Quotes From Tim Floyd's Press Conference Today
April 2, 2009
USC Head Basketball Coach Tim FloydPress Conference 4/2/09
'I just wanted to say that I did go to the University of Arizona and I did have a conversation with the University of Memphis. I felt that I needed to look at those two programs. I am at a point where I want to do something really special and I feel like I needed to go look at an elite program. I needed to go look at one of the programs that has been one of the elite in the country. As far as I'm concerned nobody has been better than the University of Arizona has been over the past 25 years. They have a great athletic director and a great president and I had an opportunity to meet with both of them. I left Arizona yesterday and got back here last night and visited with my family and talk to our players. I am so glad that I went because what it did was reinforce for me what a special situation I have here at the University of Southern California. What a great place this is to coach basketball, what a great group of young guys that are positioned to do something special. What a great academic institution that we have here. I have never had more fun in my career than I have had the last three years. It has been really, really enjoyable. I felt like at the age of 55 if I was ever going to look I had to look now. I listened and I heard what they had to say. They are going to attract a fabulous coach at both of those institutions, without a doubt. Those institutions are too great, the programs, the histories, the traditions are too great, but there is something really special about building your own traditions, your own histories and doing it with a group of guys that you love and doing it with elite athletes and under an administration that you feel really strongly about that has been very supportive. And nobody has any better facilities than we have here at this university and I have never been more excited to be a Trojan.'
On his contract and if any changes have been made
'I have three years left on my contract. No, there have not been any changes made that I am aware of. I would like another year or two. I think that would be great. I would like for this to be my last job.'
On his conversation with USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett
'Mike and I spoke this morning and I just told him that I wanted to be here'.
On if he talked to any of the players during this process
'I talked to a couple of our players and they just reinforced to me this is where I wanted to be by talking to our guys. I talked to a couple of their parents as well and to a couple of our recruits as well.'
On the University of Arizona
'It is a tremendous place. You will remember that when I took this job I wanted to use the University of Arizona as a measuring stick in terms of trying to build this program. I talked about how the 72 pros from this league when I took this job, since Lute had the job, 36 had been from Arizona. They will be a measuring stick in terms of the type of athlete that we want to have in this program. How they conduct themselves is how we wanted to try to build the program. After going over there I can understand, it's a great place. They have great facilities, the athletic director is a great guy, the president is a great guy, but at the end of the day, I have a great situation here.'
On rumors he had accepted the Arizona offer
'Those were erroneous, that never happened.'
'They called me yesterday morning at 6:30 a.m. and said they would have a plane here at 12:45. I went over there at 12:45 p.m. and came back about 8 p.m.'
On what Arizona said to him
'They just told me that they would like to have me as their coach yesterday morning.'
On making decisions about jobs in this college basketball
'In our business these things happen so quickly. You have to make an immediate decision. I told Mike that they had called and I told them that I wanted to listen. And I listened. I came back to my house and sat there with my wife and we talked at length. I talked to my boss this morning and told him that I wanted to be here.'
On his talks with Memphis
'I did talk to their athletic director this morning. I told them I would call them this afternoon and I haven't had a chance.'
On if it has been common practice for him to listen to other offers
'No, it has not been common practice. I have had calls the last three years and I have not listened.'
'I viewed it as an elite program in this country and I really was curious as to what constitutes an elite program. What it's about, where they are, where they are doing, what is the direction. I looked if I could envision myself being a part of it and in the end I could not. We already have everything in place to do something very, very special here. At the end of the day, I needed to look. This will be the last time I look, unless the administration gets tired of me and they don't want me here then I will look in another direction. If they are happy then this will be it.'
On if he got advice from any coaching peers
'Normally I would have gotten advice from Don Haskins and he is not around anymore.'
On if it would have been awkward given that Arizona is also in the Pac-10
'That has happened through the years with different coaches. I think Larry Smith coached football over there [Arizona] and then came over here. Marv Harshman was at Washington State and went to Washington. Tubby Smith was at Georgia and went to Kentucky. These things happen.'
On the players making decision about their future at USC
'I don't know. I think all decisions are made individually. I've always been a person that has told players that if they are wanted then they must look. Find out what their worth is, where they are, where that takes us coming back and strengthening their position a year from now. With a college education in place, trying to get a diploma in place, as a coach you help them look at the education factor and the value in that. Everybody looks at things individually and we discuss that with our players.'
On if any of the players have decided to stay or go to the NBA
'I don't think our players have decided. We have had talks with our players and I think they understand that it is one thing to want to go and it is another thing to want to stay a part of something special. In the case of Dwight, Daniel, Taj and Keith Wilkinson, they have all been a part of three-straight NCAA Tournaments, something that has never happened at this school. They have all had a chance to build a legacy as the first group to go to four straight NCAA Tournaments at this school. I think they all understand that guys like Brockman, Pendergraph, Harden and Sam Young at Pittsburgh didn't hurt themselves by coming back, they have only helped themselves. I think they have all been very serious student athletes and they value that as well. All decisions come back to risk and reward in life and I think our guys have learned that is part of their education process to understand that options are going to be presented and you look at them with the risk and reward. They have a chance to get a great quality college education and how that can change your life as well. They are all young men and I have enjoyed working with them and watching them mature and get better. I am really proud of all these guys I have right now.'
Was there an allure in Arizona because they are a 'basketball school'
'No, I don't view it that way at all. I have heard the term football school, basketball school and when we took the job we talked about trying to become what Florida was, a school that plays great basketball and great football. Texas, a school that plays great football and great basketball and Oklahoma, a school that plays great basketball and great football. Ohio State is a school that plays great football and great basketball. There are many schools that do that. We are on the cusp of trying to get that accomplished. You don't do that in one, two, three years, you do it over time. You have to build it over years and hopefully Mike will give us the time to get that established here.'
On if there was anything specific he learned while listening to Arizona and Memphis
'No, just the excitement of being here with this team. There were no detractions from those two schools. They are both great institutions and they are always going to be great in basketball. They have great leadership, great facilities and great traditions. I think it had more to do with building our own here and understanding what we have in place here at SC. The talent base we have here, the talent we have on our roster, the talent base that we have in Southern California, the tremendous private school education they get at SC, the visibility of this program, the accessibility of this program, it's a special place and this trip only reinforced that for me.'
On his talks with Memphis
'I told them that I was going to be going to Arizona. They [Memphis] never made me an offer. They just said that they would like to talk to me and I told them I would try to call them this afternoon when I got back and I have not had a chance to do that.'
On if any other schools contacted him other than Arizona and Memphis
'No, that was it.'
On if this was a way for him to test his market value
'No, I have always been compensated here very fairly. I have been justly compensated for any discomfort that may come along the way, like losing six and seven games.'
Quote from USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett (4-2-09)
'We're obviously delighted that Coach Floyd is staying. He's such a tremendous asset to our program. He has done historic things at USC in his short time, getting us to three consecutive NCAA playoffs and winning 20 games for three straight years and capturing the Pac-10 Tournament title this year. And the future is very bright here under Tim's direction.
'We talked today and we expressed our commitment to each other. We are both excited about our prospects for next season, especially if we have the team we think we'll have.
'It's a show of respect that the other teams come after our coaches and present them with intriguing opportunities. We expect that here.
'But Coach Floyd's decision today re-affirms what we've always believed: that USC is a special place.'
USC junior forward Taj Gibson (4-2-09)
On other teams pursuing Coach Floyd
'I know he is a good coach and that teams would want him. He is an elite coach.'
On what Coach Floyd told the team
'He told us that this is the first group that he saw something special in. He thought about us and about winning.'
On his thinking about going pro
'I'm still getting over our loss to Michigan State. I haven't really thought about it much. Coach Floyd staying could play a big role in my returning, but I do need to talk to my family. If he had left, that would not have necessarily meant that I would have left either.'
On Coach Floyd staying at USC
'I will definitely take Coach Floyd staying into consideration. He made a big, bold statement and I think we could be a top five team if everyone comes back. It also really shows a man's character, by not going just for the money.'
USC Freshman Forward DeMar DeRozan (4-2-09)
On the speculation that Coach Floyd was leaving
'At the end of the day, we weren't too worried because he had talked to us, but we were worried about what ESPN and the media were saying and about it all.'
On if he has made a decision about his future at USC
'I'm just being patient. I am not leaning one way or another. I am looking at my options and going from there. I did talk to Coach Floyd. I love playing with this team and I would look forward to continuing to play with them.'