Mike Riley's Press Conference Quotes

Feb. 20, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Head Football Coach Mike Riley

'I guess the world really is round. It's been amazing. This is going to be my second and last opening introduction press conference at Oregon State.'

'I'm very thankful. I can't even express in words what it means to be back. I'm very proud of what's gone on here. I appreciate Dennis and his staff and where this program has gone. I'm very proud of the kids that we recruited that were a part of that deal. I'm very excited about taking that next step and building and enhancing what the previous staff has done and going forward with it.'

'I feel like it's an old glove for me. I've had different things come up in my life, and I really wanted to be back here. Did I ever dream that this would be a possibility? No. When it came up at such a late date, it totally surprised me. But I think I was the first call to Bob, because I wanted this job. I wanted to be back here.'

'I feel great about the fact that it's a very unique thing for a coach to be at a place he knows, where I grew up, with teachers, friends, players that I coached, even from my days at Linfield... Some of the greatest people I've ever been associated with. Ad Rutschman is right up the road and I'll still use him as a resource. These are major things that don't happen to coaches very often, and to get a second opportunity to do it is very, very special.'

'I feel great about recruiting. It's very easy to recruit to a place you know. So, you can talk about recruiting with a passion and sincerity. You can go in a home and say, 'This is the reason your son ought to come to Oregon State.' We look forward to not only the evaluation and recruiting, but we know that being integrated into this campus is a major factor in the growth of young men. They're going to grow in football, and they're going to grow in all other areas of their life, academically, socially. I love being able to sell that for a place that I know and love.'

'I think that this transition can be easy, but it's not to start with. One of my major jobs right off the bat will be staffing, and that is really, really important. These are the guys that will touch the players every day and be around them, so this group is important. We're going to try to do two things with this staff; I'm going to try to blend some of the people that are here and I've already started talking to some of those people that have been on this staff. That process will take some time. We'll see where they're at, how they fit, how they feel about me and go from there.'

'I also have a crew of guys that have been waiting for me to have another opportunity. I believe in them, they believe in me and we trust each other. We can get the ground running and that's really important in the transition because we're not talking about a rebuilding, we're talking about an enhancement and going forward and realizing the goal of winning the Rose Bowl. When we were first here, we talked about improvement and we had to look at that very subjectively so our players knew exactly where they were as we went through a two-year process. This is a different deal, and it's exciting. Oregon State is in that kind of light now where we can compete in every ballgame and really have a goal of winning the Rose Bowl. That's very, very exciting.'

'The other thing is I think that football-wise, through staffing, through what we did and how Dennis transitioned it, I think coming back offensively, I don't think it'll be a very difficult transition. Defensively, we will be able to continue a lot of the same things, so I feel good about that.'

'One of the other big jobs right off the bat will be visiting with the new recruits. I want them to know who we are and that they chose a great university. We are going to have a staff that will do two things for them - they'll treat them right and they'll coach them. They'll appreciate that, but nobody gains that level of trust instantly. You don't just say those things and it happens, but over time I think the players will learn to trust us and feel good about where they are in football and of course feel good about where they are right here in Corvallis and Oregon State University.'

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