Dave Rose addresses the media after being named BYU men's basketball head coach. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
BYU Press Conference
Dave Rose Announced as Men's Basketball Head Coach
Monday, April 11, 2005
3:30 p.m. MDT
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BYU Director of Athletics Tom Holmoe - With the departure of coach Steve Cleveland to take a new job at Fresno State, it gives us the opportunity to venture in a new direction. We're very excited today to name a new head basketball coach of the BYU Cougars, but before I do that, I would just like to stop and express gratitude from the Athletic Department to Steve Cleveland and the job that he did here. We're appreciative of the efforts that he made to help the program over the last eight years. But with his departure, we have a great opportunity to begin a new era at BYU in the basketball program, and it gives me great pleasure now to introduce to you the basketball coach of the BYU Cougars, Dave Rose.
BYU Men's Basketball Head Coach Dave Rose - Thank you Tom. I'd like to thank the Administration, President Samuelson, Tom Holmoe and the Athletic Administration for this opportunity and for the confidence that they have in me to lead this program. I'd like to also thank my family, my wife especially. I've been recruiting college basketball players for over 20 years, and I've recruited some very good players. I'm really proud of them and the things that they've done. They've made some good strides on the court. But of all the recruits that I've spent time recruiting, my wife is my No. 1 recruit. I appreciate her support.
I really want to thank the team for being here today. I love these players and I'm excited for the opportunity to be able to coach them. I know that there's a great desire to perform and to be great. They are in a position right now where they're working hard, and I'm excited to just continue with their efforts and to make this basketball program a top-notch program. I'm grateful for the staff that I've been able to work with over the past few years. I've made some wonderful friendships while I've been able to coach here at BYU.
I want to also thank Coach Cleveland. Coach gave me an opportunity eight years ago to come and work with him, and I am very, very proud of the eight years that we spent together and the things we've been able to accomplish. What I want to do now is grow on that; take the things we've done here -- three NCAA Tournament appearances -- and build on that and make the players here understand the expectations of this program and where we want to go to another level.
I believe that the way we're going to do that here is through three things. There will be a commitment to this program. We're committed as a coaching staff, as a basketball team and as individual players. We will make this commitment in everything that we do. We want to make sure that as we prepare ourselves everyday for work and everyday for a basketball game that this will be extremely important because it's very important to me.
The other thing we'll build this program on is discipline. We'll be disciplined in our approach to the game, disciplined in the way we play the game and disciplined in the way that we approach our academic assignments. I love the players, I love their attitude and I'm excited for the opportunity to allow them to grow in that area. But sometimes there needs to be a situation where they realize that what is expected of them and what they're doing at this time isn't being accomplished, and that will definitely be the case.
The third thing will be passion. Our players will have passion for this game. Our coaching staff will have passion for their jobs and for their assignments here at BYU. I love college basketball; it's been my life. I'm committed to being the best coach here at BYU that I can possibly be. I'm committed to making this program the best program it can possibly be and make everyone proud. I'm committed to the values of this school, and I'm excited to get started. Thank you very much
BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson - Let me add my thanks to all of you for coming. This is a great day for BYU. It's Dave Rose Day and the team's day and I don't want to detract from that, but it is important that I also add my voice of thanks to that of Tom and Dave to Steve Cleveland, who did a wonderful job, and I think accomplished what all of us would hope to during the tenure that we have an assignment to lift a program to a higher level than it was when we came. Steve has what he considers to be a wonderful new opportunity and we wish him well with the gratitude that we have. But we are also grateful that we have this opportunity ourselves, as Dave said, to go to a new level. We know Dave Rose very well. He, in a way, has been auditioning for a long time, without much thought about what that would mean. But for those who have some responsibilities to watch him, we are grateful to have Dave Rose here. He and Steve and the others have built a very solid program. We have wonderful student-athletes that are here with us, and assistant coaches and that tremendous support team that all to frequently doesn't get recognized for their support. But we are very excited because we believe that Dave Rose is the man to take us to that level of excellence that we not only expect here at the university but our fans and supporters have the right to expect. Dave will do this with great vigor, and with great passion, and with great intensity, and will do it exactly the right way. It is my privilege on behalf of the university family and for Brother Kerr and for our Board of Trustees, to express not only our congratulations to Dave but our full confidence in you and in the future of Cougar basketball. So thank you very much for taking on this big task. Congratulations and warmest best wishes.
Media Questions for Dave Rose
Q - You had an opportunity to interview at Houston a few times, and it didn't work out. Looking back, do you think that maybe this was you are supposed to do. Coach Cleveland spoke how he thought he was supposed to be in Fresno? Is this where you are supposed to be?
Dave Rose - I believe so. I believe that this is a great opportunity for me. I'm excited for it. Of all the things I've been thinking about this weekend, you never know the path that your life is going to lead. I've always thought that I was going to be a Division I head coach. I've always looked forward to that day. I always thought it would be a little bit different. I always thought that our team would get to the national tournament, we'd get to the Sweet 16, I'd have coaches calling me and I'd interview for a job and get it. After one of our toughest seasons ever, it's just kind of ironic that that's how it ended up where I got this position, but I'm excited for it. I've got our players in a position right now where they're dedicated. They know we need to improve; we all need to improve. But this program is in very good shape. Coach Cleveland has built a foundation and, like I said before, we need to grow this program; we don't need to rebuild it.
Q - You said before that you had the best assistant's job in the country because you got to work with Steve. What did you mean when you said that and what do you take from your time with him?
Dave Rose - I learned so many things from Coach Cleveland. He is a very passionate man. He loves his players and he loves the game, but he has a unique way of showing that. He's kind, and he's a great communicator. You can always go in and talk to him; he's approachable. Those are all things I learned from him. I may not be as approachable, but I hope I learn to be. I know my players will always have an open door to come in and see me, but I think that Steve just did a great job of understanding the role that he played at this university, and watching him do that for eight years, I hope I can learn from that.
Q - You played at the national level and coached at a junior college and national level. Is that workable here?
Dave Rose - That's my goal. That'll be our goal every year. I remember the year we went to the Final Four as a player. We sat around and one of the coaches on the coaching staff came into the locker room and said, "Okay, this is our journey to New Orleans." That was the year that I redshirted. I was a part of the program but I wasn't playing. Sure enough, five months later, we were in New Orleans playing in the semifinals. The year after was my senior year and the assistant coach came in and did the exact same thing and said, "Hey, this year the road is to Albuquerque -- everything we do is to get there," and we ended up in Albuquerque playing for the National Championship. I think every college basketball program in the country sets that goal at the beginning of the year. Those are things that our players will understand. It's a great opportunity. I promise you that I will not be the one to tell them that we can't do it. That's the attitude that we'll take every year. We'll start practice every day trying to get to the city where the National Championship will be played.
Q - Can you describe your coaching philosophy or style as it might be the same or different than what Steve brought in?
Dave Rose - We'll spend the majority of our time in practice competing. When I think about trying to build a team, I'm trying to find the players that will be the heart of the team. There will be three of four guys that will be the heart of the team and then the rest of the guys will build around that. The only way you can find who will be the heart of the team is through competition. We will prepare, second to none. We will sacrifice during the game for the good of the team, and through our preparation and sacrifice and through the effort of our players, we'll be very successful.
Q - Specifically, any changes on offense and your philosophy -- things you'd like to do and wanted to do that now you have a chance to?
Dave Rose - My philosophy in basketball is to constantly put pressure on the defense. If that's in transition basketball where you try to get the defense to always be on their heels or in our half-court offense when we'll attack the basketball and try and get ourselves in a position where the defense is always on their heels. You can do that in all kinds of different ways, in half-court offensive sets or fastbreak transition kind of basketball, but the most important thing to me is to try and get the defense to be on their heels and attack for 40 minutes.
Q - The assistants are often the players' best friend in a lot of ways since they're not handing out the playing time. How do you expect your relationship with the players that you've got now to change?
Dave Rose - That was one of the reason that I said I had the best job in the world when I was working with Steve, because I had a great relationship with the coach and the best relationship in the world with the players. I understand that position. This is my third head coaching assignment. I've been a head coach in high school, a head coach in junior college and this is my first opportunity to be a head coach at the Division I level. But I've also been an assistant coach at all three levels. I think I understand the role of assistant, how valuable an assistant can be not only to the coach but also to the players. I look forward to my relationship with these players as a head coach. It will be demanding and it will be confrontational, but it will be a great experience for both of us on both sides.
Q - Dave, I know you've been looking forward to this day for a while. Can you take us from the morning and everything and has it been everything you thought all these years?
Dave Rose - Like I said before, it's been just absolutely backwards from what I thought it was going to be. I love Steve Cleveland and the opportunity that he gave me, but it really surprises me that this opportunity was available to me. I wish him the best, but I didn't think it was going to happen this way. I've been here for eight years, and I've been through eight different transition times in the end of March and the beginning of April, which is quite a transition time for basketball coaches. Of all the things I thought would happen to our family, this was something that I didn't expect. But I'm very excited for the opportunity.
Q - Any chance of a game coming up with Fresno State?
Dave Rose - You'll have to ask Steve.
Q - What can you say about the composition of the staff and what kind of time frame are you dealing with here?
Dave Rose - Well, it's been really quick and I haven't had a lot of time to think about the staff, but I can promise you this, that we'll get a staff put together here that is committed and that has passion for this game. I don't have any concerns about finding people. I have a great network in the basketball world and with the coaches that I work with. We'll put together a great staff.
Q - How about recruiting? You're coming up against signing day -- do you think you're going to be able to keep everything going the way it was before all this happened?
Dave Rose - As much as I'm not allowed to say about recruiting, I feel very confident about our ability to continue in the direction we want to go.
Q - The team is obviously here. Have you had the opportunity to meet with them yet in this role?
Dave Rose - This is the first time. I was just going to ask them if they have any questions because I bet they have a few. I had an opportunity to speak with them Friday after Coach told them he was leaving and expressed the desire for all of them to continue to keep working hard and get in the weight room and, as we close out the academic semester here, to finish strong. We want to be ready to go here in the spring.
Q - Dave, knowing who you've got, your schedule, how much better can you guys be?
Dave Rose - We'll be better, we'll be a lot better. I think our team has learned a lot of lessons from the experience we had last year. And like I told you before, this program's in great shape. There are issues to be dealt with and there are things that we can do better, but I'm very confident in our players. I'm very confident in the direction that we're going as far as recruiting and the future classes that are available to us to recruit, and I believe that we'll be much better.
Q - What are some of those issues that you need to address?
Dave Rose - I think that some of the issues are confidence issues. I told them this all year long as we were playing that they're much better players than they played at times. I mean we had four or five guys this year that scored 25 points or more in a game. That's a confidence issue; it's not an issue of physical ability. We have issues of consistency. We need to be better on a consistent basis. We need to have more of a consistent effort. Those are things that I believe are fixable. I believe that the players are willing, and I know that the coaching staff will spend a lot of time with these issues to try and make the team better.
Q - What's the over/under on technical fouls this year?
Dave Rose - I will try very hard to stay on the bench. I've had a couple experiences in my life where I've been in that locker room when my team was still playing and I didn't like that at all. But I do have issues with officials and there will be times when they'll understand that.
Thank you very much.
Media Questions for Tom Holmoe
Q - Can you comment on the decision being made this quick.
Tom Holmoe - We didn't have a lot of time to run up to this, but I think what President Samuelson said is true. We've had the opportunity, I have for the three years that I've been here, and Peter Pilling, my associate, and some of the other people we've talked to, we've seen Dave. And so we felt that Dave was the right guy at the right time to take over this program. And so immediately when we learned that there could possibly be a departure, we started to think about the process and the possibilities. When we decided that that was the right way to go we tried to expedite it, and I'm grateful to our Administration for listening to our advice and for making the process go as quickly and smoothly as possible. Some coaching searches last a long time and some go very fast; some have formal searches and some have informal searches; and in this case we felt that we had the right guy here, right under our nose, and we knew it, and so we tried to go as fast as we could.
Q - What specific about Dave led you to believe that he was the right guy?
Tom Holmoe - I think watching him on the court you could see, as an assistant for Coach Cleveland, that he is into the game, he has a passion for the game and you see him relate to the players, and I think that is one of the things that is important. During a timeout or in between a critical juncture of the game, you could see his intensity and the passion for what this game is all about. He had it as player; he had it as a coach, as an assistant; and I think he'll be able to channel that. He has good wisdom. He runs a lot of the offensive and defensive various sets that they are experienced in on the team. He's a recruiter. He's brought players in and players appreciate what he does. They like his drive. I think there's one thing that I like as a former player and a coach myself. I like the sparkle in the eyes. When you see him on the court and you see that energy and enthusiasm and an attitude where he is not going to stop, and he's going to give it all he has. I think that is important for our program right now, that there is a great deal of energy, that there's discipline, that he can bring those guys together and help them play as one team. He's qualified. He's got all the qualifications and those things come together. One of my favorite expressions is, "Behind every success in life is a story of a flaming heart," and I see that in Dave. I know he loves this game and his players will learn to love it too.
Q - Besides what you were able to observe and get from Dave directly, what kind of input did you seek or did you get from players that are currently with the program.
Tom Holmoe - I had a few players call, and I think that is appropriate, and generally that's going to happen. They're interested in their futures. There are former players of the program that are interested in the future of the BYU program. People that are close to the program and people that I respect a great deal called, and there were people that called for other candidates too, but it was clear in each and every call that I took, each letter I received, it was just one of the factors, not all, we listen but it's not going to be it. It came together. The things that were told to me about Dave were the things that I felt. Peter Pilling and I worked for, not a long period of time but through a short period of time, on the things that were important to us, the criteria we were looking for. He had it, and people that we felt were important confirmed that. There are people associated with this program that will always be associated with the program and we respect that opinion, and that played a factor too.
Any more questions? Thank you.