finishes right. Our vision for this program - what we want to see- is guys holding that WKU diploma in one hand and five championship rings in the other on every finger, and I want Leon to be a guy who completes that mission with a great sixth year here.”

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