Donahue: 'We will take a back seat to no one'

Mike Petraglia
April 07, 2010 - 3:10 pm
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CHESTNUT HILL -- Steve Donahue was introduced formally on Wednesday afternoon in the Yawkey Athletics Center as the new head coach of the Boston College men's basketball program. Thanks to the media relations department at BC, here is a partial transcript from the press conference. Gene DeFilippo, Director of Athletics at Boston College "What an exciting day for Boston College basketball. If you can'€™t feel it on the campus then you are really, really missing something. Coach keeps getting text messages from our students'€¦Welcome '€¦ can'€™t wait to meet you '€¦ we are all excited. This is a great day. "Someone in the media asked me what we are looking for in a coach. I said, '€œWe wanted somebody who is a great person'€¦.we wanted somebody who is a teacher, not a schemer. We wanted somebody who was going to have a team that is exciting and play hard '€¦ take charges '€¦ and dive on the floor for balls '€¦ and we were going to play an exciting up tempo game. We were going to have some real fun.'€ "So the first interview we had was with Steve and I said, how would you describe how our basketball team play." He said, '€œGene let me show you something - a picture is worth a thousand words.'€ "And he opened up a Sports Illustrated and here [DeFilippo held up the SI for the assembled audience] it says '€œAs Good As It Gets'€ and there are three Cornell players on the floor '€¦ on the floor diving for the ball. I knew he was going to be tough to beat." "I did some checking, as you always so do, these are about a few of the recommendations that we got on Steve '€“ Digger Phelps, Jamie Dixon, Tom Creen, John Calipari, Bruce Pearl, Eddie Fogler, CM Newton, Billy Donovan, Fran Dunphy and my college roommate, Gary St. Jean from the Golden State Warriors. Every one of those people had great things to say about Steve as a person, as a family man and as a coach. Let me just read to a couple of quotes some people have made recently '€¦ This has been real interesting. Here are just a couple of quotes from people '€“ Andy Noel the Athletics Director at Cornell University: '€œKids were diving for balls, they were hustling and accepting the roll Steve provided. He developed a discipline ended up bearing great fruit.'€ "Before the Wisconsin game, Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan called it, '€œa coach'€™s worst nightmare to prepare for Cornell in one day.'€ "Then after the game, he said, '€œI'€™m not sure three or four days of preparation would have stopped what they (Cornell) did to us because they did it so well.'€™'€™ "Before the NCAA Tournament, Bill Self, the head coach at the University of Kansas, said, '€œThey [Cornell] can beat anybody regardless of the seed. I'€™ll make a prediction right now, they'€™re a team nobody wants to play, if they make shots they can beat anybody in the country.'€™'€™ "Ladies and Gentleman I am really, really proud to introduce to you the new coach of the Boston College Eagles '€“ Steve Donahue." Steve Donahue, New Men'€™s Basketball Coach at Boston College "I first want to thank Gene and Father Leahy for bringing me to Boston College. There are few if any jobs in America that provided everything I believe in '€¦ When I think about the history of the program, it'€™s humbling that I get the opportunity to lead this basketball program. I figured the level of play in the ACC, the history of the program, the great players who have worn the uniform, the passion I know Gene has for all the teams. I just get so fired up to take the program to the next level." "We will take a back seat to no one. I believe strongly in the upside of the program. Everything we do will be first class with the attitude that we will be the best in the conference'€¦and obviously if we are going to be the best in our conference, we'€™re going to be one of the best in the country." It was extremely difficult to leave Cornell. I love being the head basketball coach at Cornell University. For 10 years my family and I developed great relationships and unbelievable experience, with tremendous student-athletes and with a great administration. I knew it would take an unbelievable opportunity to leave. That opportunity presented itself when Gene made the call. There is no downside in this job. There is none in my opinion. We exist in the most passionate region, sports region in the country. We play in the best basketball conference in the country '€“ we obviously won the last two national championships, we own five out of 10, eight out of 20. We have alumni that are passionate about this university and all the sports. We have an academic reputation that goes coast-to-coast that can attract tremendous student-athletes. Gene has also assured me that we will do anything we have to, to make improvements. This will be a total team effort on our part. Last thing I want to make sure our style of play is exciting. I want attract kids that want to be on this campus and play a certain way. I also want to make sure that all our students in our basketball program are embracing the whole student body of Boston College. We need everybody on board. Obviously, we want alumni, we want the staff but more importantly this is their program, the students, I want them to feel part of us and feel part of us and be proud and we will do everything we can to reach out to them [the student body].

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