Todd Buchanan PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
APRIL 21, 2010 CARL LEWIS AUDITORIUM
DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS MACK RHOADES
"Good afternoon. Thanks for being with us today on a very special day for our women's athletics and women's basketball program.
Before I begin I want to recognize some individuals that are so important to our program and help us do what we need to do. I see Regent Carol Ray and wish to thank you very much for being with us today. She has been absolutely terrific in my time since I've been here. In fact, all of our regents have been great and supportive of our athletics programs.
I want to thank Chancellor Khator again for all her support. She couldn't be here today, but she has been tremendous throughout this process.
Darren Dunn and DeJuena Chizer. I love them both, but I'm tired of spending time with them. They've been my partners in crime the last four to six weeks. They have been terrific throughout this process and the men's process, and I want to thank them very much.
Coach Wade Scott, Tari Cummings and Tiffanie Gupton, please stand up. I can't thank them enough for holding down the fort while we have been going through this process. I don't think we have skipped a beat at all. Our student athletes have been well taken care of because of those three, and I thank you three for your commitment to the program.
Finally, I want to thank our student-athletes. We visited with the team yesterday, and while they all couldn't be with us here today, I did let them know that attending the press conference was not an excused absence. Our young ladies, what a great year they had. They finished second in the conference, and we're all proud of you.
This is a special day because of the people you hire, put your trust in and trust them to lead the program moving forward. When we began the search, it was similar to our men's search. We wanted to hire someone with high, great character, someone we knew really cared about our student-athletes as much off the court as on the court. I have three daughters, and the last question I asked myself is who would I want my daughters to play for? Who would I want them to be mentored and coached by?
There was one answer - Coach Todd Buchanan. That's important because we're in the business of mentoring and educating young people, and we can never lose sight of that. Yes, winning is important - it's important to the student-athletes' experiences, the fans' experiences which is why they come out to support us and why we can win championships. There's no question in my mind that we have someone who can do that and do it the right way.
We thought a lot about work ethic. At the end of the day, there is nothing that makes up for your work ethic. We talked to many people, and I don't think there's anyone who matches Coach Buchanan's work ethic. You lead by example. When we looked at his background and talked to the many people that have been around him - which we were fortunate about because he spent a lot of time with people around here - we found out a lot about who the person and the Coach Buchanan is, the work ethic, the way he treats people and he's a winner. At the end of the day he's a winner and wins in all areas of life. That's who you want representing your institution and leading your young student-athletes.
It is my very, very great pleasure that I introduce to you, Todd Buchanan, our new women's basketball coach."
On Buchanan retaining previous staff members
"He will be keeping two of the full time assistants, coaches Wade Scott and Tari Cummings, and also Tiffanie Gupton, the director of basketball operations. I feel they are all fantastic, and I have always given my new coaches the economy to do what they need to do when it comes hiring a new staff, but he maintained the importance of retaining these two coaches."
On the importance of his ties to the Houston athletic community
"It is absolutely important if you look at the greatest aspect of our athletic program. It is the city of Houston and the talent pool that is here. We found it to be important that the person we hire have ties to high school coaches and the AAU coaches and maintains these relationships. I know he is highly respected amongst the community."
On excitement on where the athletic program is going as the year winds down
"We are in a great place but we can always be better, and that is what we are striving to do. We have hired four new head coaches, which have a great impact on your programs, especially since they connect with the students on a daily basis. Philosophically, we have brought in terrific people, great coaches and great mentors. I am looking forward to the future and watching them build their organizations. We have some great things ahead of us, and I am looking forward to the future."
On the fact that Buchanan called Houston home quickly
"It was his unbelievable passion. He wants to be here. This was his dream job, and you are not going to award someone their dream job unless they are qualified, which he was. He is going to do a terrific job. "
HEAD COACH Todd Buchanan
"First off, I give all the glory to God for all the blessings he has given my family and on our lives. This is truly an incredible blessing.
With that being said I want to thank my wife Michelle and our son Colton. I would not have been able to make it though this without them. I have other family here today including my mom and my dad. I love you both and thank you for everything that you have done and thank you for the morals and the way I was raised. We will not ever compromise here. I have other family out in the audience, cousins, uncles, my buddy Joe Neil, Chaney, thank you for being here. This is what it is all about, family. We will get to more of that here in a second.
I want to thank Dr. Robert Sloan, from Houston Baptist University. He has been a incredible friend, mentor and he is absolutely one of the greatest men on the earth.
Also I want to say a special thanks to Steve Moniaci, my former athletics director at Houston Baptist University. Steve has been unbelievable throughout the whole process, and he will do amazing things over there at Houston Baptist.
One other person is Ron Cottrell. Coach Cottrell was the athletics director at Houston Baptist when I got the job there, he is the one that hired me there and I will always be in debt to him.
Here at the University of Houston, I want to first and foremost thank the Board of Regents, Dr. Khator and everybody here. I see so many familiar faces and you guys are going to have to bear with me because now that I am on the other side of forty, I don't always remember names and faces. It means a tremendous amount that you are here for me.
Mack Rhodes, DeJuena Chizer, Darren Dunn, incredible, absolutely incredible. It has been a process that they have done their due diligence. At the end of the day there is absolutely no question that we are a family and we are a partnership, and we are going to continue to build this program. I can honestly say without question I am home!
Let's get to the basketball part of it. Make no mistake about it, I am here, my staff is here, for these young women. They are the center of our attention and our hearts. We will do everything in our power to put the best product of a basketball team out there on the court, year in and year out. More importantly, we are going to win in all three areas. We are going to win in the classroom, we are going to win on the basketball court and we are going to win in the city of Houston.
My previous five years here we went to four postseason tournaments, two NCAAs and two NITs. We got beat at the buzzer at Oregon in the NIT championship, and I still haven't let that go. The crazy thing about that was it was the same score and the same day of the Phi Slama Jama (loss to NC State) versus New Mexico, I will never forget how eerie that was.
We want to be the absolute best. We want to have the absolute most class out of anybody, not just out of conference but out of the country. We will carry ourselves with class, never compromise, and we will build a top-25 program.
(Assistant) coach Wade Scott, has done a absolutely fantastic job. We will definitely be coaching together this coming season. That has been a dream for the both of us, to coach together.
Coach (Tari) Cummings... I believe it was 1995-96. I was at Oral Roberts. Tari was a fantastic player for Oklahoma State. I think she had 30 (points) on us...in the first half. So I am glad to have her on my team instead of having to play and coach against her. She will definitely be on my staff.
Tiffanie Gupton, director of basketball operations, will be retained and be on the staff.
You need to understand; this wasn't a compromise. This was something I wanted. They kept the ship sailing and going through all the turmoil and the transition.
Season tickets, I want to build, we want to build, not only a partnership within this athletic organization but a partnership with you fans. I want a sixth man again. I want Hofheinz Pavilion screaming, rocking and rolling again. Bring back the good days. We had Georgia here, Alabama here, and No. 8 Louisiana Tech here, all going down in Hofheinz. I want to restore that tradition; I want to restore that incredible family base from a fan situation. Attendance is incredibly important to all of us, but most important to me, is that these young women deserve it. They deserve your support.
We are going to win in recruiting which leads to winning on the basketball court, in the classroom, and we are going to win in the city of Houston in every way. When I say in the city of Houston I do not mean just recruiting, I mean community service. That is what I said in my interview. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. In the city of Houston, you have to give to receive. We will be doing charity work, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Texas Children's Hospital, elementary schools reading books, etc. I want our kids to be seen, involved, and we will be. I can promise you that. We will be everywhere that there is a need.
Several of you have seen my teams play at HBU, and it is self explanatory. I want to play up-tempo but also have some control and savvy about us. I want to press as much as we possibly can. That is my demeanor, I want to be aggressive. I want teams to know what they are getting into the minute they get off the plane or off the bus. I want to get back to the days of press, run and have fun again.
As far as recruiting, I can't say much, but I can guarantee that nobody will out work us in the city of Houston, nobody. I have been in this city for a decade, the contacts that I have made, the relationships and friendships have been absolutely priceless. Do not ever think that we take the city of Houston and the phenomenal kids here for granted. We will turn over every rock and every stone to find the right kids for this program and this University.
In closing, it is once again wonderful and my privilege for me, my wife and my son to be back at the University of Houston and back home.
On Coach Curl and DeJuena Chizer
"Coach Curl was phenomenal. He was my mentor. It's bittersweet when it comes to that because he and his family mean the world to me. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family.
DeJuena understands that I understand where the program is. She and I have been in the trenches together before in every way, and it's a huge asset to have her here.
On his dream job
"It was something that was a dream came true. I had no idea where the stance would be with the new athletic director and administration. When they called for permission to speak, things got going pretty quickly."
GUARD ROXANNA BUTTON
"We're real excited about him and looking forward to working with him."
FORWARD Courtney Taylor
"I'm excited about the new transition, and I know everything will turn out okay. I'm excited to see the new style of play put in place and hopefully we get off to a fast start. I can't wait for the upcoming season."
GUARD Brittney Scott
On her feelings about the coach with seniors on the team in 2010-11
"It is going to be interesting because we have so many seniors next year, but I believe everybody is willing to learn, and is ready to see what the season is going to turn out like with the new coach. It is going to be a transition. "
"He seemed pretty intense already."