Head Football Coach Turner Gill Introduced at Michigan Basketball Game

Dec. 19, 2009

Video: Gill Q&A With Media

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Newly hired University of Kansas head football coach Turner Gill was introduced to the crowd at halftime of the men’s basketball game versus Michigan on Saturday. He took a few minutes afterward to meet with members of the media.

About being introduced at halftime of the basketball game:

“It’s another example of the great passion that the fans have – the community, the student body – and that’s why I chose to come here. I’m thankful that Lew gave me this opportunity. We’re going to continue to have some excitement on the football field and not just the basketball court.”

On getting acclimated to his new job:

“Everything is going pretty good. It will be great here in probably another week as I get the whole staff here and I can relax a little bit, not totally relax, but it will be great to have my troops in here because we are going to put together a great staff. I think we will have a great opportunity to have a winning tradition.

On what he’s been doing in his first week:

“It’s been multiple things. I’ve spent time building relationships with our players. I’ve sat down with every guy one by one. Then, also working on the staff and recruiting. All those three things have been going on a consistent basis.”

On how the returning players have been responding:
“I feel real good – they are upbeat, they’re excited and ready to go and play. It is a good opportunity for a lot of guys and they are looking forward to it. We’re going to keep an upbeat approach. Like the last part of our mission statement is they enjoy the college football experience and we are going to do that.”

On if he feels they needed to be uplifted:

“No, I’m who I am no matter what has happened (at Kansas) in the past. This is who I am as a football coach and more importantly as a person. That’s what I have told them. What you see today is going to be the same two years from now, five years from now, and 10 years from now. I’ve got to be who I am and that way I’ll be able to get the best out of our student-athletes and also out of our coaching staff.”

On when he hopes to announce the rest of his staff:

“I anticipate probably making an announcement the 29th of December is what I’m shooting for. I should have everything done at that particular time.”

On the response from recruits:
The response from the recruits has been exciting. There are always going to be one or two people that will see other schools. When a coaching change occurs at a certain school other people are going to go in and attack and try to make sure they have an opportunity to get those people on their campuses. So we’re going to have to come back and battle on a few people but we have the whole month of January and I think we will plenty of time to get our top recruits and top players here at the University of Kansas.”

On how he balances his new job with his family:

“You just have to have balance as far as taking the proper time you need. Family is always on my mind and I have a chance to spend time with my oldest daughter here now so it kind of balances out as far as our younger daughter. But again there is a job to do here at this particular time and we are going to balance things out and do the best we can.”

On people who say you can’t win in football at a basketball school:
I don’t know how basketball has anything to do with football to be honest with you. It is all about our staff being able to go out and get the players, being able to bring out a team unity, and getting everybody play well together. So that doesn’t bother me. It actually helps the way I look at it. It is great exposure what we get from our basketball program or any other sport for that matter. It is a great opportunity for me and a blessing to be here. Again we have so much tremendous exposure with the basketball program. With Bill Self, we’ve talked a little bit, and we are going to work together to continue to build a great football program – obviously the basketball program has already been built – and some other sports too.”

On the atmosphere at the basketball game against Michigan:
It is outstanding, outstanding – the energy in here. It’s energy hopefully we’re going to provide the same thing on the football field. I appreciate all of the fans. It’s going to be a great connection I have with the fans, the alumni, the student body here to make sure and understand we appreciate all of their support.”