Mel Tucker Press Conference



thank you Dave and good morning to everyone and on behalf of the Cu system president Bruce Benson and myself I want to thank Rick Gorge for his work in leadership in recruiting an outstanding coach who will lead our football program into the future Rick did an extensive national search and I'm pleased to welcome coach Mel Tucker to campus I had a chance to speak with coach Tucker earlier this week and realized we have some things in common not only do we share a passion for the success of our student-athletes but we both grew up in Ohio and we were both at the Ohio State University although when I was there it wasn't fee it was just oh hi Oh State University and I'm pleased to welcome him to our buff family I also want to thank our student-athletes for the way that they've handled this transition I'm certain coach Tucker will have an immediate positive impact on our football program on our University and as a leader of young men a successful football program benefits the entire university it raises our profile and demonstrating that it's possible to have athletes succeed on the field and in the classroom which is a key area of focus for us our athletics overall in our football program have steadily shown improvement and athletes GPAs and overall graduation rates athletics are a part of the entire campus and part of our students college experience with the proven leadership of coach Tucker we look forward to getting back to consistent winning seasons and major bowl appearances we have the infrastructure and many fine student-athletes in place for success our new facilities give us an edge on recruiting and I believe we're prepared to go to new heights together as buffs we will continue to build our football program on the field in the classroom with the goal of graduating young men of character and now it's my pleasure to introduce our athletic director Rick George we met with the staff earlier and they they applauded but it wasn't for me it was for Mel but I want to welcome all of you and and and say thank you for being here today I'm really excited and proud to be able to share this announcement with Buffs and with all of you today before I give my remarks I do want to thank the Chancellor his counsel and guidance through this process has been incredibly helpful to me I also want to thank sue Sharkey and our Board of Regents who's with us today her support for what we're doing in our athletic department is extremely invaluable to us and I also wanted to give a shout out to my wingman Lance Karl who was with me every step of the way through this process of hiring what I think is going to be one of the great coaches in Colorado history also before I give my remarks I want to introduce Mel's family a fellow Illini jo-jo their sons Christian and Joseph welcome glad you're here welcome to the buff family it's a great day for Colorado and it's a great day in our history because we get to introduce the 26th head football coach of this great institution I said to you all two and a half weeks ago that I thought this was the best job in America I still believe that today but what's most important is I think we hired the best coach in America and I'm really excited about that when we started this process a little over two weeks ago we said we were going to be thorough which we were we were going to be efficient and we were going to hire the very best coach for the University of Colorado and today I'm thrilled and excited to say that we hired the very best coach that we could foresee you he's a perfect fit for our program I'm excited about his ability to lead this program to greatness greatness in the days weeks months and years ahead and he's been in this business over 25 years 23 as a coach and he played at the University of Wisconsin he's been a part of two national championships that's where I aspire this program to be those are the expectations that we have for this program is it's about winning championships he's experienced success at the highest level and that's the level that we want to be at at the University of Colorado as you know he played defensive back at the University of Wisconsin he's been an assistant an assistant head coach a defensive coordinator on some of the best defenses in college football I believe you win championships by having great defenses and I'm thrilled that he's going to be a part of this he's also worked a number of years in the NFL as an assistant as a coordinator assistant head coach interim head coach he brings incredible pedigree and experience to the head coaching role Nick Saban's hired him three times probably a reason for that because he's one of the best in the business he's hired him three times that speaks volumes and he's been alongside Kirby Smart for the last three years playing in the national championship game this past year I was there but no I wasn't recruiting him for the job but Regan Arkell that they talked about melkor beasts mark said this he said Mel's a great leader he commands great respect players really follow Mel's lead he does a tremendous job of game planning XO knowing calling the game but more important than that he's very a load loyal soldier that helps guys out if guys are struggling or their confidence is struggling he's able to pep them up they follow his lead that's what I wanted in a leader at Colorado what he brings to Colorado is a toughness a discipline and accountability and a real passion for his players we spent a lot of time at his home when we were talking about his passion to make sure that his student-athletes were prepared for that next stage in life and that was an important part of our conversation academics are very important to him he takes great pride in developing young people to be the best versions of themselves and again we did a lot of one of the other articles I read one of his student-athletes said I've grown a lot under coach Mel Tucker I think he's an awesome coach even a better person I would agree with that just as defensive style the way he calls plays and the way he cares about his players that speaks volumes I think he's a great guy and I love him that's the kind of coach that I want around our players and that's the coach that we're getting but I did forget to mention that he's a great recruiter and he's recruited national he's brought in some of the great players at the schools that he's been at he's a proven recruiter and I'm excited about what he will bring and add to the tradition of the Colorado Buffaloes as I said earlier this is a great day for Cu I can honestly tell you I've never been more energized more excited in my professionals career than I am today to announce this guy Mel Tucker is going to be our 26th head coach I'm honored to introduce him can't wait for him to get started and ladies and gentlemen our new head football coach Mel Tucker [Applause] that's a hard act to follow you see the number of the montañosa he has you see what I have here so we'll see what happens he tried to tell his joke to start the deal off and no one laughed so first but I'm going to tell a little bit of a joke but it's kind of serious I said I've got a few prepared remarks and the rest of is gonna be from the heart and I told Lance cross and if I start to ramble just start to put in music like the Grammys and I'll start to wrap it up so we're not laughing at that is a rough crowd okay well first and foremost I'm honored and privileged and proud to be here I've waited for this opportunity for my entire career I need to think of some people Bruce Benson and his wife Marcy who had the pleasure of meeting they're just tremendous people and they're supporting us 100% and I really like to thank them Phil we're on first-name basis Phil in his wife Yvonne fellow Ohioans I'd like to thank you and I appreciate your support Rick George is the man when I grow up I want to be just like you and his wife Nancy he's uh he's outstanding and when I met him it just felt it just felt right I felt like it was the right fit I know that we're gonna do great great things here I also feel like I have to and I really want to thank some of my former coaches head coaches that I work for they helped shape Who I am today first and foremost coach Nick Saban who was a mentor to me he's been like a father figure for me in the in the world of football and he gave me my first opportunity to coach in 1997 at Michigan State and I'm forever indebted to him also Jim Tressel who means so much to me he was a role model for me and I was on his first day at Ohio State we did great things we won a national championship in our second season there and we're still great friends to this day and he taught me he told me so much about not just coaching but about about life Kirby smart I love Kirby we we went to Athens to do some special there was some unfinished business there but I think they're well on their way he gave me an opportunity to work alongside him and I thank him for that and I love him for that I also want to thank players that I've coached sometimes in some of these press conferences that I've seen you forget about the the guys that you've played for you and good players make you a good coach and that's what motivates me each and every day is to this to know that I have the ability and the opportunity to teach motivate and develop young men on and off the field and I wouldn't be where I am today I wouldn't be standing here today if it weren't for for the great young men that I was able to work with at Georgia and all of the other places that I've been and including the NFL sometimes you learn more from your players that you learn from anyone else and then last but not least I'd like to thank my parents my parents are in Cleveland still Mel senior who raised me as a football as a football man he played football and baseball at the University of Toledo he's in the Hall of Fame there I owe him everything my parents and my mom Brenda that the tremendous sacrifices they made for myself and my two brothers we were always first with them and I can never ever repay them but what I will do was I will try to pay forward Rick thank my Rick mentioned my wife and my two boys and he said he was going to do that because he knew I would forget but I want to thank Joe Joe Joe Joe and I have been together for a long time and she was with me before I actually got into coaching and so she knows the journey and what it's all about and Joseph my 16 year old and Christian my 14 year old they've been supportive of me 100% along the way we've moved I moved them around a little bit sometime in this business to move up you got to move and I'll say this those two boys right there at night not easily impressed and when we when we toured those facilities last night they were fired up we get back to the hotel room last night and the voice say there are you kidding me we can win here I said what do you think we're doing here that's why we're here we're here to win and we're here to win big butt so there's and there's too many people to thank there's just so many people but for all that are watching this press conference in May a lot watching it live and may watch it later just I want everyone to know that everyone that I've coached with anyone that I've coached for and all the players that I've worked with over the years I appreciate you and I'm always here for you and and I love you with all of my heart getting down to football obviously the expectations are high you heard it just now from Rick we're here to win championships that's that's okay with me pressure expectations I've never been in a game as a player or coach that we weren't expect it to win ever and so there's one thing that I can tell you there's no one on this planet that can put more pressure on me than I can put on myself the expectations that I have for this university in this program are extremely high we're going to start working today to get this thing going in the direction that it needs to go I met with the players this morning we had a really good conversation I had them to myself and sometimes you just know and I know that the young men in that room they're hungry they want to win they want to compete for championships they want to be relevant and I promise them that if they follow the process and they buy in and they do the things that we're going to ask them ask them to do that we will achieve at a high level and they will reach their full potential and we'll be able to compete for championships and be in that conversation you're in or you're out as you walk through the facilities and you meet the people here the leadership that's in place here the question comes to money it comes to mind is why not us why not the University of Colorado why not the Buffs why not see you there is no reason why we shouldn't be able to compete at a championship level and win championships it's been done here before this is a great place it's a great University great tradition great facilities the time is now in my mind as a as a young coach I was always told male one day you're gonna be a head coach then as I got older they said Mel you're gonna be a head coach but you got to take make sure you take the right job make sure you take the right opportunity make sure it's the right fit for you and when I met with Rick there was no doubt in my mind that this this was the right fit this was the right opportunity this was the right time for me to make the move to become a head coach to go to a place where I know we should win go to a place where I know we have support go to a place where I know that the expectations are high that's what I want I want that expectations to be high I want people to be energized that's what that's what it's all about that's why we're in this game we're now inator we're not in it just to be ordinary or to be regular or just be good enough we're in this to be the very best that we can be and that's gonna be our goal each and every day I talked to some of the athletic department staff just a bit ago and I and I expressed them that I know that we're all in this together and I know that everything that I do every decision that I make directly or indirectly affects everyone here and so that is a huge responsibility but I embraced our responsibility and I relish that responsibility because I know what it takes to get the job done and I can't wait to roll up my sleeves with the staff that I'm going to assemble and get to work and get this thing done we're going to lay the foundation we're going to do it right we're going to build it the right way because if you build it the right way that means you can sustain it the staff I can't promise you that I'm going to bring in every guru X no guy that there is the one thing that I promise Rick is that first and foremost we will bring in we will have coaches on our staff that have the highest and integrity and the highest amount of character they care about young men and that are going to get love young men and they're gonna treat these young men like our like our own like our own sons will have that obviously our staff will be extremely competent in the X's and O's and there will be relentless recruiters what that staff makeup will be remains to be seen but time is of the essence and we'll get moving in the right direction from a staff standpoint right now so what is what are we going to look like what you're going to look like when you when you when you're in the seats in the stadium a tremendous venue what's it going to look like on television you're going to see a team that has a tremendous foundation first and foremost we will be best conditioned in order in order to win big you've got to play harder and you got to play longer we will be technically sound and fundamentally sound it all comes back to technique and fundamentals it just it's just not about the X's and O's we'll always be able to rely on our technique and fundamentals on both sides of ball and special teams we will play smart what does playing smart mean we won't beat ourselves will be will be prepare for all of the special situations that come up in games we'll be able to come through in the clutch in the redzone short your orders go line to point play is to minute all those critical areas will be a smart football team will play fast how do you play fast you recruit fast players first and foremost but players play fastest when they know what to do players play fastest when they know what to do and our players will know what to do and they will play fast and last but not least our team we will be physical my dad always told me that the name of the game the name it again with football has hit IT hit that's the name of the game and there was always a place on the football field for someone who will hit and he's told me that since I was three years old and so physicality controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball being violent on special teams flying around and enjoying that that's what you're going to see that's what it looks like that's the picture in my mind and that's what I talked to the players about this morning and for what I can see they were all in and so am I so again I'm going to wrap it up I think the music is starting to play the part the farm prayer hey coach Brian Howell from the bowl of Daley camera Brian so obviously you're coming to this place that you've played here once before let's forgive that so I know not great memories but you know having seen this firsthand what this can be at its height did that kind of memory come back to you as you're going through this process and thinking okay we can get back to that yeah absolutely I remember vividly how dominant Colorado football was at that time and it was a team that you didn't want to play and that's the team that we're gonna have we want to have a team that changes the way people think and when it's all said and done when they leave them when they leave the field we want them to think never want to play that team again and that's the type of team that we had here in early 90s and it's uh it's very very possible this is a no excuse program as of right now Patrick Saunders with the Denver Post Patrick thing welcome question for you when did you first think that you wanted to be a football coach after you were a player and what were the basic reasons you wanted to transform from being a player into a coach well I always knew that I wanted that that I wanted to be a coach in some capacity when I graduated in May of 95 actually volunteered at my high school football and in basketball and I saw the impact that that that I was able to make with those young men when when you give them some advice you show them a way and they apply it and they get immediate results and you know you got them right there that's probably the most rewarding thing as my dad was my first coach he coached me in baseball and I think coaching is a very very honorable honorable profession and so coaching is Ashley has been in my blood for for quite some time welcome to Boulder thank you that is your staff and you mentioned recruiting when you look at the current staff obviously there's a couple buffs former buffs on the team that could have a great tradition with here know what boulders about how much do you weigh that knowing what kind of an impact not only they have on the field help with recruiting in their relevance to the state yeah I think that's important every coach on your staff brings something different it's something unique to your program and I'm going to meet with gonna meet with the staff starting today it's going to be a meet and greet I'm not going to make any decisions on on staff today or probably even this weekend but it is a it is a factor Matt Stevens the differ post I'm at recruiting for Cu the pipeline's of love it often been out west mm-hmm not necessarily where you have as much experience recruiting mark do you intend to keep those pipelines or maybe pull those up and go back to places you're more comfortable no we plan to keep those pipelines and actually enhance those pipelines and make them even stronger the west coast california texas louisiana critical and then a program such as this has to recruit nationally and let's not forget our own state where there's tremendous players here that we have to make sure we keep them keep them home and we'll do everything we can to do that congratulations coach Tucker thank you do you talked about toughness and physicality that's not necessarily the reputation of this conference how do you blend that with creating an offense to that can you don't play this fast up-tempo game we see in college but it's gonna be the way we live we're gonna live tough we're gonna eat tough I'm gonna practice tough and it's gonna be who we are is gonna be part of our culture there's no self impose impose limitations here and what what has been in the past or what is what's around us and the rest of the conference has no bearing on what we are and what we're gonna be and so you know I talked to the team about that I think that resonated with them you know it's the talk about the illusion of choice there really is no choice in order to play this game you got to be tough you got to be cool you mentioned your opening comments that as soon as you started talking to Rick you felt like right away this was the right fit for you you've been waiting for the right fit the right job I guess why did you feel that way what was appealing about this as opposed to maybe other jobs you've kicked the tires on recently well I think first and foremost in order to have success at this level and at the top where the best compete success is measured in inches and in order to have a chance to be great you have to have great working relationships with everyone in leadership positions everyone has to be on the same page moving in the same direction with the same vision and Rick's vision was my vision for what the University of Colorado football should be and so I knew right away that it was the right fit for me what did you learn about being in charge of a program being the head guy from Jim Tressel or Nick Saban yeah I learned a lot quite a few things I learned from a learner from Romeo Crennel I learned from Mike Mularkey I learned from the late Terry Hebner and his in in Jane I learned from my head high school coach who was starting the program I learned from Barry Alvarez when I was in his first recruiting class we were one in ten one and ten one in ten five and six five and six Rose Bowl and you come in with a plan and you work the plan and it's a process and you'll hear me use that word process quite a bit everyone wants to win but how do you win and there's a process of winning and if you do things the right way each and every day and the standard is high expectations are higher the environment is right then you can achieve success but there is a process will work that process day in and day out and all of the great coaches that I've been around they've had a plan they've had a process they've implemented implemented the process and they haven't wavered and have gotten great results on the subject subject of recruiting what are the key qualities components you look for and recruits when you're out there on the recruiting trail well obviously you you want guys that can win one-on-one they can win their box when whatever position that is and so the evaluation process is critical weed and it takes talent T to evaluate talent and so we first have to identify the players we have to identify the players we have to evaluate them and then at that point once we decide that these are guys they can they can be difference makers they can help us reach our goals these young men they can help us win championships and it's all about marketing at that point and so we know what we're looking for we know what it takes to compete and to win what type of player and it's not always all about talent this talent and character and so that's a big that's a big part of it we know what we're looking for and we're gonna go get it hey coach marked his let demo post hey Don you said your father was your first coat he was and you said Nick Saban was the coach that got you into this crazy business and you've said a lot that football is a game of tough who is a tougher coach your dad or Nick Saban well my dad's my dad so you know yeah I gotta go there I mean all of the all of the most all of the coaches that I've worked for or play for were extremely tough but however tough being tough on players is not a bad thing you know if you have the two components of love and discipline I think they understand where the toughness is coming from and why it's important and Nick Saban my dad or Barry Alvarez or Jim trussell there was always that element of love discipline culture of accountability and players buy into that because really at the end of the day that's what they want that's what they need and that's off the field as well oh it's not always easy for these young men to come in come in and and to acclimate themselves to football academics the social aspects of college first and foremost you know we have to make sure these guys get a great education and today graduate I mean that's the least we can do that's the least we can do and so I'll tell parents and tell kids it's my job to it's my responsibility responsibility to make sure there's that you get you you you get your first job whether it's in the NFL or in the business world and so we're committed to these young people to do that and there will be our element of toughness to it and but they're gonna like it Nick Stelzner Big Ten football news obviously selling a student athlete is one thing how do you so mom and dad in the living room well first of all most you have to find out what's most important what's important to the young man and what's important to the parents and once you identify that either you can you can you can satisfy those expectations or you can University of Colorado can satisfy all expectations from a parent's standpoint academics coaching staff environment support safety medical staff we have everything that that a parent would want for their child for their son and so it's just a matter of educating them you're always marketing you're always selling and at some point a decision has to be made if you've done it if you've done a good job making sure that the parents understand what you have to offer and they'll realize that the University of Colorado is actually their dream school well you hit the ground running here and you've got obviously coaches you got to figure out you got to figure out where you're gonna live and all the different things obviously you've gotta live with Rick George for you don't his place is big enough when I've been over there he's got a gala room yeah you'll be just fine make sure he does never charge you for rent all right you got a recruiting sign a guy coming up here that that changes everything so you got to worry about that recruiting aspect of kind of building your talent pool but the first recruiting job you've got to do is to those young men that you face this morning and I know you gave them a message but how do you get those guys cuz cuz next season we've all seen that 2019 schedule it's a great schedule and how do you convince those guys to buy in so that your success when you walk out that field next ball well you're exactly right we all talked about recruiting the next class but you have to recruit your players every single day every opportunity that you have to touch them you see them in the hallways in the locker room you see them on campus or every sim that's an opportunity to build trust to build relationships and to recruit and and to push the vision articulate the vision of where we're going and what we can be and what we want to be and how it affects them individually is very important football is a football ultimate team sport obviously but he's one of these young men have individual goals so how can we help you reach your individual goals and that's that that's that that is recruiting and I believe in recruiting every day in the building and also on the road please Monica Costello won't be Associated Press to build a little on what Mark said this team had a really tough year starting out so well and then being slowly slowly losing and it was very hard on them not recruiting them so much but how do you build them up how do you get them to a place where they were as confident as they were in the beginning of the year yeah well I think it's all in the preparation you know when that's when it's time to compete on the field on game day there's a difference between being being being anxious and feeling pressure when you're anxious is because you know that you feel that you're not prepared the pressure is normal pressure is good because if you're under Pro you feel pressure at me as you care so our guys will be prepared they'll know that they'll be prepared because of our offseason conditioning program because of what we do on spring ball the way we practice the way we conditioned them mentally make sure that their mental disposition is where it needs to be to compete at a high level and we'll build them up and you know a guy a person can go two weeks on one complement so when they when they when they do it wrong we'll point that out but when they do it right we're gonna go nuts let me know they did it right and that's how you build people up and as opposed to tearing them down and so I'm a big believer in that we'll be demanding but we're also going to teach we're going to motivate and we're one of the and we're going to develop our players and when they step on the field they will feel the pressure but they won't be anxious I thought that was the last question there okay you pull rank Knicks Coach Saban recruited me in high school when I was in high school I got a I was I was at home one one evening and the phone rang I picked it up and you say this is Nick Saban from the Houston Oilers

Michael Martin

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