Q & A: Tyrone Willingham

Nov. 5, 2001

1. Stanford had defeated two top 5 teams in successive weeks. Emotions were probably very high, and rightly so. How did you bring the team back to earth and focus on yet another big challenge against Washington? And then after the disappointing loss to Washington, how do you pick your team up emotionally? We are very fortunate to have outstanding assistant coaches who work to keep our young men focused on our overall goal. Therefore our team understands that each week is a only a single step in that journey. When a team has that understanding then it does not loose focus with great victories or disappointing losses.

2. Given your success at Stanford, could you be satisfied over the long term with the collegiate athletic environment or do you believe that at some time, you may explore head coaching challenges at the professional level? I have always tried to concern myself with what I can do correctly today. Believing that tomorrow has not been promised to me. My goal is to excel at Stanford by develop the best program in the country and not speculate regarding other opportunities.

3. Certainly the running game, the play of Chris Lewis, the offensive line and heads-up plays on defense have all been cited as reasons for your success. Which part of the team's mental or physical game do you think in underrated? We are fortunate that all aspects of our team at one time or another have been highlighted for excellent play. Yet all aspects at one time or another have performed less than we would like. Yet the area I would cite as underrated or needing more development is our true belief of what we could and can accomplish. Just a little more in all areas may have allowed me to write today as an undefeated coach.

4. I have been a Stanford fans for 27 years. I am very concerned about the status of one of our players. Can you tell us how Simba Hodari is doing? Could you at least send him our thoughts & prays. Thank you for your thoughtfulness regarding Simba and your support of Stanford football for 27 years. Simba is well on his way to recovery. He returned for Seattle late Monday evening and is resting quietly at home. It is too early to project his football future. He will undergo additional test and at the appropriate time we will make an informed decision. Thank you!

5. What is your favorite time of the day and why? There are two highlight points of my day. I am bless to enjoy each day as a wonderful gift and will never that opportunity for granted. But the highlight moments are when I awaken and realize I have seen a day that many will not and the beginning of practice to work with an outstanding group of young persons.

6. Do you feel like you are beginning a new season, now that you have four game left against non ranked opponents, and Stanford is probably out of the Pac-10 title chase? We are beginning a new season, that is a more difficult stretch than the four game gauntlet we have just completed. These next four game will demand all of the championship skill that we have. They will test or will, competitive skill, emotional drive and our physical toughness. If any of those qualities are missing then our chance to be successful will be lessened.

7. What was the reasoning behind calling Stanford's final time-out on 4th down in the fourth quarter? I called that time-out because I was indecisive in whether to continue the drive. The question was whether there would be enough time to regain possession if they took possession with our punt.

8. Coach Willingham, as fans jump on and off the Stanford Football bang wagon, I want to tell you how proud we are of our football team. They always are prepared, and play hard for the entire game. I am sure you are teaching them important life lessons that they will be use for the rest of their lives. Thanks you. Thank you and we'll continue to pursue victories as well as the growth and development of the young men in our program.

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