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2010 Coaches Quick Hits

Friday June 25, 2010

Quoting Tom O'Brien (on working for a new chancellor and new AD): "Certainly you get evaluated differently because it's not the people who brought you in, who did the research to bring you in."

"I don't think there's ever a make-or-break season. But the situation has changed. The chancellor I came here with and the athletic director I came here with are no longer here. Things have changed a lot.

"How that's going to affect our situation won't be solved until the chancellor and new AD decide what direction -- or if there's a new direction -- they want to go in."

Quoting Joker Phillips (on relationship with Charlie Strong): "It is not strange because we have lined up against each other many times when he was at Florida (as defensive coordinator) and I was here at Kentucky (as offensive coordinator). It was not as head coaches, so I don't know how that will be because we have never done it before. We have gone against each other as coordinators for a number of years when he was at Florida and I have been in this league a long time.

"It will be strange because this is the first time for us both to be head coaches and we will be in different roles, but we will put that aside and compete for three hours and then go back to being friends."

"This battle with Kentucky and Louisville has helped football in this state. But I think the guy who changed football, in my opinion, in this state was Hal Mumme when he came in throwing the ball all over the place. High schools usually do what the state university is doing, and when he came in throwing that got more teams putting in his system that made more athletes come out for football.

"I just hope our high school athletic association can continue to allow high schools to do seven-on-seven (workouts) in June (against other teams). The level has risen because of seven-on-seven workouts, and now it has been taken away. We could not have them this year, and that's not good for high school football in our state.

"So I think the biggest impact on football in this state was Hal Mumme, and he could continue to have a big impact if coaches can do seven-on-seven in June and keep the best athletes coming out."

Quoting Charlie Strong: "Joker and I have been friends for a long time. One game won't change that even if it is a game the whole state wants to make sure that their team wins."

"When we worked together in South Carolina, there was only a house in between our houses. His wife actually baby-sit one of my daughters. We have a great relationship."

"In-state recruiting is very important. What you want to do is take care of home. People feel like you have to go a long distance to recruit, but with the job the high school coaches do in this state it is critical that we recruit Kentucky hard."

"Those wins and losses count against us (Joker and I) now. It will change. He will have his team prepared to play, and I will have my team ready. We have to compete against each other. We can't avoid that. But we will still be friends."

"I can't think back, even though it was just a few years ago, but they obviously made the right choice with the job that Rich Brooks did. Now I have a job I really wanted that is going to be really good for me. I am different than I would have been eight years ago. I have learned more and been around more coaches.

"The whole preparation and going through so many interviews and knowing the questions that were coming helped me become a better coach. What has been great for me is that I have been around programs that have been successful, so I can just take a piece of each program and make it work in my program, hopefully."

(on his worries about this season) "There are so many worries and it is so early that you really don't know. Now we can't do anything until we get them back to fall camp. There are a lot of question marks to see where we are."

Quoting Murray State head coach Chris Hatcher: "I do think that Hal Mumme did more than people give him credit for as far as getting spring practice back in the high schools, bringing his offense in and other things to create interest."

"On top of that, the three years I was here if you talk to UK fans, that was the first time in a long time they felt Kentucky had a chance to win every game. You may not win, but fans came thinking if we got a break here or there, we had a chance to win."

"I tell people that the three years I was in Lexington may have been some of the most enjoyable coaching days I ever had. It was nothing but fun for me."

Quoting Purdue head coach Danny Hope: "I don't know how they're going to divide it, but I like the idea of playing more league games. We have more teams to play, maybe we could play more league games. That part is exciting to me."

Quoting Pitt head coach Dave Wannstedt: "We have a lot of potential. A year ago at this time, nobody would have been talking about Dorin Dickerson, no one would have been talking about Billy Stull breaking records and no one knew who Dion Lewis was. The encouraging thing is that who they are no one knows but there are three or four guys on our team right now that have the potential to step up and have an impact on our football team."

"To have a good team, any year, the guys that are capable of making a difference have to step up and make a difference."