Football Head Coach Tyrone Willingham Answers Fans' Questions

Sept. 17, 2001

What do you think Teyo being a wide receiver? I am very excited regarding Teyo's initial performance at wide receiver. My excitement is heightened because of what I believe he can accomplish this year with a lot of hard work. It is not easy to make a transition of this nature especially with the limited time given to adjust. If healthy he and the team can have an outstanding season.

Have you talked to Willie Howard since he to drafted? How has his NFL experience been so far? I have spoken with Willie Howard and he is having the time of his life. Professional football is one of the things he desired to accomplish.

Do you feel the high intellectual abilities and requirements to get into Stanford are help or a hindrance as a coach? I ask, 'if you were a crook, would you desire to be an intelligent or obtuse crook?' First, deciding to be a crook is wrong but the analogy only points out the value of education at all levels. Being intelligent benefits all that we seek to accomplish. I prefer the intelligent! Do you find these athletes may be thinking too much instead of just doing what you ask? One has a tendency to think too much when you lack skill or confidence. You tend to try to be perfect and the goal should be to relax and pursue perfection.

With the tragic events of the past week, how do you prepare your team to move on and play football? I do not believe that there is a defined manner to prepare a team to move forward following the events of the last week. This is an area that few if any have experienced. We are fortunate that our classes are not in session, whereby allowing our young men the opportunity to reflect in a personal manner. We all need a manner to deal with our innermost feelings and fears. Yet as sensitive as our young men must be during this and other crises, they must also posses the strength, courage and character to lead us through difficult times that lie ahead. To answer your question, it's important to build into your schedule person time for reflection and find time to bring forward the courage, character and strength that has made America great.

Where were you when you hear about the World Trade Center bombing? I was awake, reading the newspaper, watching television and having breakfast at 5:45 AM as the reports a few minutes later began to come across the network news. What are your reactions? I cried and continue to cry because of the unexpected senseless loss of life at the hands of terrorists. Did you know anyone who was directly affected? I am fortunate that at this time I have been only indirectly affected. But the truth is we are all directly affected and must now endure a radical change in our lives.

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