Dirk Koetter Press Conference Transcript

Dec. 2, 2000

Transcript of the Press ConferenceAnnouncing Dirk Koetter as the Head Football Coach at Arizona State UniversityDecember 2, 2000

Athletic Director Gene Smith:

'As you all know, it's been an enjoyable week because I did have the opportunity to spend time with a lot of quality people in our business. Early Monday when I first ventured out into the search process, I had the opportunity to meet Dirk Koetter. At that point in time, he set a standard for what I needed to try and find in the marketplace. As I went throughout the week and spent time talking with other individuals, Dirk Koetter continued to come back to mind. I feel fortunate that on Friday morning when I called Dirk, he was still available to consider being a part of the Sun Devil family.'

Head Football Coach Dirk Koetter:

'It's great to be here, and I couldn't be happier about it. I am in the job of my dreams. The last 48 hours have been so crazy for me and my family, you'll never know. I'm exactly where I want to be in what I consider to be the best college football job in America.'

'It's a great honor for me to be here. It was 15 years ago I became a Division I coach for the first time at Texas-El Paso. Head Coach Bob Stull told me your recruiting area is Phoenix, Arizona. They put me on a plane, I landed at Sky Harbor after dark and I had no idea where I was going. I stayed at the Fiesta Inn, and my first stop the next morning was McClintock High School. Right after I left McClintock High School, I drove up the street a little bit and I saw Sun Devil Stadium and the Arizona State campus. And this is true, 15 years ago I said some day I'm going to be the head coach at that school. So today is certainly my dream come true. In the end, make no mistake, this is where I want to be because Arizona State has the ability to win a national championship. I look forward to that opportunity in my career as a Sun Devil.'

'I certainly have the utmost respect for Coach Snyder and his staff and all the work that they have done here.'

Talk about the last 48 hours and the situation regarding Oklahoma State:

'I did make a verbal commitment to Oklahoma State, and in the interim between the time I made the commitment to them and the time I was going to go there and be announced, I was fortunate to receive a call from Gene (Smith). I had told Oklahoma State from the get-go that Arizona State was my first choice. I told them if I had the opportunity at any point to go to Arizona State, that was my first choice.'

Did you think ASU had given up on you along the way?

'I didn't ever think that they had given up on me. With all the coaching vacancies and all the things that were flying around last week, there were a lot of things happening, and everybody has different timetables. I originally told Oklahoma State I wasn't interested in that job, but they did a great job of recruiting me and making me see their commitment to football. But in the back of my mind, I always hoped I'd be getting that call from Gene (Smith).'

What did you say to the ASU team when you met with them?

'When I met with the team, I told them how excited I was to be here. I wished them well in their bowl game, I told them we were going to need their help with recruiting and how much I respected Bruce Snyder and his staff. I don't want to ever be perceived as having stepped on anybody's toes because of what Bruce has done here. I asked them to finish this semester strong academically.'

You are known as an offensive coach, what are your defensive strategies?

'I know that's one thing that I always get asked about. I love winning football games. I go to where I am by being an offensive football coach. I have a great defensive coordinator who you will meet later in the week. He and I work extremely well together. I serve as my own offensive coordinator and I call my own plays. I have to have a defensive coordinator who I can trust. Our basic philosophy on defense is that we are in a nickel package all the time: 4 down, 2 inside linebackers, 3 safeties and 2 corners all the time. We're an attacking blitzing defense that likes to put pressure on the quarterback. I think that style suits the offensive schemes in the Pac-10, and obviously we are going to find out.'

Have you talked to Todd Heap?

'I met with Todd after the team meeting today and had a very brief conversation with him. I told him I'd love to have him come back. I thought his body language was extremely positive. He had a smile on his face which made me have a smile on my face.'

What are your offensive philosophies?

'I like to score points. Whatever it takes in that area. I think as an offensive coach, you have to be flexible because you have to play with the players you have and recruit what you need. What we always say is simple, let's figure out who our 11 best guys are and try to get them out there. If that means we have two backs, a tail and a full or 2 tailbacks, 2 tight ends, 3 wides, 4 wides, we will use many different personnel groups because we want to give every guy who has a special talent the chance to go out and contribute. We want to be as close to 50-50 run-pass as we can be. We want to throw the ball vertically. We don't want to work hard for 3 yards, we want to work hard for big plays, big gains and touchdowns.'

Do you have a timetable for how soon you will meet expectations for success?

'We need to be on a one-year plan. We have some juniors who would like to go to the best bowl game they can go to and win a Pac-10 championship. Certainly that's our goal. I can't deliver that, I can't predict that, I can't promise that, but certainly that's what we are working for.'

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