President Tim White Comments On New Football Coach

Feb. 20, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. - President Dr. Tim White

'(Last Tuesday), we expressed our tremendous gratitude to Dennis (Erickson), we thanked him and congratulated him on the appointment to the 49ers. We also said that we would miss Dennis at that time, but that we weren't going to miss a beat.'

'We also committed last Tuesday to our team, to the university and to those who care deeply about the university and Oregon State football that we would work day and night until we found a new head coach who meets the standards of Oregon State University.'

'We entered this period of recruitment with high expectations and great confidence. I said then, and I'll repeat now, that we were seeking an individual who'd improve the competitiveness of the team, who would commit to the academic progress of our players, who would be successful in recruiting, who would be successful in fundraising and the Raising Reser project and would support not only student athletic success but also their academic success and their ability to be successful in this complex world.'

'Yesterday was a good day for Oregon State University. It made an agreement with Mike Riley. He embodies the very values that we seek in this position. His skills and experiences, his values and his work ethic are exactly what this institution needs today. We have hired a coach who will win, who will lead a competitive team that is routinely in a hunt for the conference championship.'

'I want to commend those who were involved in the eight days of activity. It was analytical, it was thoughtful, it was a deliberate process. It consumed every waking moment for those individuals. The screening committee analyzed the experiences, the knowledge of the game, the tactical and strategic approach that the coach might bring relative to the strengths of our students that are here today and the ones that just signed on in this recruiting class. We also evaluated the ability of the person to fundraise and to pull together a staff that would lead to the competitiveness that we seek at Oregon State University.'

'You need to know that athletic director Bob De Carolis and I stayed connected every day throughout this process. Yesterday we visited with coach Riley for several hours in the afternoon and talked about many elements of this position. Later, in the early evening we offered him the position, and we are grateful that he accepted. I think it was a very important statement when we came back last evening, the very first stop was to meet with the players of this great university's football team.'

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