Jan. 8, 2014
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut football coach staff met the media for the first time on Wednesday afternoon in an informal session at the Burton Family Football Complex. Here are some quotes and video from the session.
Head Coach Bob Diaco
Opening Statement: "I'll be very brief, this is the assistant coaches roundtable here and I just wanted to say formally to these guys, welcome, and we're so excited for UConn country. We feel like we've put together the best staff in the country."
Offensive Coordinator Mike Cummings
On his offense at Western Michigan translating at UConn: "There's no doubt it's applicable to UConn. The way we had that team built is very similar to what we have right now in terms of personnel. One of the things we really did was run the football. Obviously, when you run that football you need to be balanced to use the run to set up a play-action pass. You have to be able to do those things and take your shots."
Diaco on Cummings: "Just working myself around the room, on offense I welcome Coach Mike Cummings. Mike and I have been close friends and colleagues at multiple universities for a very long time. He's a great guy, he's got a great family and we have the same DNA as it relates to how we like to treat young men and teach and coach and how passionate we are about this game. Along the same lines with coach Mike, he'll work with the tight ends and be the offensive coordinator."
Director of Player Engagement/Running Backs Coach Ernest T. Jones
On winning at UConn: "Everything you need to win is here. The pieces are in places and we just need some energy and passion about the game of football, which is what we have."
Diaco on Jones: "Coach Ernest Jones, you'll get a chance to talk to, we've worked together at multiple universities for the better part of ten years now. He's been a great asset to me, he's helped me grow as a person in a lot of different areas. Coach Jones will be the Director of Player Engagement, which is going to work on a few of our pillars of development. He's a person that's passionate about taking the baton from someone's parents, and taking that baton that person and passing it on to the next phase of his life better than he found it. He's got a great passion and energy for that and he's fantastic in that role."
Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach Vincent Brown
On why he chose to come back to the college level: "I had the opportunity to work in the NFL during the 2006 season and it was very rewarding. This is different. You get a chance to really impact the lives of these young men in college football. You can see their development from year one to year four. That is very gratifying."
Diaco on Brown: "The co-defensive coordinator, Vincent Brown, and maybe he tries to shake Vincent `The Undertaker' Brown or not but you can't hide from the fact that is a big reason he's here. The fact of the matter is the man did it, he did it at the highest level and he does it with class, he does it with hard work, he does it with integrity. He's a great staffer, he's a great blend on the staff and in that room he's got great credibility where you look at this guy and say `he did it, he's going to tell me how to do it, I'm going to do it like he's telling me how to do it because he knows because he did it.' He's got great credibility there and he's a great family man and again, fits with the DNA."
Associate Head Coach/Quarterbacks Coach Don Patterson
On Bob Diaco: "He's a guy that's more competitive than most. He's just got a passion for the game and a passion for life. He's just a great person. We had a great experience at Western Illinois. I knew when I hired him I wouldn't get to keep him for very long. Our second year we won the conference title and went into the playoffs."
Diaco on Patterson: "Coach Don Patterson I've known since I was 16 years old. He was the offensive coordinator at Iowa where I played my college football under Hayden Fry. Coach Patterson gave me my first full time job after my graduate assistantship. We've been very close friends and colleagues and he will be the assistant head coach and he's going to help me be a better head coach and be a better coach on a day-to-day basis and tutor those great quarterbacks we have and take our program to the next level on that basis."
Special Teams Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach Wayne Lineburg
On why he chose to come to UConn: "It's a great opportunity to be here. I met coach Diaco and worked with him for two years at the University of Virginia in 2007 and 2008. I certainly know Bob very well. When he called me up it was a quick decision because I knew he was a up-and-coming guy. It's a privilege to come work for him at this tremendous university. I'm looking forward to getting this thing going in the right direction."
Diaco on Lineburg: "Wayne Lineburg and I had an opportunity to work together [at Virginia]. Wayne is a very hard worker, he's got a great worth ethic. You're going to find that, he's a great family man, son of a coach. He's got that same DNA and has an expertise in the passing game which is fantastic and he's got the right DNA to lead the special teams and take that group to the next level."
Offensive Line Coach Mike Foley
On staying at UConn "One of the first things I said to coach Diaco when I met him was that I wanted to be here. I love Connecticut and UConn. I know we could be good here and take this to a higher level."
Diaco on Foley: "Coach Mike Foley, you guys know better than I do, Coach Foley is here because every single person I've talked to, not one person, and I've talked to a lot of people, not one person did not have Mike Foley at the top of their list when asked, `you're going to lead your alma mater, who are you taking with you?' Mike Foley. He has that same DNA that we all have, he's been a great so far, we've been together a few days and he's going to be a great blend with the rest of the staff."
Defensive Coordinator Anthony Poindexter
On Diaco: "I've been coaching at the University of Virginia for 10 years and it was going to take a special person and a special opportunity to come get me and UConn had that package."
Diaco on Poindexter: "On defense, the defensive coordinator is Coach Anthony Poindexter. Coach Poindexter will specifically tutor our safeties. Coach Poindexter I've known for a long time and like it was written, someone wrote a beautiful article about you Poin, I don't know if you saw it. When we were together, right before we were separated I told him `if I have an opportunity to hire, I'm going to make every attempt to get you.' After all these years, he's always been a guy that I've pointed to wanting to work and he's going to be a guy that did it. He can stand in front of the guys and he was a great player and a student at a great institution. He was a great student-athlete and had all the parts and pieces and he's going to be able to mentor that specific group and the defense in general and get them to play football like he played football and like he coaches football."
Recruiting Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach Kevin Wolthausen
On UConn and Diaco "There's always that situation when you meet someone and both of your thoughts and ideas are the same. That's kind of how it was with coach Diaco and me."
Diaco on Wolthausen: "Coach Kevin Wolthausen and I have known each other for a long time, we met each other in 2002 and started working together and we've been friends ever since. He's a great family man, a great worker and he's an expert defensive line coach. He's coached defensive line at almost every imaginable level. From the professional ranks, the Atlanta Falcons, down through USC, Oklahoma, Arizona State, through the MAC and all different types of players. He's recruited all across the country, he's got contacts coast-to-coast so he will also be our recruiting coordinator. He's got the right DNA there, he's very organized, he's very detailed, he's a very hard-working guy but he also spans a few generations of parents and players. He's one of these rare guys that can talk to anybody about anything. He can talk to somebody about football in 1972 but he can also shoot out Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and all the things a 16-year old is doing now. So he's a special guy and we're glad to have him."
Corner Backs Coach/Co-Special Teams Coordinator Josh Reardon
On previous experience coaching in New England; "I had a good experience at Holy Cross and I love living in the area and it makes a lot of sense being here based off of personal experiences. I'm very excited to be back."
Diaco on Reardon: "Coach Josh Reardon is here, he's been impressive for me as a player, he then became a student assistant, then a graduate assistant. He furthered his career and has a great expertise in this area, this greater New England and northern footprint as he recruited and coached positions in this area. He intimately helped me as a coordinator to build the defenses we had [at Notre Dame]. He's going to be an incredible asset and resource in not only helping Anthony and Vincent create the very best defense that limits points and big plays, but also special teams."