Head Coaches talk about 82nd Annual Hyundai Sun Bowl

The Sun Bowl Association hosted a press conference featuring Miami interim head coach Larry Scott and Washington State head coach Mike Leach on Monday morning at the DoubleTree Downtown in El Paso, Texas.

Hyundai Sun Bowl Football Selection Committee Chairman John Folmer

Opening Statement…

“I appreciate the coaches for coming in here. Needless to say, all you have to do is look at the map to realize that they both came from a long way away. This is a good place for them to meet in a scenario that we thank and are very proud of. I think although our sales have been very brisk and very good, this is really the kick off of our ticket sales and the kick off for lots of enthusiasm and excitement that our game has brought to this community for so many years. I want to say before we introduce the coaches that it wouldn’t be possible for us to stay in business for as long as we have without all of the volunteers. I have been fortunate enough to have been involved for over 45 years. We do this because we love El Paso and that’s why we’re able to bring two good football teams like we’ve got this year from Miami and Washington State.”

Miami Interim Head Coach Larry Scott

Opening Statement…

“It’s great to be here and to have the opportunity to come back to El Paso and bring the 2015 Miami Hurricane football team. I had the chance and the opportunity to be here a few years ago when I came with the University of South Florida. We played the Oregon Ducks here and we’re looking for a different result this time around. What an awesome experience it was and there are certain things when you go to bowls that stick out that you remember and that you hold to.

Especially as a young coach, it was the hospitality and the service from the staff, the volunteers and all the people that made it such a great experience for our coaches, our families and our players. To have that experience and be able to share that with this year’s team, and share what it’s all about coming to the Sun Bowl. The kids understand the tradition of it and how long it’s existed and it’s some of the best in the business that put on the bowl. People around the city rally around the bowl and that’s a big piece to it being successful. The way that I explained it is that it’s all about tradition and it takes on a different meaning.

You set their mindsets and attitude; they understood what this means and what it’s all about and they are really excited to have the opportunity to play in one of the oldest bowl games. The last time we played was the day after Thanksgiving; we spent Thanksgiving in a hotel and this time we’re spending Christmas in a hotel. The only difference is, we’ll have our wives and our families with us and so it makes it special for the coaches.”

On what he learned leading his team…

“First thing I learned is that, it takes everybody. No one man can do it all alone or can do it by themselves. It’s a true team and takes a lot of team work and joining people together and putting people behind the same message to accomplish putting ourselves in the position to be successful. That’s the first thing I learned and there’s a lot of pieces that come into play and there’s a certain amount of appreciation you have to have for the job for the people all the way up from the top to the bottom. There’s an appreciation that goes into changing the attitude and mindset in the locker room so, that’s one of the biggest things that I’ve learned.”

On how he’s grown as a coach…

“Uh, very fast! Very fast to say the least, but I had some really good people, some really good coaches that I work with. Along the way, I had an awesome opportunity to as a player be a part of the start of a startup program in the University of South Florida to play for and coach for a man that I got a lot of appreciation for in Jim Levy and what he did for that program and had a chance to develop under him as a young coach. Some of the other coaches like Rod Smith who’s at Arizona now.

You know, a lot of really good coaches and of course Al Golden. At the University of Miami, we appreciate all that he started for the program there, and just a couple of days being around Coach Mark Richt. The things that you learn if you have an open mind and willing to learn, there’s always something that you can digest and learn from every situation that you face and are a part of. You know, I am fortunate enough to be around a lot of really good football coaches that I had the opportunity to learn from.”

Washington State Head Coach Mike Leach

Opening Statement…

“Well, and I continue in my pursuit of following Coach Price around. You know, I mean when I was at Tech, they dragged me into all these games and they tried to beat up on our teams and pound on us and so I followed him there and then just as I thought I could escape, I went all the way down to South Florida, just three and a half hours South of Miami actually, I got reeled into Washington State University where Coach Price was a part of such a great tradition there.

So, it wouldn’t be El Paso without him as far as I’m concerned, and then of course H&H Car Wash and all those guys, you know you walk in and this guy walks in and bear hugs you and carries you around until his arms get tired but you know, it’s worth it cause afterwards you get some tacos. I have great memories of El Paso and the other thing is, I enjoy the history; it’s got some unique history and unique landscape. You know every coach that all these guys that I look up to, all these guys have inspired me to get into coaching and stuff like that.

You know, as a kid you’d sit and watch TV you know, there’d be this coach and there’d be that coach and I mean all of them were in the Sun Bowl, and as a kid you’d watch the Sun Bowl. And plus, they had such a unique settings of the stadium. It’s unique and incidentally really loud. Anyway, I can’t say enough about the opportunity to be here to be a part of one of the oldest bowls in country and at Tech, we never did get the opportunity to come to the Sun Bowl. It’s great to be here, our entire team is excited and our entire program is excited.”


On having a reputation for putting the fun into football…

“It’s not really as conscience as that. I mean the most exciting thing really with the team is the different personalities. Football teams are a huge melting pot of people and you know their background interests and where they’re from and the different locations they’re from. You have all these practices and watch film and just exchange, getting to know the guy next to you it’s all fun and then uh, if you’re a little loose with it, there’s less to keep track of. You know, I’m not a guy that can keep track of too much. So, between staying out of trouble and not having to keep track of stuff, we just talk about it and discuss it like it is.”

On injuries…

“We’re 100% healthy as always, and I’m not a guy that talks about injuries but I can tell you, this will be the one thing I say which is slightly stepping over my line on that thing. I read about all these injuries and all of a sudden someone tries to hide behind injuries and it’s a pre-prepared excuse to lose. I don’t like that running through the players head you know? Well, if we lose we’ll have a good excuse, you know I kept reading all these articles and all these guys are injured, I don’t like that. You need to empower that guy and we expect to win. I can tell you sincerely that all of our roster will be expected to be available.”

On quarterback Luke Faulk…

“He studies film all the time and my quarterbacks in general have done that, but him, he’s pretty methodical about it all. He has it systemized and is focused on it, I mean, he’s focused on football right now I am certain of it. I thought he did a really great job as far as inspiring our off season and a lot of other players when our team first came together. I think that you know, he’s had the ability to really improve and develop.”

Author: Sun Bowl Association