Q & A: Tyrone Willingham

Nov. 28, 2001

If we have to choose between Seattle and Las Vegas bowl venues, do you and the team have a preference? Does Stanford have bowl history/ticket sale attendance to demonstrate that bowls in warmer climates get supported at a higher level by our alumni? We do not have a preference except to play in the highest ranked bowl possible. We recognize that the quality of teams in this country will provide a great challenge regardless of which bowl we have the opportunity to play. Our last two bowl games have shown a much greater alumni support than the previous years. It will take outstanding fan and alumni support to erase any negative perceptions from the past.

This isn't really a question but I just want you to remember my name because one day I hope to be on that field with the team. If you could please write a little something back I would be grateful. But you don't have to. THANKS. P.S. I am 13 and I live in GA. I am always eager to respond to young men who desire the great opportunities available at Stanford. You are at the right age to make some great decisions in your life. I believe it is wonderful that you are an athlete but even greater that you are also a student. I hope that you will make it your goal to be great in both areas and I will try to hang in there so I will have the opportunity to coach you.

Coach Willingham, I am a fifth grader in VA. My dad and I watched a great comeback by your football team. He told me to e-mail you and find out what your looking for in your type of player, I have great grades and a rifle arm, dad says that runs in the family. Hoping to hear from you about your type of player. Oh yea Coach that red and white sure looked good on TV, Would love to show the guys around here that Cardinal Red. Well Coach i know your a busy man and good luck with your upcoming game. Great call on third and Goal, my dad called a toss sweep to Coach. Your cousin Brandon Michael Dennis. Brandon Michael Dennis, I have been blessed to have had great parents and relatives. I was taught some very important lessons early in my childhood that built a strong foundation for life. I know from our uncles and aunts those lessons are still being passed along and that means that you are also blessed. The key is what you do with your blessings. I love young persons who are smart. There is no substitute for intelligence and a strong mixture of common sense. I also believe that an athlete must be tough and that is a mental and physical combination. Then if those ingredients are in place, I hope our athletes are blessed with the speed, agility and size. But please understand intelligence and toughness come first. Thank you for taking the time to e-mail and let the family know I send my well wishes.

How does going to a bowl game help in your preparation for next year in terms of getting a whole month more to practice? It is a very nice situation that in a bowl appearance you gain additional practice time for your young players. But it is always important that it not be just practice time. The quality of the practice must be at a high level in order to receive the benefits. In our case the practice days will be limited to 12 prior to the Seattle Bowl.

Is there anything that you feel a coach can do, aside from winning, to increase the quality of bowl that they are invited to? Thank you but no! The coach is very limited in what he can do but it is important that the fans understand that their support is evaluated from many levels and reflects on the team.

How are you able to keep balance in your life, if you feel you are able to? When one has passion regarding any endeavor it is very difficult to have balance. So I am no different in the struggle to keep life on an even scale. But I am blessed with a wonderful family that has been understanding and worked together to enjoy the our lives together.

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