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Transcript: Coach Tresey's First Media Session
Article Photo
Courtesy: J. Meric

On the process of getting hired...
Coach Leavitt had a variety of guys that he want to go to. Jim and I didn’t have a history. Jim kept me very informed of where he was in the process every step of the way. He communicated with me, so I knew everything that was going on. In this type of position someone is going to get hired at the end of the day and here I am.

When did you start talking to him about the position?
I wish I could remember. There were some other things that were open so I really can’t remember the time line. I’m just happy to be here.

On how you left things after Jim and you first talked?
(Coach Leavitt) kept me informed. When he said he was going to call me he did. When I interviewed he said he would call me and he did and let me know where he was at. Did I know who he was interviewing? No. He didn’t know if it was going to be a co-DC or just a Defensive coordinator. He was looking at a couple different angles. Jim was very fair with me. He communicated with me throughout the whole process so I knew exactly where I stood. It was just a matter of time and I was hoping that it would work.

On staying in the Big East...
I don’t think there is any question. I am very familiar with everyone, but I think the one thing we have to understand is Frank Cignetti is at Pitt. Moorehead is at UConn so there is two coordinators right there that are changing. It’s an on-going process, but you’re at least familiar with the head coaches in the way they approach and how they prepare each week. It’s a great advantage. It’s a comfort level. It’s nice.

On the defensive line...
I wish I could tell you. This is my first day here. I just got out of meetings and got to meet the guys. I haven’t even had time to look at tape. We were focused on trying to get the packages in to a playbook for spring ball. I wish I had a better answer for you. I’ll know more next week  after the first practices.

On what the defense will look like...
Communication is extremely important in playing fast. Tackling. Meeting and defeating blocks. Being great on third down. Being great in the red zone and scoring defense, which is the most important stat of them all. Rush defense. All those things we’re going to be the best at and try to be the best in the BIG EAST, just like every other coordinator is trying to be.  And of course scoring defense, which is the most important stat of them all.

On forcing turnovers...
(Forcing turnovers) Is something we talk about as a defense on a consistent basis. We will do drills everyday to emphasize that. We’re going to talk about that on Thursday, Friday, Saturday then review that on Monday. I don’t have an idea how Jim practices, but Thursday is more of a lighter day and not so focused on individual work. So Tuesday and Wednesday are your individual days, usually, and that is when we will emphasize that big time. Whether it is strip drills, ball drills and just talking about it on consistent basis and being involved in the goals on a weekly preparations.

On his perception of USF as program from the outside while he was at Cincinnati...
I think they have a lot of speed. They’re very athletic. They have kids that look like they really like to play the game. Whenever you’re playing USF, at least from where we were at it, they were always a concern just because of their speed and athleticism.

Why his defenses Cincinnati had success against USF...
I wish I could tell you. I really don’t know. It’s a funny game. Some teams seem to match up well against others. Whether its psychological or whatever. You look at USF. They have beaten Louisville a couple times really bad and Syracuse had Louisville’s number in the conference the two years. I know two years ago we were down here and it was an unbelievable game and we held on at the very end. Last year, the kids we had played very well at Nippert Stadium and they took a lot of pride in that. So anyone that came to Nip knew they had to buckle it up and we had USF at home, and that was a huge advantage to Cincinnati.

On gaining respect and interest from Coach Leavitt for being able to beat USF...
I would hope so at the end of the day. I think that had a factor, but Jim was very thorough so it might have been a factor, but it was never really brought up.

On him leaving Cincinnati and the relationship with Brian Kelly...
It’s history. My perception of the way everything went down... He was looking at things a certain way. I was looking at things a certain way.  It’s in the past. Everyone has an opinion and to be honest, it’s done with. It’s over with. I’m moving forward and he’s moving forward to. I’ll leave it at that.

On whether or not he expected to leave Cincinnati...
No question that it was a surprise, but this profession... The way it’s changed over the last five years. It was a surprise, but then again it happens. If you’re going to run in this profession, in this BCS deal, its different now. Times have changed. You know what you’re into, if you’re going to stay in the hunt. You just have to know it could happen.

On the Cincinnati game this fall and if he will have extra motivation...
There are going to be some thoughts about it, but bottom line is it is USF playing Cincinnati, not Joe Tresey vs. Cincinnati. So the focus is to beat Cincinnati. I think the biggest thing is that we haven’t been Cincinnati in three years. So we need to beat Cincinnati. I don’t care who you are playing. If you don’t beat someone for three years, you need to turn the tables and get this thing going a little bit. It’s about USF playing Cincinnati, not Joe Tresey.

On the defense he’ll run, whether it will be like Cincinnati or USF’s defense...
I think the defense will be a combination of the two.

On changes to expect from the defense...
I’m sure it will be different because I’m not Wally Burnham. Wally has a philosophy. He developed a mind set with his football team.  I’m a different individual so I’ll have a different mindset. But were both 4-3 guys so we will run the 4-3. I don’t think I am any different. Sometimes I think we make this more difficult than what it actually is. We have to live right off the field. Academics, personal life, etc... When you’re on the field it has to be 110%. You have to have great focus. You have to love what you do. You have to love to play and play with great effort. Along with that, when you get more specific you have to be great at communications. You have to be very good at tackling. You have to play fast. That is extremely important in this day in age. You have to be extremely good on third down and good in the red zone. You have to create turnovers. And at the end of the day scoring defense is the bottom line. You have to outscore them so we have to keep them below what you’re scoring. That’s what it’s all about.

On teams opening up their offenses and his approach...
You have to study what they’re doing and figure out what you feel is the best way to stop them. Sometimes it involves individual matchups and sometimes you say we can play base defense being about to this, this and this. The game has evolved. The spread is what you’re talking about. So many people are doing it and there is so much information about it and shared about it, from both the offense and defensive side of the ball.  There’s so much information about it now. It is the offense of college football. You deal with it and try to stop them and out score them.

On recruiting...
I recruited the state of Florida a little bit when I was at Akron. I was in Broward and Dade County when I was at Akron. When I was at Central Michigan, I also recruited Georgia because I had been there before. So I have recruited Jacksonville and Broward and Dade Counties. When we were at Georgia Southern, I came down and visited some kids in Orlando as coordinator. We would recruit and we had a lot of teams that ran the triple in Central Florida, so met some of the coaches through that aspect.  So I have some familiarity.

On your coaching influences...
 There is a guy named Bob Stewart on the high school level that happened to coach at Pitt. He coached the Griffins and Mike Guest and Paul Newmogg. From a collegiate defensive aspect, a guy by the name of John  Tenuta. Who is now at Notre Dame, but was a Georgia Tech. He had an influence on me from a defensive aspect. I learned a little bit from Wally Hoot at Otterbein. Brian Kelly. I learned a lot from him. As well, as learn a lot of things from Mike Seawalk. We [Coaches] take it from everybody as we go along. From a college aspect, probably John Tenuta [has been the biggest influence] and Bob Stewart in high school.

On what he wanted his defenses at Cincinnati to be known for...
I think being able to play fast. Be known as a very fundamentally sound team. You don’t have alignment problems. You’re kids are good at meeting and defeating blocks and trying to create turnovers. You throw third down in there and red-zone, scoring defense. We want people to watch us and see a team that played very fast. We were physical and good fundamentally.

On the challenge of time between being hired and the start of spring ball...
It’s always a challenge. You know how coaches are. We only have five days to go, so we need to rock and roll. We’re going Tuesday. It is what it is. Were going get in what we feel our kids are going to execute. We want to be able to have minimal mistakes, do the things we talked about previously and we’ll rock and roll. It is what it is. Let’s go.

On having input of the last hiring of a linebackers coach at USF...
Jim has really handled that. He has been involved in that process the whole way. I’ve only been with him for a day. We’ve discussed it a little bit. My focus was getting in and putting in the packages with Kevin Patrick and our graduate assistants. Just going through the installation and the package. I’ve communicated a little bit, but I’m trying  to get organized and get focused. Whoever we hire is going to be the right fit and Jim is looking at it hard. I trust Jim. If he needs input then I’m here to give it to him.


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