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December 7, 2017
San Antonio, Texas
THE MODERATOR: Good morning and welcome to the Valero Alamo Bowl. Our teams will be coming back on December 22nd for Stanford, December 23rd for TCU.
Today we have Valero Alamo Bowl president and CEO Derrick Fox, chairman Mike Chapman, Gary Simmons, Valero supply and marketing senior vice president, and our two head coaches, David Shaw and Gary Patterson.
I'd like to introduce Mike Chapman, our chair.
MIKE CHAPMAN: Thank you for joining us today at the Valero Alamo Bowl head coaches welcome.
I don't think I've stopped smiling since it was announced on Sunday that No. 13 Stanford would be playing No. 15 TCU in the 25th anniversary of the Valero Alamo Bowl.
My excitement isn't just around the fact that these are two great programs, amazing teams, but they also match up two of the most respected coaches in college football.
On behalf of the Valero Alamo Bowl, I would like to welcome Coach Shaw and Coach Patterson to San Antonio.
Congratulations on both your teams' excellent season, and we appreciate you bringing to San Antonio what the media is calling one of the best bowl matchups of the year.
For our 25th anniversary, Valero has refocused on resources to thank our supporters that have been with us for the last 25 years. That includes our volunteers, sponsors, ticket buyers and, of course, ESPN and Valero.
Valero is one of our first partners in 1993 in our inaugural season. They stepped up in 2007 to become our title sponsor. Their support has fueled our growth and our current status as the No. 1 bowl game outside of the CFP.
With us this morning is Valero senior vice president, marketing and supply, Mr. Gary Simmons. Please join me in applauding Gary and Valero in their partnership in helping us improve our selection rights and to bring to San Antonio such an outstanding game with such amazing teams and coaches.
Thank you, Gary.
GARY SIMMONS: It's our pleasure. Valero is proud to have been a partner of the Valero Alamo Bowl since its inception. Excited to see it celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Both Valero and the Alamo Bowl are committed to supporting opportunities for higher education while also providing a strong economic boost to the city of San Antonio. In addition to all the excitement that occurs inside the Alamodome on game day, it's also great to see our city become more alive during bowl week.
We're thrilled that the bowl's new Pac-12 and Big 12 agreements have delivered four straight top-15 matchups. The higher ranked teams allow the Valero Alamo Bowl to make a positive impact on our community. Thanks to everyone who contributes to the success of the Valero Alamo Bowl each year, the city of San Antonio, these two top-15 teams, and most importantly the tens of thousands of fans who travel from across the country to cheer these teams on.
Certainly thrilled to be a part of this must-see matchup between Stanford and TCU.
Derrick, I'll turn it over to you.
DERRICK FOX: We're very fortunate to have Valero and ESPN onboard since day one. A tremendous run from that perspective. While those early games had many memorable moments, nothing compares to the run we've had since Valero stepped up to become the title sponsor. We can't thank you enough. I know the city of San Antonio thanks you and supports what you do for our community.
For our first 21 games, we did not have a single top-15 matchup. Since improving our selection rights, thanks to Valero and the new partnership with the Pac-12 and Big 12 for the first pick after the CFP, we now have gone four for four. That is a tribute to these two gentlemen next to me here. Thank you very much.
We're ecstatic to continue this streak to the 25th anniversary Valero Alamo Bowl with two outstanding universities who both have tremendous football coaches and also tremendous people from that perspective. They're even better off the field than they are on the field. That's tremendous.
I'd like to introduce to you Coach Shaw. This is Coach Shaw's seventh season as the head coach of the Cardinal. He lead Stanford to a 9-3 regular season record, a Pac-12 North title, earning him the Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors.
He is a 1995 Stanford graduate. Shaw has taken the Cardinal to four of the last six Pac-12 championship games, winning three of them. An incredible consistency, unbelievable from that perspective.
As Stanford's head coach he has a 73-21 overall record including a 4-2 mark in this bowl game. The Cardinal have won their last three bowl games by averaging 38 points per game while holding their opponents to 20 points.
We're thrilled to welcome you and the Cardinal to San Antonio this year. I'll turn it over to you for an opening statement.
DAVID SHAW: Thank you very much. Very grateful to everyone who works at the Valero Alamo Bowl, everyone at Valero, very appreciative to be here. Our guys are very excited about all the hospitality we've had from the city of San Antonio throughout the years. Every year in our conference meetings we talk about the bowl experiences. Every year everyone that comes to this bowl is so excited about what the city of San Antonio does with their players, with their staff, so we're very excited to be a part of that.
Looking forward to playing against an outstanding opponent. Should be a very exciting game. But really looking forward to the hospitality of the great city of San Antonio.
DERRICK FOX: We look forward to having you here.
Next up is Coach Patterson. This is Coach Patterson's 20th season at TCU, 17th as head coach, where he boasts a record of 159-57, and is TCU's all time winningest coach.
TCU finished the regular season 10-2, earning a berth in the Big 12 championship game. This year's win total means the Horned Frogs have now won at least 10 games in seven of the last 10 seasons. Again, tremendous accomplishment, coach.
One of those successful seasons led Coach Patterson and the Horned Frogs to the Valero Alamo Bowl two years ago where No. 11 TCU staged a bowl record comeback in beating Oregon in triple overtime.
Coach Patterson, on behalf of the Valero Alamo Bowl, we're excited to have you back in San Antonio, and I'll turn it over to you for some opening comments.
GARY PATTERSON: Thank you, Derrick. Also Mike and Gary.
The last time we were here, obviously it was an exciting ballgame. I can echo what Coach Shaw talked about, the hospitality across the board. Our kids were excited.
Being only two years away, your team changes. You have half your team that has not been here, so you have young guys, older guys that will know the ropes. But they're all very excited. They're very excited about playing Coach Shaw and the Stanford Cardinal, unbelievable opponent.
We heard that the tailback was going to play. Really when you get to this time of year, kids love to play against a high level of competition. That's what you come to college for. Get an opportunity to be in San Antonio again for our fans to be able to come down. It was a great turnout last time.
They can go home for Christmas and stay Christmas, then come down here and be a part of everything that goes on. We just want to thank all of you for the invitation for TCU to come back, play a great opponent, Coach Shaw, very good friend, him and Kori, his wife. Also get a chance to experience San Antonio one more time. Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up for questions.
Q. Coach Shaw, can you talk about the reversing course of your 1-2 start, to be able to win eight of the nine remaining games?
DAVID SHAW: I think it's our environment, the kind of people that we have, starting with our coaches. I talk to coaches all the time about modeling the behavior that we want our young men to have because they'll follow our lead. Our coaches never lost faith in what we're capable of.
We got back to work in a very difficult time. Our guys came in with such unbelievable attitudes. During that 1-2 time, we still had some lineup changes, a couple guys got injured. Our guys came back to work every single day.
We're excited about making the team what we thought it could be. So for our guys to be faced with all the things that happened, that didn't happen way back when, which is everybody on social media telling you how terrible you are, to come back and still get back to work.
We had outstanding practices, we had energy, passion. Our senior leadership and junior leadership I thought was outstanding, as well, every single day. Then we got on a bit of a run.
When positive things start to happen, it's another sign of character, too, to where positive things start to happen, guys take their foot off the gas pedal. Our guys continued to fight the rest of the season.
Q. (No microphone.)
GARY PATTERSON: We were getting our butts kicked in the first half. That's the first thing I remember. Our kids fought back.
I think that's one of the things that's been one of the staples of our program, like David talked about. When we've had great runs, there's always been an underlying foundation that we've been doing it so long, nobody ever panicked. You kind of pick up. You have great leadership.
Our kids come in, everybody always wants when you come back and play better the second half. To be honest with you, we have a wall outside of our offices. Basically it's the program. They put the score, the program of the bowl game, what the score was.
I just told the seniors, I said, Here is what you get a chance to look at the next three years. What do you want it to say? Do you want it to say 31-0 or are we going to fight back, find out what we're made of? We got a couple breaks, good things happened.
I just remember, everybody will remember Bram Kohlhausen, a walk-on quarterback. A week after we get back in January, he walked into my office and said, Don't you wish you would have played me more now? You know how it is.
We had Trevone Boykin. As usual, there's part of a game as a head coach you're not very smart. That's why I changed shirts, to become smarter with the color. Then you come back.
It was just a great environment. Kids had a great time. We're going to try to enjoy it and have a great ballgame again.
Q. Coach Patterson, black or purple shirt?
GARY PATTERSON: I haven't decided yet. Probably because they've been on me so shard, our colors are purple and white, I'm starting to lean towards the purple a little bit.
Kind of a fashion thing. By the end of the season, us stocky guys, we don't look as good on high-definition TV. It's a thin thing. Helps you out a little bit. I'm going to see what I look like by the time I get to the 25th, 26th, make a decision.
(Audio conference instructions interruption.)
DAVID SHAW: -- to the awards show in Atlanta. David Bright and Jesse Burkett, bringing his fullback to the Heisman ceremony. Daniel Marx. Wanted to recognize those guys that do all the dirty work that don't get the publicity and credit. That's just the kind of young man that he is.
Q. Coach Shaw, about the 2,000-yard mark, is that of importance to the team? What does that say for him to get there?
DAVID SHAW: As usual, it's probably more important to the other guys than it is to Bryce. Bryce just shrugs his shoulders at all those things. Most rushes over 50 yards record, all that stuff, he kind of shrugs his shoulders, Okay, that's great. When is practice?
Just a positive young man that doesn't want the thing to be about him.
He'll tell you, too, he gives a lot of credit to Christian McCaffrey. He watched Christian go through all this stuff and never changed. Bryce is the same guy that he was last week, two weeks ago, three years ago when we recruited him: a positive young man that just wants to be part of the football team.
Q. 35 seniors were recognized, Coach Patterson. How much do you want to send them off with a positive goal?
GARY PATTERSON: Our number one goal each year is to try to have the best year we can for our senior group. This will be 40 wins for them, in their four years there. It's one of those that we started with coming off the season, we had a year ago. This will give them an opportunity to have three 10- or 11-win seasons in the last four years. A great group. They went through some injuries, went through a little bit of a struggle.
Those are the memories that I always remember anyway. Younger guys can have more games. But I really when we get to the bowl site, Kelsey and I really try to do a great job of focusing in on remembering what we remember about the senior class, 20 some seniors.
As far as scholarship guys, you have 13 or 14 guys that paid their own way and have been part of the experience, really have added to our football team. I don't think they get enough credit for all the things that they do. You're not getting all the other benefits sometimes. Some of the guys are on scholarship. How do you repay them, give them an opportunity to understand that they were just as important as what any other kid that walked in our doors was.
A lot of fun. Every year as they go on, I think they become even more memorable because you understand they're really people, really are what it's all about. The game is important. You want to win the game for your university, do all that. Really when it's all said and done, it comes down to the people.
Those 35 seniors will be remembered. I have a job because of the job they've done, the hard work they put in, all the things that go along with it. Very appreciative of what they do.
Q. (No microphone.)
GARY PATTERSON: It's always hard. Players are all different. We knew we were going to have to play better than we did a year ago. We were not happy with where we were. We weren't happy, to be honest with you, in the final drive of the championship game. Our group has a high expectation level. We knew that Oklahoma was a very good football team.
But they have a lot of pride in what they do. And we understand we're going to have quite a matchup with Stanford as far as what they do and how they do it with a great tailback, unbelievable offensive line, big tight ends that they always have, length at their wide receiver position. It's another challenge.
The thing that people sometimes forget about bowl games, there's part of it you're preparing the bowl game. The other part, if you're doing the right thing, being there 20 years, is you're also preparing the next season, moving guys around, having extra practices, start growing up your younger players. You're just starting spring ball whenever it starts in March, start building your football team? Not if you want to be great, not if you want to be consistent.
So for us these 12 or 13 practices we'll get an opportunity to do getting ready for Stanford will also be practices where you're finding out once those 34, 35 seniors leave what kind of football team do you have left, how are you going to grow it up so you can win football games.
We have Ohio State early on our schedule, I think third game. You start out, then you have Big 12 season. I'm one of those guys, if you want to stay around for a while, you don't stay shortsighted. You know you're going to play a great team in Stanford.
Coach Shaw would know that I'm not a tongue-in-cheek person. I've already been watching. I understand all the difficulties that they already bring to the table on both sides of the ball.
So for me, I think that's what people don't realize about good coaches. That's why David has been good, I'm sure, also. You're always preparing as you go forward. That's one of the things you do with the bowl game. You don't just get ready for that bowl game, you start looking at what you're going to do with your team once those guys leave and who is going to be your next guy, how do you start having conversations with him so he can be the next leader, starter, all conference guy.
That's the exciting thing for coaches, the way we look at it, at least from our standpoint, that is we get an opportunity as a defense to see the guys that are coming back, to grow some guys up, see how they do against a very good opponent, then know what we got to do when we get to January and the off-season.
Q. (No microphone.)
GARY PATTERSON: Well, I mean, like I just said, they're a length team. They do a good job. I call them, they've been recruiting, an NFL-type, where you have a lot of length across the board, both offensively and defensively. They play well on special teams. Special teams are important. That tells you have great leadership. Your coaches have made it important.
The continuity that David has had on his staff, what they do, for us, it's really a good matchup. It puts us in a situation of understanding we have to be able to match up against somebody like that. Then going into the recruiting season, in the spring, what do we have to do if we have deficiencies of what happens to us in the ballgame, how do we change that, make ourselves better so we can be better when we go into the fall. I'm always a guy that's always working on those kind of things.
Stanford is one of those teams that creates challenges. You heard the record of how they've done in bowl games. They've been in four championship games. They won three of them. They know how to get ready for these kind of ballgames. That's kind of the way TCU is.
I don't believe there's such a thing as it's a good bowl game if you lose. I'm one of those guys that believes there's no time where you're -- you're always trying to win. I always felt like winning bowl games is very important because they're a way to skip into the next season. You want to go into the next season with a positive. That's the way we've always looked at doing these.
We come down and enjoy ourselves. When we practice, we practice. When game time comes, it needs to be important to play the ballgame. It makes it a lot easier when you play a great opponent and a team that you respect and you know that plays really hard. You watch them on film also. They play very hard.
Those are the kind of people that I respect. Talent is talent. But when it comes down to it, attitude is everything that I look at because we've made a living at TCU of outlasting our opponents. When I watch somebody that plays very hard, there's a lot of respect factor there. Stanford plays really hard.
Q. David, one of your former assistant coaches just got a head coaching job at Rice. Your thoughts about Mike Bloomgren.
DAVID SHAW: Very excited for Coach Bloomgren. He was a first-hire when I took over as head coach, going from offensive coordinator to head coach, coach the offensive line, run game coordinator. We were both trained by Bill Callahan, an offensive line coach, assistant head coach at the Washington Redskins.
Right off the bat I expected to have a 10-minute conversation with Mike to talk about the job. We talked 45 minutes to an hour. We've always been kind of step-in-step philosophy-wise. He's been kind of my right-hand man for a long time now. I'm very excited for him.
Not only is he ready, he's been ready, been ready for a couple years now. I know he's going to do a great job down there. Plan is right now to coach through the bowl game. Everyone at Rice has been great, were very open to it, of course.
We started our search for the next guy that will take his position. But very excited for him and his family. He's ready to go. We talked the other day. We'll continue to have conversations about that transition that he's excited about, and the mountain that he'll have on his shoulders for the next month, kind of serving two masters.
We'll make it very easy for him. He's got a big job to do. We've got a great staff to support him. He's developing a staff to be successful at Rice, as well. We'll find a way to make this work for him.
But the bottom line for me is I'm so happy for him, so proud of him. I know he's going to do a great job.
Q. Coach Shaw, talk about Harrison Phillips, what makes him so dominant?
DAVID SHAW: Harrison is one of those fascinating individuals. Everybody has them on every team. With all the stuff that happens in college football, I would love for more stories to be about these types of people, as opposed to all the stuff that gets reported on, all the crap that gets reported on.
All-American wrestler in high school, coming out of Nebraska, which is huge. Loves the weight room. Can bench press the weight room. But he's one of those guys, there are more hours in his day than there are in our day. Double major with a minor. Helps start a class at Stanford. Leads our team in community service. Does extremely well in school as he continues to load things on top of himself. Oh, and by the way, he's all conference, ends the season with a hundred tackles from the defensive line position, which doesn't happen.
Just outstanding. Every single day he's pushing himself, challenges himself. He's a strong player. He's a flexible player. He can drop down and into the splits at any time at 295 pounds, which is ridiculous.
But one of the biggest things for me is you see his heart, you see his toughness every single day. He plays hard from snap to whistle. There are times we just have to rest him because if you leave him out there, he'll stay out there all day because he just loves to play.
Q. Coach Shaw, you have the two players on your roster from San Antonio. One of them has played, Richard McNitzky. What has he brought to team? How does he feel about coming home?
DAVID SHAW: Richard is a long snapper, right? Midway through his first year, you want to make sure that everybody else knows who he is. Goes over and shakes his hand, introduces himself. They kind of practice on the other side of the field.
But a very positive person. Has all the traits that you want there. Very consistent, dependable. He works extremely hard. Has a lot of passion, a lot of pride in his performance. He's one of those guys that wants to be perfect and will snap, protect and go down there and cover.
You talk about all the athletes that you have on special teams, nobody ever talks about the long snapper. He's been able to get in on a couple of tackles. The guys get excited for him because he's one of those guys that shows up every single day and does his job and doesn't ask for anything. He's one of those guys in your program that you just love to have.
DERRICK FOX: Coach Patterson, Coach Shaw, thank you very much for participating here today. He know your time is very valuable. If we didn't know it in advance, you saw firsthand what quality people these people are, what great programs they run. On behalf of the Valero Alamo Bowl, welcome and we'll see you here in about three weeks for what will be another memorable moment and great game in the Valero Alamo Bowl.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports