Tim Floyd Press Conference Quotes
Jan. 14, 2005
USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett
I've been waiting 20 years to finally really put men's basketball on the map on our campus. As you know, we finally got the means to begin construction on the Galen Events Center and the only thing that we need to make it complete is a great coach. We think we found one. I should say we know we found a great coach. After all the work and all the background we did, we came up with Tim Floyd.
Let me tell you this, we're excited about him. He's from New Orleans and he's going to come to L.A. and start learning a little about L.A. We know how big we are and how overwhelming it can be, but he will hit the ground running and do a great job.
We think, we know that Tim Floyd is the person we need. (The media) have been asking me about him for the last 2-3 weeks and now I can do introduce him without any reservation. He is the coach that will lead us to the success we're looking for in basketball.
New USC Men's Basketball Coach Tim Floyd
Thank you and I do appreciate the opportunity (Mike Garrett), Daryl Gross and Dr. Sample have given me to be a part of the Trojan Family.
Let me go ahead and break the ice because I know all of you are going to ask me how it feels to be the second choice behind Rick Majerus. Well, I fully understand why Rick Majerus was the first choice. He's a phenomenal, phenomenal basketball coach. I'll say this... I've thought about it and I've had to deal with my own ego, and to put it into perspective, I don't think I was my wife's first choice either! You're laughing, but I'm checking some of you guys out and I doubt you were your wife's first choice either (laugh). But I can live with it.
I've only been somebody's first choice twice - that was in Chicago and New Orleans and those didn't work out. Going back to Idaho, I think I was the fifth choice there. I took over a program that had finished last in the Big Sky Conference three straight years. There were 4-5 assistants that turned it down and Don Haskins, my old boss and my mentor at Texas-El Paso who I worked with for nine years, got me that job. I was the fifth choice at Iowa State behind guys like Majerus and Stu Jackson, but it also worked out there. I can live with it and I am truly excited to be here at USC.
This is a school that has always had a mystique with me. Growing up, I remember Bob Boyd's old basketball teams. As a kid, I remember seeing 25-2, 25-3 and wondering why I could not see that team in the NCAA Tournament. Those days you only had one team in the Tournament. I remember Coach Dedeaux's baseball teams, John McKay's great football teams and watching those games on Saturday afternoon. It's a school that is one of the great academic institutions in the country. It's a school that has produced high caliber people in every walk of life. When I was talking to Bob Boyd, he said that every dentist you're going to meet in Southern California is a USC alum. Coach Boyd loved this school. When I talked to him two weeks ago, he told me that this was something I should do without hesitation. And that is a great reason why we're here.
When I took my first head coaching job at the University of Idaho, Don Haskins gave me one piece of advice. He told me that when you hire assistant coaches, don't hire the guys that are slick. Those guys are just salesmen. They are the guys with six watches and nine gold chains. Hire guys that are basketball coaches. At that time, he only respected about 4-5 men in the country who he thought could really coach and one of those men was Bob Boyd. Bob was at Mississippi State and I hired three of his assistant coaches (Larry Estachy, Kermit Davis, John Brady) after he retired at Mississippi State.
This school is a school that Digger Phelps viewed as one of the top 10 basketball jobs in the country. I think that, that is something that can absolutely be the case here. I have never gone into a job that has this fertile of a recruiting area. The problem with that is that everybody in the country comes in here to recruit. I do know that through the years some of the local kids have left because maybe the facility was not up to par. It will be exciting to go out and maybe show the pictures of our new building and tell them that in their freshman seasons, the year 2006, we will be in a state-of-the-art building that will not take a back seat to anybody in this country.
This is a great time for me to get back into college. I probably would have done it after I left the Chicago Bulls, but Iooked at our record in Chicago and was still a little ticked off and wanted to show that I could coach. I had a second opportunity with the New Orleans Hornets and we were able to get them to the playoffs but things didn't work out there. So this is the right time for me to get back into college and this is where I plan on making my home. This will be my last college and/or pro job. My last job, period.
I want to congratulate Coach Pete Carroll and his football staff. I know a member of his staff - Carl Smith. People have told me wonderful things about Pete. What they've done here is second-to-none. I always thought it would be harder to build a national-level football program, than a basketball program because in basketball you really only need five key guys. But they have done it and I intend to meet with Coach Carroll. One of the first things I'm going to do is look at that football roster and see where those players have come from. I want to find basketball players at those high schools that maybe grew up idolizing some of our former players and maybe I can start to try and find a couple of big guys. We don't have any big guys coming back next year.
There are four guys returning on scholarship. I have had a chance to watch this team on film. I like all four players and I intend to sit down and talk with them on Monday. I'm going to continue to take a backseat to Jim Saia. I don't know Jim, but I know people that know Jim and I hear terrific things about him. I do not think it would be appropriate of me to come in now and start coaching this basketball team. Teams are built on beliefs systems and they have had an opportunity to sell their belief system to this team all year long. I wish them the very, very best. I want to talk to the seniors as well, but I have a lot of work to do in the next 2-3 months. I've got four scholarship players and I want to meet with this staff and find out who they have been recruiting. I will go out and try to find some additional players. As far as that goes, I am going to use Arizona as the measuring stick. I'm not just going to take a player this year because he is available if I don't think he can play for the University of Arizona. I do know that 85-90 percent of the top prospects have signed early, but I do not want to sell this program short and get in the business of taking a player and then running him off a year from now. The players we'll bring in will be long-term players.