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UNIVERSITY OF TULSA MEDIA CONFERENCE
December 15, 2014
PRESIDENT STEADMAN UPHAM:¬† It's great to see everyone this morning.¬† Today we begin another chapter in the storied history of TU football.¬† It's really a wonderful day in so many different ways that you'll hear about today.¬† In order to get to a moment like this, we have had to have the assistance and help of so many people, and I would like to single out some people that were instrumental in the search process, and let me begin with Barbara Allen, who is here today and chairs the athletic committee of the board of trustees.¬† She was a member of the search committee; Mike Case, also, who is here today, trustee and member of the search committee; Joe Craft, I don't know if Joe is here, but Joe is a former trustee.¬† He was also on the search committee; Sanjay Meshri, trustee on the search committee; and Frank Murphy.¬† These five people really devoted a huge amount of time and travel in order to make this day possible.¬† I'd also like to thank executive vice president Kevin Buck who assisted in the search.
We couldn't have gotten here without Glenn Sugiyama from DHR International.¬† Glenn is here.¬† I think many of you know him.¬† He is a search consultant par excellence and assisted us in the search for coach Frank Haith and was instrumental in this search.
But really I want to save the highest praise for our athletic director, Dr.Derrick Gragg, who led the search, whose vision charted the path that got us to this day, and so let me introduce Dr.Derrick Gragg.
DERRICK GRAGG:¬† This is a great day at TU, and obviously I want to thank the president.¬† I worked at five other institutions, and I can tell you that our president is the pure definition of leadership, so I appreciate his support.
I also want to thank the search committee members, again, all of them who were very instrumental in the search process.¬† They've been here longer than me, and I'm a good listener, and I'll get into the process a little bit, but this coach we felt fit better than anyone we talked to, and we talked to a lot of coaches.¬† We started with about 30 people.¬† So I appreciate the committee.
I really appreciate Kevin Buck.¬† He's been the interim athletic director a couple of times, and he always reminds me that he's 2‑0 in bowl games as an AD, so I have a little catching up to do with him.
Definitely want to thank Glenn.¬† Glenn and I, this is the third or fourth time we've done this, and the search process has gotten better each time, and the great thing about Glenn is he has all the agents' and all the coaches' numbers on speed dial.¬† I don't have to call anybody, I just tell him who I want to talk to and he lines things up.
What we did last Wednesday is we got on a plane and we flew to I want to say it was nine cities in six days, literally from coast to coast, pre‑screening the first 15 people to cut it down to five, and at one point I remember I got on one plane and I said, This is a prop plane.¬† I said, this guy had better be good that we were going to see.¬† He was, but he wasn't as good as the coach we have here.
I also want to thank the student athletes, and I know we have several of them in the back of the room, and when I was a student athlete I went through a coaching change going into my senior year, and that's very difficult.¬† I think sometimes in processes like this, the student athletes are the ones who get lost even though this decision affects them more than anybody.¬† So I appreciate their attitude.¬† I appreciate them being very patient as we went through this process, and I told them last week when we started that we'd go out and get an outstanding coach, and that's exactly what we did.
And then lastly for now I want to thank Coach Montgomery's family.¬† I've done this to my own wife and children.¬† When Dad has these dreams and these things that he aspires to be and he shows up one day and says, hey, we need to pack up and move, especially for a family that's been in Texas I think their entire lives, that's not an easy thing to do, and I want to thank them for sure.
Now, for the man of the hour, and you've read all about him so I don't have to go over his r√©sum√© fully in depth.¬† But he's just been successful on every level.¬† We said we wanted to look for experience and success, successful on the high school level, at the University of Houston, Baylor University where he was with Art Briles for 17 years, coached a Heisman Trophy winner, just coached guys who just lit it up on the offensive side of the board, set many school records.¬† He's coached players that are in the NFL now, too, and they're 40‑11, Baylor, in the last four seasons.¬† Two Big 12 Championships in a row, and they finished just outside of the Final Four, and we've been talking a lot about whether‑‑ if they were going to the Final Four I would have definitely encouraged him to go ahead and make that move and stay with them.¬† That's a once‑in‑a‑lifetime thing.¬† So that tells you about the accomplishments of this coach.
And another thing I want to address is this was our number one choice.¬† Like I said, we started with 30 people.¬† We whittled it down to 15.¬† We brought five to New York to interview, and the search committee members, who were already nodding their heads, they know that he was the number one choice.¬† He was the only person that we talked to seriously about coming here, and as a matter of fact, they were still in the plane and Kevin Buck is texting me from about 10,000 feet, asking have we gotten the deal done, so that tells you how important it was to them.
Without any further ado, I want to introduce to you our new head coach, Philip Montgomery.
PHILIP MONTGOMERY:¬† (Shows jersey) How about that?¬† Now, my son I'm sure will try to steal that.
What an honor.¬† Very humbled to stand in front of you today to be your new head football coach.¬† I know I got to visit with the team last night.¬† I see a bunch of those faces back there in the back, and I'm excited to go to work with those guys.
I want to thank the president, President Upham.¬† I got to go to his house night and meet his lovely wife and sit around and get to visit a little bit.¬† That was outstanding.¬† Then ended up going over to Dr.Derrick Gragg's house, met his family, sat down and had dinner with him.
One of the things that I really enjoyed about this process is when I walked into the room with the board of trustees and the search committee and Glenn and all of them, when I sat down at the table and we started shooting questions back and forth at each other and they're asking me things and wanting to know, and I felt so comfortable with the people in that room.¬† It was just like kind of sitting down and having a family dinner, and we all sat around and we talked, and the energy in the room was outstanding, and when I walked out of there I was able to call my wife, and she said, well, how was it, and I said, well, I thought it was good.¬† I don't know.¬† I mean, I wasn't nervous, I wasn't this, I wasn't that.¬† We kind of got up, everybody kind of shook their heads, and I thought, man, this is great, let's go.
She said, well, that's great.¬† She said, have you heard anything yet, and I said, well, no, but I think it takes a little longer than that, and it wasn't much longer that we started getting phone calls and we started going back and forth, and so the process was unbelievable.
But I want to thank the board of trustees.¬† I want to thank the president.¬† I want to thank Derrick.¬† I want to thank Glenn and his search committee.¬† I want to thank Patrick and Russ, the guys that work with me.¬† All of those people in a combined effort kind of came together and made sure that we had the right tools in place.
Before I go any further I want to thank my lovely family before I forget.¬† I don't want to be the guy that forgot.¬† My wife is here with me, Ashli; my son Cannon, my daughter Maci.¬† My two children are wonderful people.¬† I'm proud of who they are and what they stand for, and I appreciate what they do for me in my life and how they've affected my life, and I'm really honored that they are here with me today.
My wife, who basically raises them without me, even though I try to be there as much as I can, but she takes care of everything at the house.¬† She takes care of me more than anything else.¬† I'm probably the biggest one.
We have a wonderful relationship.¬† We've been married almost 20 years now.¬† We actually met in April and married in December, so it didn't take long.¬† I found what I wanted and I had to lock her down before she could run away.
She's the love of my life, and I appreciate her being here by my side.¬† She'll be‑‑ we both look forward to being out in the community and being involved in the community.¬† She's a very giving person.¬† She's involved in many organizations right now, and we look forward to volunteering and being a part of this University here.¬† Tulsa so far from what I've seen is an unbelievable city, and we're excited to be a part of that and put roots down here.
Next I want to thank my parents who were not able to come today‑‑ (tearing up)‑‑ I tried not to do this, you know.¬† You tell yourself you're not going to do this.¬† But I want to thank them.¬† They're a big part of my life.
I want to thank Baylor University.¬† It's been a great institution for my family and I.¬† They've done unbelievable things for us over the course of the years.¬† We've had great successes there, and we knew that for us to leave that place, it was going to take a really special place for that to happen, and the University of Tulsa is that place for us.
They've been great there, but we're excited to put our roots down here and go to work.¬† I want to thank Ian McCaw and the leadership at Baylor University.¬† They've given us every tool that we've needed to build that program there.
I want to thank Coach Art Briles, the man that's given everything to me.¬† And I'm going to try to get through that with him, but that's probably not going to work either so I'm probably going to skip over it and he understands that.
I've learned a lot from him.¬† I've been with him for almost two decades, and I love the man.¬† As we go through it, for me, I've always wanted to be a coach, ever since I was in junior high, and that was the great thing for me because as everybody else goes to college and they're trying to figure out what they want to do and what they want to be, I was locked down and ready to roll.¬† It was always for me a passion of mine to work with young people, to be a positive influence on their life, to help them mold into the men and women they need to be in society.¬† For me that's my passion, and that's why I do the job that I do.
I love coaching football, and that's a great part of it.¬† But more than anything, it's about being in the lives of those young men and women and guiding them in a direction that they need to go.
One of the things that coaches always talked about was we're in the kid‑saving business.¬† That's what we do.¬† That's why we do it.
As we look at our guys, and I talked to them about this the other night, we've got to play with a chip on our shoulder.¬† That's the way we've always done it. ¬†That's the way we'll continue to do it.¬† I was raised that way.¬† I was raised with a strong work ethic.¬† That's what my dad installed in me.¬† He put me to work in the oil field when I was 15 years old, and that's kind of set the course for me for the rest of my life.
So every day we'll come to work, we'll roll up our sleeves and we'll get after it.¬† One of the things that we have to do is continue to keep the excitement that we have.¬† As we sit there, we've got to approach each and every day like it's our first day on the job.¬† Right now you've got all the butterflies and all the emotions and everybody is fired up and ready to go and this room is full of people and it's great to see all of you, and I look forward to meeting all of you.¬† But it can't stop today.¬† It's got to continue through, and it's got to continue each and every day as we build this program to the place that we want it and the place and the direction that we're headed with it.
I want our staff to be hungry.¬† I want our players to be hungry.¬† I want all of them to be driven, and we'll be determined and focused on the task at hand, and that's to put a lot of points on the board, win a lot of football games, and bring Conference Championships back to this University.
As we get‑‑ as we start working and moving towards that goal, the vision that we have for this, for Tulsa, and for our football program in this community is going to take great leadership, and it's going to take great support.¬† I'm proud to say that the guys that I met in that room that day, I feel like we're all headed in the right direction.¬† I feel like Derrick and I are on the same page, and it's an honor to have an AD that's got a football background, that knows what it takes to do the things that we want to do on the field.¬† So I know that our relationship is already growing.¬† I look forward to continuing that growth together and pushing our program to the level of excellence that we aspire it to get to.
I know here at Tulsa, it's been a proud program.¬† There's been, I believe, 35 Conference Championships.¬† I believe there's been 19 bowl games if I'm correct, and those things are wonderful.¬† I know the past couple of years it hasn't been at the level that we want it to.¬† But I know during those days of Conference Championships and bowl games, you threw a lot of points on the board.¬† That's something I know a little bit about.¬† We're going to throw a little excitement back onto the field.¬† We're going to play what we like to call a fast, fun, physical type of football.
As guys get into our system and get to work, it's about putting something out there on the field that can bring fans to it, that can bring excitement to it, that can bring recruits to it, and that's part of what we do and what we're going to do each and every day as we're preparing for the season as it comes on us.
One of the things I loved about this University was the academic reputation of it.¬† Being that coming from a private institution just like Tulsa is, there's huge advantages to that, and we want to make sure that we're capitalizing on those advantages.¬† As we go out and sit in homes and as we recruit players and sit down with their parents, we want to make sure we're focusing in on those things.¬† So we are looking for student‑athletes that are not also just serious about being good football players but are serious about getting a great education.¬† When they get here on campus, we'll make sure they leave with a degree in their hand and a Conference Championship ring on their finger.
The way we're going to do that is first is going to take all of us in this room.¬† We'll have to work hand in hand, creating that excitement that it's going to take, filling the stadium, Chapman Stadium with energy.¬† I know on Saturday afternoons or whenever our game time will be, Saturday evenings, whenever that might happen, the energy that the fans will bring on the field, that's going to help us not only on the field with our players but also with the student‑athletes and the recruits that are standing there with us.
We need to make that an intimidating stadium.¬† I was in it today getting around to walk around and look at it.¬† I love how tight it is.¬† Sidelines are right there on you, the fans are going to be right there on top of you, and you know that's going to bring energy to us on the field.¬† And I believe it's Goldie, isn't it?¬† Love to get Goldie out there running on the field every time we score.¬† Let's figure out how we can do that.¬† We'll throw a toy, she can run to me.¬† I don't care.¬† I love animals, she can jump up and we'll carry her down and we'll do it that way.¬† But we need you.¬† We need you in this room, we need you in this community, and we need our student‑athletes, and we need our staff.¬† We need our lettermen, and we need our alumni base to be strong in that and we've got to walk this journey together.
The second thing it's going to take is hard work.¬† That's what I was raised on.¬† That's part of who I am.¬† You can ask my son that.¬† He can tally up to that.¬† He gets it quite a bit at the house.¬† But that's just part of it.
But we're going to roll up on sleeves and we're going to go to work.¬† And then we've got to do a great job of recruiting.¬† We've got some outstanding football players on campus right now.¬† I sat in that room with them last night, I looked at their faces, I saw the hunger in their eyes.¬† But those are the guys that are going to win us football games next year.¬† We're going to do a great job and we're going to put a great class together, and those guys will be unbelievable in years to come, but the guys that are going to win football games on Saturday next year are the ones that I talked to last night in that room, and many of them are standing there in the back of the room.¬† I'm ready to go to work with those guys.
As we get out on the recruiting trail, we've got to find those guys that are‑‑ that fit what we're looking for.¬† We don't have to fit them into a little box to fit into our system, but what we've got to do is we've got to find guys that can create momentum, guys that can make things happen in space, guys that at the point of attack are going to be physical, and so we've got to make sure that as we get out there and we're recruiting those guys they're going to be great, not only on the field but do a good job in the classroom and that our standards stay at the point that we want them.
The last thing that we've got to do, and this is important to me, and I talked about it a minute ago.¬† We talked about being fast, we talked about having fun, and we talked about being physical.¬† The last thing is fun.¬† This is still a game.¬† Sometimes it gets lost in all of the hoopla of it.¬† But we're going to enjoy coming to work every day.¬† My staff will enjoy coming to work every day.¬† Our players will enjoy coming to work every day, and we will work hard, but we're going to have fun while we do it.¬† When you create that type of environment, players are going to give you more and more.¬† We're going to give them more and more.¬† And as a fan base and an alumni base and a letterman base I'm going to ask you to give more and more.
As we go through this process we're going to have a good time while we're doing it but we're going to create a lot of energy and we're playing that through.
On the field, offensively, which is kind of my side of the ball, my cup of tea, but we'll be explosive.¬† We'll be fast‑paced.¬† We'll be throwing the ball not only horizontally but vertically down the field.¬† We like to attack vertically down the field.
In our run game we're still going to be a physical run offense.¬† We're going to run the power, we're going to run the zone, and we're going to run it right down the middle at you, and we'll see if you can stop it or not.
But we're going to spread you out and we're going to have fun while we do it.
Defensively I want to be attacking.¬† I want to be aggressive defensively.¬† I want to make sure that creative in how we're doing that.¬† I don't want to sit back and wait.¬† Let's get up on the ball and let's play and let's see what happens from the get‑go.
And then special teams‑wise we've got to be strong.¬† We've got to be determined in that.¬† It's a big key to the game.¬† We've got to be creative in that, but we've got to be solid across the board there.
As we're getting it together‑‑ and I'm getting close.¬† I know y'all are getting tired and I'll finish up.
My staff, I've talked to a ton of people.¬† It's been overwhelming the number of phone calls that I've been receiving, text messages.¬† At one point the other night I had 268 text messages on my phone, and I've been returning them throughout the day.¬† The greatest thing about that is just how people want to be involved.¬† Coaches want to be involved in this institution and this program and what we're going to have going, so I'm excited about that.¬† I've already started talking to several of those.
My DC, I think we're close, and I'm excited to get a chance to kind of announce that, and as those announcements take place, you'll be the first to know.¬† There's no timeline to it, but I've got to get those things locked down, and as soon as we get those guys locked down, you'll be the first to know.
I know tomorrow I think Derrick has me interviewing and we'll sit down with some of the guys on the current staff and be able to kind of go through them and be able to visit with them, and I'm excited to sit down and visit with those guys.
But in our staff, I'm looking for guys that are great teachers, that are great motivators, that are great recruiters but also are family men.¬† One of the things that we talked about in my interview process is it's faith, family, football.¬† That's the thing that we're going to base everything on and that's the thing that we do.¬† That's the way I work with my family, and I think that's a great way to start each and every day as you approach your day.
Like I said, I met with the team last night, briefly got to visit with them.¬† We got signing day coming up here rather quickly, and we're going to have three weeks to get the rest of our class in order.¬† I'm excited to get in the homes of the guys that are already committed, and I'm also excited to get on the road and find the guys that we're going to add to that.¬† We'll put a great class together.¬† We'll have a great game plan as we prepare to go out and attack that venture, but we're excited to go out and do that.
In closing, again, tremendous honor to stand right here in front of you as the new football coach.¬† Been waiting for this opportunity for a long time, but I'm blessed to be here.¬† My family is blessed to be here.¬† We're excited to put our roots down here in Tulsa and go to work.¬† Thank you very much.
Q.¬† After the 17 years of working with Coach Briles, obviously he's known for his Xs and Os offensively and all that, but what is the one attribute you've gotten from Coach Briles?
PHILIP MONTGOMERY:¬† The biggest thing about Coach, he's a passionate man, but what he has the unique ability to do, and that's what we're going to install here is he lays out a plan, and when he lays out that plan, people believe in what's going on.¬† People believe in the plan, and people are working towards that plan.¬† He's been able to do that, and we've been able to do that in all the stops that we've made.
But I've sat back and I've watched him do it.¬† I'm excited to do that myself.¬† But he's been a mentor to me.¬† He's been a father figure to me.¬† He's been outstanding.
Q.¬† Can you kind of describe what your goal is with the staff?¬† Will you have an offensive coordinator?¬† Will you have an offensive coordinator but you call the plays?¬† Will you hire a quarterbacks coach?
PHILIP MONTGOMERY:¬† Well, it's an ongoing process.¬† I'll call the plays.¬† Obviously that's why you hired me.¬† I'll be doing that part of it.¬† We may have a couple of titles here or there, and we'll work that out as we get to those.¬† But yes, I will be calling it, and our DC, he'll have the reins on the other side as far as special teams and all that goes, we'll work it out as a staff as we get to that point.
Q.¬† You're going to coach the quarterbacks?
PHILIP MONTGOMERY:¬† Oh, yeah, I'm not giving that up yet.
Q.¬† It was mentioned that you're a good fit.¬† What is it about you and this school that makes it a good fit in your opinion?
PHILIP MONTGOMERY:¬† You know, I think our backgrounds are very, very similar.¬† Like I said, when I sat down in the room with the search committee and the men and women that were around that table, just felt like home.¬† It felt like we were having a family reunion.¬† We all sat down and we were all on the same page and I think we had the same goals, the same values in mind, and for me personally I know it was the job that allowed me to do the things that I wanted to do, number one, but also as you start talking about recruiting, you know, Oklahoma has got great football in it, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Lawton, all of those are great areas that we've got to get into, but we've got to expand that, and we'll be in the state of Texas, and my ties in the state of Texas are going to help us in that recruiting aspect.
I'm a former high school football coach and very, very proud of that.¬† Those guys in that state, a bunch of them are my friends.¬† I've been around them for my whole life, so I'm excited to get back into those.¬† Actually got to spend a couple days out recruiting this past week, and the excitement was unbelievable.¬† Everybody is excited for us, and like I said, those ties are going to help us in the recruiting base.
Q.¬† What impact do you want‑‑ what input do you want to have on scheduling in the future, and maybe what's your scheduling philosophy for a school the size of Tulsa?
PHILIP MONTGOMERY:¬† You know, Derrick and I think we'll sit down and visit about that.¬† I'd like to have a hand in it, but I'm sure we'll do that together.¬† I'm excited about that process.¬† I don't see that being an issue for the two of us.¬† So far we've been on the same page in just about everything.
Q.¬† You mentioned recruiting and the time frame and the kind of crunch you're under.¬† Have you already talked to the guys and got indications from the commitments that they're holding steady, and how quickly will you be able to put your class together with those contacts you have in Texas or elsewhere?
PHILIP MONTGOMERY:¬† Well, recruiting is also always a fluid situation.¬† I mean, it's ever changing.¬† The guys that are already committed, I know that several of them have‑‑ they've all been contacted this week.¬† I'm excited to get out and get a chance to sit down face‑to‑face with them and their parents and kind of talk to them about our vision here and what we're going to do.
As far as getting that class together, it'll be fast and furious.¬† You don't have much time.¬† You've got to get guys on the phone.¬† Social media is going to help a little bit because you've got to be able to constantly hit them, and you've got to use those tools that are available.¬† We'll have some rather busy weekends in January getting kids up on visits and getting them here and getting them locked down.
Q.¬† The last couple seasons have been tough for the TU fans with five combined wins and wanting to get back to a bowl game.¬† Do you have a time frame?¬† Obviously you want to win right away.¬† Do you expect to get to a bowl game the first season?
PHILIP MONTGOMERY:¬† Well, I'll put it to you this way:¬† We're excited to get on the field.¬† We're excited to win football games.¬† But we'll do this thing one week at a time.¬† I think we've got Florida Atlantic as our first game.¬† We'll focus on those guys, and then we'll focus on the next one, and then we'll focus on the next one.¬† Our goal is to win every game that we step on the field.¬† Every time we step on the field, we're going to compete to win every day.
As we look at that, the first game is the most important game, and then the second game will be the most important game.¬† So we'll play it that way.
Q.¬† How long has it been since you felt like you were ready for this moment on the college level?
PHILIP MONTGOMERY:¬† You know, really I felt like I was ready for many years, but it had to be the right place, and it had to be the right timing, and my family had to be in the right situation for it, as well.¬† It's one of those things, I had a good job where I was.¬† I was thankful for it.¬† But when this opportunity came up, I knew this was the place for us.
Q.¬† You mentioned a huge‑‑ I think the quote is a huge advantage to being at a private university like Tulsa.¬† Can you kind of expound on that, why you think that's a huge advantage?¬† Some coaches would think that's a disadvantage that you're not able to recruit certain athletes or whatever.
PHILIP MONTGOMERY:¬† We'll recruit everybody.¬† We're not marking anybody off the board.¬† The advantage of‑‑ because of my background and where we've been, I see it as a huge advantage, because you're not tied down by any other rules except the rules that are on your campus, number one.¬† Number two, the type of education that you're going to be able to receive from this institution, the type of caring and giving that's going to happen on this, you won't be a number.¬† You'll be a significant part of the University and our football program.
People are going to know you as you walk across campus.¬† There's not 30,000 people walking across campus, obviously.
Having that family type atmosphere at a private institution can pay dividends, I think, for us on the recruiting trails.
Q.¬† Looking into your offensive philosophy, how do you see the players that are in the locker room now kind of fitting into what you want to do offensively?
PHILIP MONTGOMERY:¬† You know, the great thing about what we do offensively and our background, going all the way back to high school, when you're in the high school ranks you've got who you've got.¬† You've got who walks through the door, and so our offense is going to allow some flexibility in how we do it.¬† So as we get on the field and we see the strengths and weaknesses we have, we want to make sure we're building on all those strengths.
But I'm excited.¬† I've seen them.¬† I've watched them a little bit.¬† I'm excited to get to work with them, with Coach Davis in the weight room and those guys, and I see a few of them smiling back there.¬† They're smiling now ‑‑ we'll keep them smiling, but they'll be tired for a while.
But excited to go to work, and again, with the talent that's on the field, or in that room last night, those are the guys we're going on the field with.¬† So we'll keep developing and pushing them to the extent that we need to, but making sure that we're ready when we step on the field against Florida Atlantic.
Q.¬† What is the reputation of Tulsa football in the state of Texas with the recruits?¬† Is it a hard sell?¬† Is it an easy sell?¬† How would you characterize Tulsa football in the state of Texas?
PHILIP MONTGOMERY:¬† I think it's an easy sell.¬† I know the past couple of seasons have not been at the standard that they need to be at, but in years past, Conference Championships have happened right here, putting up a lot of points on the board has happened right here.¬† There's a strong pulling there in the metroplex area and we've got to do a good job of getting back in there and getting guys up here.
But I think more than anything, I think my background is going to help us in that sense.¬† My ties to those high school coaches, the people that I know and the staff that I'm going to put together is going to help us go ahead and get back down there and make sure that we're pulling the kids that we want to and that our reputation stays strong.
Q.¬† When you said you want players who can create momentum and make plays in space, I immediately thought back to the press conference I was at in Norman three weeks ago when Mike Stoops said Baylor is a bad match‑up for us.¬† Baylor is a bad match‑up for everybody.¬† Are those two things tied together?
PHILIP MONTGOMERY:¬† So is Tulsa.
Q.¬† Are those two things tied together where you want the type of players, and maybe you can expound on that, as well, the type of players who are going to frustrate defensive coordinators?
PHILIP MONTGOMERY:¬† I think we all want those guys, especially me.¬† But the thing that we've got to do and the thing that we will do is we've got to create space for those guys.¬† There's a lot of guys in that room that got talent, and it's about putting them in a situation where they can go succeed, putting them in one‑on‑one match‑ups and getting them in space where they got a chance to make a guy miss and go score.¬† When you do that and when you can expand it that way, that's when it becomes fun.¬† That's when it becomes electric, and that's when you have so many options out there you just keep dialing them up.
Q.¬† Did Art have a big playbook?
PHILIP MONTGOMERY:¬† We don't have a playbook.
Q.¬† That's what I thought.¬† You will not have a playbook here, either?
PHILIP MONTGOMERY:¬† No.
Q.¬† How do you teach your players if you don't have a playbook?
PHILIP MONTGOMERY:¬† I'll be real honest.¬† Back from my playing days, and those guys back there at the back of the room can probably attest to this, you've got your playbook and everybody says go study it.¬† Half the time it's in the bottom of your closet, it's in your car.¬† You've got clothes thrown on top of it, and then Coach says, hey, where's your playbook, and you're digging it out trying to find it so you can check it back in.
So what we'll do, everything will be off of video.¬† That's the way guys learn, and it's about repetition and doing it on the field.¬† Obviously none of you have been to our practices.¬† You're more than welcome to come.¬† But as you see our practices, there will be a lot of reps going on.¬† There will be a lot of things happening at a fast pace, and it's about thinking fast, playing fast.¬† If you do those two things, you will be fast.
Q.¬† Can you kind of take us through the process of how this started?¬† Were you excited about it and going for it or did they contact you before you realized you were interested in this job in?
PHILIP MONTGOMERY:¬† I don't remember who contacted who first.¬† I think obviously both people with Glenn and Patrick and Russ, I think that's kind of where it all initiated.¬† But when it opened, it was definitely something that I was interested in.¬† I thought my ties to the Texas high school coaches, my ties to the Oklahoma coaches and my background, I thought it would be a really great fit for me and my family.¬† And more than anything, the community of Tulsa, being able to raise my family in a place that I felt like had the same type of morals and values that I was looking for for my family.
But then as the process went along, again, I don't know who contacted who.¬† When we got on the phone, I had a few things on my plate that week.¬† We had a Big 12 Championship coming up, a chance to make the Final Four in there, so I was pretty focused in that direction, so we were able to communicate.¬† They understood that, thank goodness, but I wanted to make sure that I took care of what I was hired to do.¬† That's kind of the way I've always believed you need to handle things, so we put it on the burner until all of that part had taken place, until we were through with the game, until we decided what was happening in the Final Four part of it.
We got back in communication, went and did the interview, walked out hoping, come on now, let's get this done, and it happened pretty quick right after that.
I was actually at the airport, got called back, Derrick and I met again, and ended up taking another flight the next morning, and the rest is history.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports