Dec. 16, 2009
Dr. Gregory H. Williams
University of Cincinnati President
On what he notice when he came to UC:
When I came to University of Cincinnati a little over 6 weeks ago, I was impressed with many things on our campus. One thing that of course immediately grabbed my attention was our football team. These young student athletes are in the public eye and you know them as the group that has won two straight BIG EAST Championships. They are getting ready for their second BCS bowl appearance. They return to campus today to prepare for the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
On the football players:
What I have been really impressed with these young men is how they handle adversity on the football field against Pitt late in the fourth quarter; which we all saw.
In the class room they are ranked #1 in BCS schools in terms of academics and in life. Recently they lost their head coach. But as I said in my statement last week, one of lives unavoidable lessons are that things do not always go as planned. But also to borrow another adage, when one door closes another always opens and that is the case today, with our new head football coach.
On head football coach Butch Jones:
Butch Jones is a proven winner. He is a student of the game of football, innovator who believes in big offense and a strong defense wrapped around a true team dynamic. He truly believes that we comes before me.
Butch has experience as a head coach which I agree with our director of athletics Mike Thomas, about being a major part in our selection as a head coach.
His experiences in NFL with Tampa Bay and two other Big East teams of Rutgers and West Virginia reflect a rich background of someone who ready to assume the leadership of our top three football team. He knows how to run a program at a championship level, which is where we are and in fact were we intend to stay.
Most of all, Butch is excited about being here at the University of Cincinnati and to be associated with a two time big east championship team.
Cincinnati is a great city and Butch Jones is a great coach. He is poised to continue to build on the great legacy we have here, the great success both on the field and in the class room.
To Butch, to his wife Barb, and their three children, Alex, Adam and Andrew, On behalf of UC supporters everywhere I welcome you to Cincinnati and the University of Cincinnati. Home of the number three football team in the United States, on its way to the Sugar Bowl.
University of Cincinnati Director of Athletics
Thank you Dr. Williams. Good afternoon and welcome to the Kingsgate Marriott, for what I expect to be a land mark day in the history UC football.
On UC football:
In my career as an athletic administrator for the past 25 years, I have seen many great moments and experience the thrill of being involved with many championship teams. But over the last 3 years, I have certainly been involved in something very special here at the University of Cincinnati. I have seen the power of hard work and dedication lift a program to national prominence. I have seen individuals put their own ambitions aside for the good of the team and community embrace a program with unmatched enthusiasm and passion in a sold out Nippert Stadium. Those are the characteristics of a championship program. In fact, a program with back to back BIG EAST championship, most impressively is a program competing for a national championship.
On the offense:
One of the hallmarks of our football team this season has been the swift procession of our offense and how they have moved the ball down the field. With guys like Tony Pike, Mardy Gillard Armon Bends and Zach Collaros, just to name a few the Bearcat attack has been incredible.
Following the events of last Thursday, our team off the field, started a search process with a same determination and execution as does our team on the field.
On meeting Butch Jones:
Once I had the chance to meet Butch Jones face to face I knew we had found an individual with the right characteristics who would carry on the momentum that had been built around the UC football program.
Butch Jones is just that person. He innovative mind and energy makes him the knockout choice for the University and positions Cincinnati football for a future where it cannot only compete for BIG EAST championships but for national championships as well.
Before I bring up Coach Jones up to the Microphone I want to take a minute to thank some folks who have been instrumental to this process.
On thanking people:
Certainly, first and for most our president Dr. Williams, for allowing us to move swiftly ahead in this process and providing the resources to bring the best candidate to the University of Cincinnati.
Secondly, I would to thank Buck Niehoff, the chair of our board of trustees and our UC board for their support not only for our hire of Butch Jones but also the approval of the Jefferson sports complex and keeping the momentum rolling, which gives our student athletes, our coaches the tools to compete for championships for years to come.
I certainly want to thank the coaches on staff who are going to lead our student athletes as they prepare for the sugar bowl on January 1.
Last but not least I want to thank the fans of Bearcat Nation for staying behind us, staying behind this football team and helping sell out our allotment of Sugar Bowl tickets in 72 hours, that is impressive. I would like to welcome Barb, Butch's wife, the first lady of bearcat football. She already has the red apparel on. I also look forward to meeting their three boys, the A team, Alex, Adam and Andrew.
Cincinnati as you all know is a great sports town and there is not doubt that they have embraced this young team of young men who will take the field against the Florida Gators on January 1 in New Orleans.
It is my distinct pleasure to present to you the 38th football coach in the history of UC Butch Jones.
University of Cincinnati Head Football Coach
We have put a wavier in to get Tony Pike back for one more year.
Before I get started I would like to give thanks as well. First and for most president William and obviously Mike Thomas and Bob Arkeilpane for trusting me to be the head football coach at the University of Cincinnati. It is something that is obviously very exciting. I had the opportunity to meet the team today and I didn't want to leave. I just can't wait to get back here and roll our sleeves up and start working and continuing on building what we expect to be a legacy in Bearcat football.
On Being named head coach:
It truly is an honor and privilege to be standing before today as the head football coach at the University of Cincinnati. It is a position that comes with very high standard and I look forward to embracing those challenges each and every day.
On the opportunity:
When this opportunity presented itself, I looked around and l think it is one of the premiere opportunities in the country. It is very rare that you have an opportunity to come and take over a two time defending champion, number 3 ranked team in the country, it was too good a opportunity and just very excited to be apart of that. But when you look at all of the things that surround this program. The great city of Cincinnati, the state of Ohio, the support of the administration the support of the community, the fans, the alumni, the student's body, faculty and staff. Then opportunity to compete in a great facility, like Nippert Stadium and all of the tradition it brings with us. I had the opportunity to go down and I went down to the 50-yard line and I envisioned a sold out crowd. Obviously I had the opportunity to compete in this arena with another school and I have been able to witness it on TV but I'm really excited to witness it as leading the Bearcats next season.
On the BIG EAST conference:
With the BIG EAST conference, I think a conference that is extremely competitive each and every week and I have had the distinction of being apart of this conference for two and half years and I really think I understand the dynamics that it takes to compete in the BIG EAST Conference.
On his vision:
One of the other things that really enticed me was Mike Thomas' vision. I think we shared a shared vision and that called Catapult. Championships, academics, together and we shared the exact same vision, with championships; I like to call a championship culture. Everyday we're winning a championship, whether it is on the field or off the field or in the community. Academics first and for most is to graduate our football players and to mentor them. Together we are a family. Everything that we do within our football program is family. I don't like to use the term football program I like to use the term family. I know a lot of individuals preach family, but we live family each and every day.
Championships are not only won on the field but off the field. From the community to the academics, like I said, we are winning a championship each and every day we come to work.
This will be a program the will continue to embrace the city of Cincinnati and the entire state of Ohio. That is something I always talk about, what is your advantage? Great people that surround this community and this football program.
Continue to build team
We will continue to not just build a team, will continue to build a football program. A football program that will continue to be around and contend for championships for a number of years. In setting a mission for our football program, the first thing is to relentlessly pursue the big east conference championship each and every year. The next one is to graduate our football players, we are building men, we are building future leaders of our country of our city and then we will represent the University of Cincinnati, the city of Cincinnati and the entire state of Ohio and that is something we can all be proud of.
On the seven core values:
On program will be base off of seven core values. That first core value is loyalty. To me that is the number on thing. Loyalty to our great city, loyalty to our state and loyalty to each other and we will work on that and do it each and every day.
The next one will be Family and I already talked out it. Everything will be based of the core value of family. I will be these individuals father figure away from home and we are going to ask parents in our recruiting process to send us their sons and they only need to entrust my self but our staff to be father figures to these individuals.
The next component in the seven core values is honesty. I believe in honest and up front and that is the way we will run our football program.
The next one is accountability; we are accountable to each other. I am accountable to our alumni to our boosters to our great fans and to our administration and I am the caretaker of Cincinnati football. You wont find any one who is more proud of that then myself.
Great Focus. Our program now at a level of extreme high expectations and we are the hunted each and every day and enable to persevere you need to maintain great focus.
The sixth is commitment to excellence. I like to use the word compelled. We will talk to our football team, there are five levels of commitment and the best level you can be at is compelled and we will be a compelled football team.
The last one is persistence. To me that is working hard each and everyday to be champions not only on the field but off the field as well.
On offensive philosophy
I know you are all probably waiting on this, our offensive philosophy. Wide open spread offense, fast paced, great ball security. Our goal will be to lead the country in ball security and scoring points and doing whatever necessary to secure a win. We have been fortunate to be able to do that in the last three years in our offense. There are only two quarterbacks who have been able to throw for 3,000 yards in one season and rush for 1,000 and that was our quarterback last year Dan Lefevour and the other quarterback to do that is Vince Young. That is the type of offense that we will bring to Nippert Stadium each and everyday.
On Defensive philosophy
Defensive philosophy is we are going to be a swarming aggressive style attacking defense, we wont be a defense that makes mistakes we wont hurt ourselves and we will be a great tackling football team.
On Special teams
The third component which I think embodies what a football program is all about is your special teams.
First area I look at when I look at our opponents is how do they perform on special teams. You can find out a lot about the discipline and the effort and the character of a football team through their play on special teams. As
On assembling the coaching staff:
As far as assembling the coaching staff, we have started that process immediately and will assemble the best the staff that will represent the university of Cincinnati the way everybody would want them to be represented. First and for most, I'm looking for great teachers. We are teachers of the game of football. We are teachers of the game of life. I like passionate individuals. As phrase you will hear me say week in and week out is with our players is a term called passion. I think that really separates individuals. Their passion for life, their passion for what they are doing. You are going to see a football team; no matter if we are playing on Thursday night or Saturdays is your going to see a passionate football team. Your going to see a team with chest bumps, your going to see a football team that when we change quarters, we are going to turn and we are going to sprint to the end of the field because we are going to be the best football team in the country and that is going to be something we will pride ourselves on.
You will see individuals on our coaching staff the value family. You keep hearing the term family and that is when you look at Cincinnati, the term that comes out is family. It's a close-knit community people and that's what brings people together. The next thing in our coaching staff is expertise. Expertise in their field of study. I want the best teachers and I want them to be extremely knowledgeable.
I started the process today.
On Hiring Kerry Combs:
I hired my first individual on the staff. I had the opportunity to know him for a long time, we have worked camps together and he is a legendary high school coach in this area and that is Kerry Combs. He has accepted. That is way we are late a little bit, I asked him about our football team and it took him about two and half hours, you can see the passion he has for Cincinnati and the great city of Cincinnati. So he will be joining the football staff and he is my first hire as the head football coach at the University of Cincinnati.
On his family:
Lastly I would like to thank my family. My wife Barb and we have three great children, 13, 8 and 2. The only thing they asked me is that they wanted me to bring back some jerseys for them. So we are bringing back some jerseys for them. We are looking to get our family here right away and they will be entranced in our community, you will see us around and I think that's very very important.
Again I am very excited to be the next head football coach at the University of Cincinnati.
On plans for bowl games
I'll tell you what, I'm starting to take it hour by hour and day by day, as everything has happened extremely fast. To me it is all about the seniors on this current football team. For them to go 12-0 and to have the opportunity to compete in a great bowl like the sugar bowl I'm going to be around but I'm going to be in the background. I think it's all about them finishing what they started and I talked to them today about leaving their legacy. They have the opportunity to leave their legacy. To me it is all about the kids, no coach has ever thrown a pass, no coach has ever caught a touchdown pass or made a tackle. That's the basis of our football family, its about the kids and I will be an on looker but ill be a by stander, I wont get in the way of anything in attempting them to go 13-0
Mike Thomas: Basically long and short of it is our model... Jeff Quinn leading the Sugar Bowl and our staff being intact. That will still take place.
On the strength and conditioning program:
It is very similar to what has been done here in the past. We will get one of the best strength and conditioning coaches in the country. It is a critical hire because 87% of a student's athlete's time is spent with a strength coach. I understand that that lays the foundation for championships. We have been able to go 23-3 in the Mid-American Conference the last three years and two out of three championships and I think the basis of that leg work was down in the strength and conditioning room and the weight room. So we will go out and find the best strength and conditioning coach available to lead our football team.
On squaring core values when coaches are moving around the country:
First of all, I am a teacher of young men and everyday is an opportunity to teach. Its not just football, it goes beyond that, like I said, champions off the field. Everyday we will talk about those core values. A lot of times in our team meetings, they schedule for 15 minutes and they end up going 45 minutes, so my coaches end up getting agitated. But very rarely do we do football in the team meetings, we talk about life. I think my track record speaks for itself, when you have three young children... when you are young you may jump around cause you don't have a responsibility. But when you become a father the first thing you look is where do you want your kids to grow up. I couldn't think of a better place then the city of Cincinnati then to raise my family, so I'm planning on being here, it's a commitment, its something that we are going to sustain on success and we are going to build on success and I'm excited to be apart of it.
On what he is doing with the Central Michigan bowl game:
Everything has happened so fast and the response has been overwhelming. From the text messages from now my former players... I called each and every player last night and have been honest with them throughout the process. Every man-to-man said congratulations coach you deserve it. Again, the thing I don't want to do is to take away from what they small senior class has done there and what that football program has done. To go 9-2 in the Mid-American Conference with our out of conference schedule and to finish the season ranked top 25 in the country is a tribute to everyone in that football family. The last thing I want to do is disrupt anything in thing in their plans as well. Again I am just taking everything day-by-day, hour-by-hour, I have been in communication with their athletic director and we will work through that.
On being familiar with conference:
I think it helps, I know the lay of the land. The two and half years I spent at West Virginia and Rutgers as well, I know most of the coaches on a personal basis within the BIG EAST Conference. I know exactly what we are competing with; I know the recruiting process so I think that it is a little bit of and advantage.
On what hiring Combs as and how much he had to clean up at Central Michigan:
Kerry Combs is going to work in our secondary; the same position that he holds here currently.
The big thing is it's not about Brian Kelly or Butch Jones, it's about the players. The big thing for us is getting to know them on a personal level and seeing their skill levels and trying to put them in the best possible situation possible. Brian has done a great job obviously with the program and being in this situation three years ago. To me it's looking on the future and building on what they have. The big thing right now is recruiting. Actually going and solidifying our class and every individual that is commitments to the University of Cincinnati, we will honor their commitments. So to me the biggest thing is getting going in recruiting and continuing to bring in quality student athletes.