Opening statement... "Thank you all for coming, I appreciate your patience. I know everyone has been waiting to hear about the staff hires, especially on the defensive side of the ball, which I mentioned before was probably my most important hires with my offensive background. I want guys that I really trust, that I have a relationship with, that I have a background with to run that side of the ball. I couldn't be more excited to announce the young men I've been able to bring to Vanderbilt to be part of our program, part of our vision and part of our plan."
On Bob Shoop, defensive coordinator and safeties coach "I would like to start with out defensive coordinator, Bob Shoop. Bob and I have known each other for a long time and he is a tremendous coach. He comes from a family of coaches. Bob's brother is the offensive coordinator at North Carolina and has history at Vanderbilt. He is a brilliant guy, a Yale grad. I want to surround myself with as many talented, intelligent people as I possibly can and that's what I've really done here. One of the things I'm going to actually have to watch is that Bob is so intelligent, so smart and kind of a mastermind on the defensive side of the ball that I'm going to have to tone it back a little bit sometimes so he doesn't do too much. He has a tremendous work ethic and understands what big-time college football is about. He understands the SEC. He was the secondary coach at Boston College and was the head coach at Columbia and he has a wealth of experience. I couldn't be happier to have him here.
"It's been very obvious since we've been able to get him on board in these last couple weeks that he understands what it takes to be successful. I'm really looking forward to our press conference on Wednesday and announcing the class and talking about how hard these guys have worked. That's going to be a big part of what we do. For the whole package, I think that Bob is going to do a tremendous job. Like I mentioned before, we are going to be aggressive on defense and attack with everything we do and we won't be afraid to make mistakes. We are going to blitz and be aggressive and we are going to dictate the style of the game and that's what Bob brings."
On Brent Pry, co-defensive coordinator, linebackers coach "Our co-defensive coordinator who is actually going to work with the front - Bob is going to run the defense and he's solely in charge of the defense - is Brent Pry. Brent and I go way back, probably as far as anyone on the staff. I played for Brent's father at East Stroudsburg where I went to school, so we've known each other for a very long time. Brent has a wealth of experience. He's going to help Bob, where Bob is going to be coaching the safeties, Brent is going to coach the linebackers and help Bob coordinate the front seven. Tremendous experience. We were able to hire him and get him to jump on board. He was the defensive coordinator at Georgia Southern and did an unbelievable job and really coordinating that defense and really turning that defense around.
"He has great experience and was at Virginia Tech way back working with those guys when they had all that success. He's also been a defensive coordinator at Louisiana-Lafayette, he's worked at Memphis, and he's really been around. He's a very passionate guy, great coach, great person, great family man, like all these men. I couldn't be happier that he's here and I know he will do a great job recruiting for us. I've watched him interact with our players as well. The type of energy and the type of enthusiasm I want out on the field and out recruiting I know he will bring that. Couldn't be happier that he's here with us."
On Wes McGriff, secondary coach/assistant recruiting coordinator "Wes and I go way back, we worked together at Kansas State, although not for very long because once we got him, the University of Miami snuck him out on us. We've recruited against each other for years. When I got the job, Wes is one of the guys that I called and told him I got the job and asked if he was coming. We've been on the road recruiting; he's been the guy that's been in the office with me from the beginning. He did go back and coach the bowl game with Miami and had a big impact there. He's a great coach, a great recruiter. He has also been a defensive coordinator as well. I think that's one of the things that's important. All of these guys that I've introduced have been coordinators in their careers. You talk about enthusiasm, you talk about excitement, he's actually a little bit crazy, which I like. He is passionate about being here at Vanderbilt with me.
"Like I mentioned when I introduced the offensive staff, I think it's really important that I surround myself with guys that are really passionate about being at Vanderbilt, that think this is the best job in America and that really want to work with me and are going to be fiercely loyal to me and understand what my expectations are. I think Wes really symbolizes that. We are going to battle, we're going to recruit. We're going to do everything we possibly can to get this program to where we think it deserves to be which is having a commitment to excellence in everything we do from top to bottom."
On Sean Spencer, defensive line coach "I guess this has been the biggest secret around town. Everyone's been trying to figure out who we're going to get to coach our defensive line. Sean Spencer is the guy from the beginning that I've wanted to have on my staff. We've been talking, really all of these guys, we've been talking about working together for probably the last 10-12 years. I think Sean is exactly what we're looking for. He's a really intelligent guy who has a passion for the game. He loves working with kids. He is a very good technician and fundamental guy in terms of coaching his position.
"What kind of blew us away as a staff was talking to Sean, he just wants to be the best D-line coach in the country; the best D-line coach that he can possibly be to help these guys have success. He has a passion for that. To me, that's what all of these guys do. Whoever is going to be in our building, I want every single person in our building to feel like `I'm going to be the best administrative assistant, I'm going to be the best defensive coordinator, I'm going to be the best director of video.' That's going to be the attitude that we're going to bring, and that's the attitude we saw from Sean right away. I'm very confident that these guys are going to hit the road recruiting, make an impact. I think we've done a tremendous job. I'm really excited about what the future holds with this staff."