April 2, 2008
Search Committee Chairman Harry Gonso
"Good morning. We started this process about two weeks ago and we are here today with a good result. (Indiana University) President McRobbie delivered to us a change and we, I think, satisfied every requirement that he asked we achieve in our search. Unfortunately, he has a commitment today that prevents him from being here.
"I would like to thank the search committee members, some of whom are here: Ken Beckley, Grace Calhoun, Professor Bruce Jaffee, Wayne Radford, Jennifer Sinclair, Bill Stephan, Professor James Wimbush and coach Jerry Yeagley. The committee provided remarkable input of names, criteria and helped us evaluate the candidates. I also want to thank coach Eddie Fogler, a former coach who helped served as consultant for the committee, and of course President McRobbie himself who was with us every step of the way.
"I want to make it clear that we offered this position to only one person, not withstanding press reports, and this morning, today and hereafter we will only talk about coach Tom Crean and we will not talk about anybody we considered, did not consider, or anybody that we talked with.
"With that, it is my pleasure to introduce another member of the committee whom I have greatly enjoyed working with, Athletic Director Rick Greenspan. Thank you."
Indiana Director of Athletics Rick Greenspan
"Welcome to the Crean family, welcome to all of you. Thank you, Harry, for your leadership and support throughout this process. Harry has demonstrated phenomenal love and care, concern and support for Indiana University for over 40 years. We will be forever indebted to Harry for many, many things, perhaps none more visible than leading Indiana to the Rose Bowl.
"This process of hiring a coach is not about gamesmanship, it is not about coaches leveraging their current institutions for more money or ego enhancement. The process is about identifying and hiring the best individual that can lead the IU basketball program to a level of academic, and athletic success on par with the high expectations of our fans, our alumni and our campus leadership. As Harry stated, the reports of many coaches, agents and others about their involvement, about their contacts, about their offerings, are both poor journalism and inaccurate.
"What this position is about is attracting and developing young men that wear jerseys on their chest that say `Indiana,' and recognizing that their achievements and their failures represent not just the basketball team nor the University, but the state of Indiana and its hundreds of thousands of fans.
"It is my distinct pleasure to introduce our new men's basketball coach, Tom Crean. Tom understands our desire to build a partnership so that greater collaboration and appreciation between our constituents will occur. Through our most visible intercollegiate athletic program, our men's basketball program, we will positively exploit the success that will occur to introduce and re-familiarize many with this great institution that we call Indiana University. I am pleased to introduce to you, Tom Crean."
Indiana Head Men's Basketball Coach Tom Crean
"It has been a whirlwind of feelings, emotions, some incredible sadness with the people I am leaving, but at the same time incredible joy with what I am doing. I have so many feelings, so many emotions that are swirling around in me and I am going to try and tie them up in the right way.
"There is no chance for me to have any success whatsoever with out the love and support and the joy that my family brings me. I would like to introduce you again to my family. I am not sure where my two-year-old daughter, Ainsley is right now; to my soul mate, my partner, the love of my life, Joani; my 12-year-old daughter Megan; and my eight-year-old son, Riley.
"I have been blessed with family that is unspeakable to me. My mother lives in Michigan; my father lives in Michigan; my sister lives in Michigan. I don't get to see them nearly as much as I like and we've moved just a little bit closer to them right now. To be in Joani's family and to have the leadership, guidance and camaraderie that we have. One name you will truly recognize, Jim Harbaugh is Joani's brother and was within one dropped pass, I am sure many of you will remember, of taking the Colts to the Super Bowl. And the last time I was in the stadium he was put in the Ring of Honor. Another former Indiana person who coached here for one year with Cam Cameron before he went on to the Philadelphia Eagles, John Harbaugh. And all he is right now is the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens. My father-in-law Jack Harbaugh and Jackie Harbaugh. I have to start with family because that is what I just walked into. And I want you to understand how important family is to me.
"I walked into a tradition I've understood and had great feelings for since I was really young. I'll never forget the '76 championship game. I was 10 years of age. When I went to Marquette nine years ago yesterday, I'll never forget the '77 game when Marquette played North Carolina. Those were the defining moments in a little boy's life, in my mind as I go back and look at it, of what basketball turned out to mean to me. Even though I lived in the state of Michigan and I was too young to be a fan, I loved watching Indiana. I loved it. Later that summer, Special Olympics was really big at Central Michigan and they were one of the forerunners of getting celebrities in. And I would go and get autographs from the different actors and actresses and different things like that. There was never a bigger celebrity in my mind that walked in to Central Michigan University than Kent Benson. And I kept a picture in my mother's house back in Michigan for many, many years of Kent Benson standing there in his Indiana uniform. Those are things that I remember. I remember so much of growing up in the state of Michigan and becoming a Big Ten basketball fan. I remember so much watching Indiana play.
"The first clinic I attended outside of Mt. Pleasant, I had a chance to come with my two high school coaches to a Bob Knight coaches academy for two days. It was one of the most mesmerizing things I had ever seen in my life. Those are the things that shaped my feelings about Indiana at a young age.
"I haven't had the right words when I've been asked whether it was yesterday when I tried to explain why I was coming here and leaving what I felt for the last nine years at Marquette was the greatest job. I feel like I have the greatest job in the world. I did not know that when I first started. The people that I worked with, the players that I coached, the 23 out of 23 people that used their eligibility at Marquette that all graduated... I felt like I had the best. And when this opportunity came about, when I received a phone call from Mr. Fogler... for those of you that don't know, if Eddie Fogler calls, you, you pick it up. Because when he calls, you are going to be a lot better off when you are off the conversation. Now I had no idea how much better off I was going to be. But I listened, and I thought, and I listened and I thought, and I'd still come back to what I thought at the very beginning if anybody asked me why: it's Indiana. It's Indiana.
"And that is the bottom line. And that is the premise that we are going to work under here. That is the premise that we are going to undertake the challenge. Because the incredible tradition that is at this university and in the state of Indiana, I know what the state of Indiana holds. I know what the values are because in coming in to recruit, in coming in to compete and in being part of the Midwest fabric for all these years, I know the fabric of this state. I don't know it like I am going to know it tomorrow. I don't know it like I am going to know it tomorrow. I don't know it like I am going to know it in a week. I don't know it how I am going to know it in the next five to 10 years. But I am going to learn more and more what the state of Indiana is all about. I am going to learn what Indiana is all about. I am going to learn what IU stands for. But I am going to have no trouble whatsoever embracing the tradition of what this university has stood for in the side of men's basketball. Because I have been a fan for a long, long time. It's Indiana.
"And as we go through this process, as we embrace the tradition and take over a very challenging situation, which I hope all of you realize it is, and I realize that. And more than anything else I think that has lit something in my heart that I couldn't explain. That I have incredible passion and desire for to come in and help build on this tradition. Because Indiana basketball is probably much like the state of Indiana. It's been bigger than any one person. Household names have coached here, like Branch McCracken and Bob Knight, obviously. Household names have played here. Some of the most successful businessmen and businesswomen, leaders in education, leaders in the political world, leaders in the law field have come through this University. When I learned there were 500,000 alumni and 250,000 are in the state of Indiana that hit home to me. Because this is Indiana.
"I don't have a lot of eloquent things to tell you in the sense of why I am so excited, I just know how I feel. It's an honor. It's a humbling honor. And just as it was nine years ago to take over the Marquette program and to build on the tradition that was there and to work with people that aren't household names to you but are in the fabric of our lives. Father Robert A. Wild, our president. Greg Kliebhan, our senior vice president, Bill Cords, the athletic director that hired me; Steve Cottingham, the athletic director that I left yesterday, and all the other administrators, faculty and athletic personnel, student-athletes, academic support, strength coach, trainer, but most importantly, those young men.
"I've had a chance to meet with my team today and without getting into details of everything we talked about, I told them the same thing I told my team last night. Which was as painful as anything I think I have ever done in my adult life. I won't say I said goodbye, but to tell them how I felt about them. I had their heart, and they had mine. And that is exactly what I am looking for at this University. That is exactly what I am looking for.
"I am looking for that with this team. I am looking for people that are going to understand why we wear the candy-striped pants. I am going to look for people who understand what that uniform stands for, why it says `Indiana' on the front. I want people to understand what I feel from being at Michigan State. When I was at Michigan State working for Tom Izzo, there was never, ever a louder place or more challenging place to play than Assembly Hall. One of the three greatest locker rooms I have ever been in in my life was at Michigan State when we had an opportunity to beat Indiana here. Because when you beat Indiana, it was something. It was absolutely something. And that hit me and it hit me as I flew in here last night. We are going to have that. We are going to have a presence in here. We're going to have a standard that when people come to Indiana they know they're here. The opponent will know that they are smack-dab in the middle of Hoosier Nation, which I am absolutely emphatic and excited about getting a chance to meet and get to know.
"And I had a chance to meet about seven or eight of them last night that snuck into the hanger in their big red wigs and their sweatshirts. And I signed every shirt I could sign of those seven or eight. I got the fight song sung for me out in front of the Hilton Garden Inn last night. That, I guess to me, is what Hoosier Nation is all about. And the Crean family cannot wait to be a part of that. Because for the last nine years we've been as blessed and as fortunate as anybody who does this job in America to work with the people that we worked with, to be in the environment that we were in. There is absolutely no way that I would have left what we had there and what we were building if it wasn't for what I feel is the absolute pinnacle of all of college basketball. And that is to be the head basketball coach at Indiana University.
"And I am extremely proud, I am incredibly grateful. There is no question that we are humbled. And I cannot wait to represent these young men, to represent this University, to represent the faculty, to represent the student body, to represent the state of Indiana as the head basketball coach here.
"I thank you very much for giving us this opportunity. Thank you to everybody up here. Our president, I am a big fan of right now. In a short period of time I've had a chance to visit with him. Our eyes are wide open right now for the greatness that is Indiana basketball, Indiana University and the state of Indiana. And we cannot wait to get started. Thank you."
On the challenges that are ahead:
"This place, this university, this basketball program, for as long as I've paid attention, as I said a little while ago, has been bigger than any one person. There are household names that have coached it. There are household names that have played in it, but all along the way it has stood for class. It has stood for integrity. It has stood for doing the right thing. It has stood for being the right way. It has stood for treating people the right way. It has stood for giving people respect, and the only way that you can get respect is to have self-respect. If you do those things, and right now we are not going to be overwhelmed by the challenges. We're going to have to embrace them because there is no other way to look at it. I'm going to say this. The sanctions that were imposed in-house on Indiana by Indiana are very, very strong. They are very strong. I have to say I was shocked when I looked at them because Indiana grabbed a situation, and they handled it. I don't have a lot of feeling one way or the other on what happened. That is not on my watch. My watch started when I got in town last night, and it really started at ten o'clock when I met our players. We're going to deal with this head-on. We're going to deal with it with everybody that is a part of my life inside of this program, that is a part of this staff, that is a part of this team. We're going to deal with it with our eyes wide open. We're going to deal with a connection of trying to make what is best for each other happen. We're not going to let it detour us. Is it going to be a challenge? It is probably going to be a greater challenge than even I realize, and I've thought a lot about it. We have an incredible tradition in a very challenging time. We're going to build on the tradition, and the only way to do that is to go full boar, and that is what we're going to do. As far as the young men, I've paid attention, I've read, I've listened, but now it starts and I don't have an answer for you. We're going to take it, I'd like to say day-by-day but we'll get a lot more things done than a couple of things in a day, so I guess we're going to take it hour-by-hour and we'll just see how it all shapes out. I don't have an answer that I could give you that would be correct right now on that part."
On Indiana's recruits:
"We're going to get into that process quickly. I don't want to comment on recruiting as much right now except that we're going to do everything we can to study and to get to know the four young men that have committed or signed to this university, and also to continue to recruit. We're going to need the Hoosier Nation's help, in a good way, and this is what I mean by that. We need everyone to understand that this is going to take some time. We need everyone to understand that we're here for the long haul; we're here to build. I walked away from a very long contract, and I got one that I'm very proud of right here. The years to me and the security of the years is important for the family, but it also shows values of what you want in recruiting. I want the people looking at this university, including those four young men, to understand that we are here for the long haul, we are here to build it in a way that is going to be outstanding. I have no time-table, no promises to make, I have no numerical goals to hit right now, but that we're going to build it the right way and I want those people to feel a part of that, and I want to make sure that they understand where we're coming from. With that being said, with the four signees and what else we do with recording, the way the Hoosier Nation can help so much is to make sure that you keep showing that passion and you keep being excited about the tradition, and trust that we're going to everything that we can do to build on that tradition and have that excitement. I don't need people to be making phone calls. We don't need any of that. What I need people to do is wear the shirts, if they're selling these (holds up "Crean and Crimson" t-shirt), go buy a couple. Wear your shirts, wear your sweatshirts, wear your hats because the more that that is shown throughout this state, the more people are going to understand again how important this program is to everybody, and I think that is going to help as much as anybody."
On how fast he decided to take the job:
"I would say that it has been so quick. There is no good time to leave. There is no good time to say goodbye. It happened so fast. I would say at some point in time between the first two conversations and feeling that there was a genuine interest from this university, and that really brought the fan our in me. If you are a college basketball you realize that this is, maybe somebody is going to rank it in the top-three, maybe someone is going to rank it in the top-five, maybe someone is going to rank it in the top-ten. I'm going to rank it number one. When my heart felt that and my wife and I were able to talk about that. I was able to go back to being the fan that I was of this program. It was hard because I knew what I was leaving, but in my heart I just felt like this was the right thing for me and for us, because I'm incredibly excited about the challenge. So, it happened very fast."
On his style of basketball:
"That is a good question because I think it is constantly on-going. I think the one thing that I've always tried to be and surround myself with is people that have questions and not just answers. I think every time you can tweak your system to make it better, every time you can take a part of it and add to your personnel, I think that is a big deal. What we're going to try to do is first off we're going to have to be in incredible condition. Coming from the BIG EAST and certainly having awareness of the Big Ten, if you are not in great shape and you don't have outstanding physical strength, it is going to be tough, but more important than the conditioning and the physical strength is going to be the mindset, the mental toughness that you have to have to win in this league, to win at home, to win on the road. I think the character development, the player development is going to be on-going. I felt that always at Marquette I was the player development coach, and I worked with our players. I rarely ever missed an individual instruction, and during the offseason, I missed probably two in the last four years. I believe whole-heartedly in the individual development of the players, and I believe in it as an on-going process throughout the offseason in the time allowed by the NCAA and certainly the time inside the season. Then, I think your style develops from there. I would like to see us have an outstanding fast break, a team that runs not only on misses but on makes. That is something I got from Tom Izzo from the years at Michigan State. That is something that they obviously do an outstanding job of and that I took from him. We're not a team that runs a motion per se. We're not a team that runs the, I call it the Georgetown Offense, but maybe everyone else would call it the Princeton Offense. We're not a team that plays that way. We're a team that is going to get up and down the floor, drive in space. We're going to do our best to get the ball inside out. We want to score point in the lane. Some of our best post-up players at Marquette have obviously been our guards. Dwayne Wade was obviously one of the best, but young men I'm leaving behind, Jerel McNeal and Wesley Matthews were outstanding. Dominic James from Richmond, Indiana was as good as anybody we've had from the post because he can create for so many people. I think offense is going to be based on drive and kick, quick hitters, mismatches, matchups and pushing the ball at every turn. Having a team that wants to learn how to play inside of that allows them some real creativity and freedom. On the defensive end, we're going to guard the three. We were one of the best teams in the country this past year of the some of the higher ranked teams of guarding the three. I want to have an outstanding half-court defense. I think there is room to mix defenses. I think there is room to pick-up full court, but most importantly inside of the game is you've got to have guys that are going to make great decisions, guys that can execute under pressure, and the constant is going to be the rebounding. With all that being said, I don't know our team yet. I haven't studied the film. Some coaches walk into a situation and they don't want to watch any film. I want to watch every film I can because I know they've been successful. I want to watch how they were coached, I want to watch how they responded, I want to watch how they played, I want to watch their competitive level. I'm really looking to see what I can help them with in these next few weeks before school is out in their individual development."
On what it will be like to compete against Tom Izzo each year:
"We've talked quite a bit and I'll say this, the Big Ten has an incredible friend in Tom Izzo, and Indiana has a big fan in Tom Izzo, because he is as good a friend as I have. That isn't going to change. Our friendship is so far above anything that would happen competitively, which it has got to be. With the same thing in mind, we want to kick his tail. Make no mistake, the last time I matched up with him, we didn't play so well in the NCAA tournament. He thought this was a great move for me. He has been the one constant outside of my family and a few others that I turn to. He has been a mentor through so many situations. He gave me outstanding advice, and like I said, he is a big fan of this university and of the league and he was very high on me coming in here."
On his recruiting base:
"I think it is inside out, and I've learned that from every coach that I've ever worked for. If you start inside out, then you can branch from there. It is going to be so important right now that the state of Indiana understands that this is the state university. This is the university that has been on people's lips and people's minds for decade after decade after decade. I'm sure that there are many people that have grown up in this state and they've understood that since birth, and I want to make sure that we find those people. I want to make sure that they understand that we're here for the same reasons that they grew up that way. I understand the tradition. I understand the great players. I saw Isiah Thomas's quote in the Associate Press article and Jared Jeffries quote. I wanted to cry. That to me was awesome. That is the sign that we've got to be. I want people to understand Wayne Radford, Chris Reynolds, Ted Kitchel, Kent Benson, Scott May, Quinn Buckner, Damon Bailey, Calbert Cheaney. When I came to that Bob Knight clinic, Pat Graham was on an unofficial visit. I've got to go on and on and I'm not trying to miss anybody because I'm going to try to make sure that I touch everybody. This base of alumni is just so strong that somebody growing up in Indiana should want to follow in that. It is our job to help them understand that. It is our job to keep giving the education as to why this is. The inside out starts with Indiana, it branches throughout the Midwest, but there is absolutely no reason that the state of Indiana can't be a great opportunity with Indiana basketball in the forefront for any young man in any state in the country. We will recruit programs as much as we will recruit players, because when you can find great programs that develop talented, character-driven, work ethic, energy-filled people you're going to win, and that is what we're really going to start looking for real quick."
On how he will assemble his staff:
"This has moved so fast that what I want to do right now after the next couple of days. I know it is going to be hard to catch our breath, but the most important thing right now is to get to know the players. We've had a team meeting. Get to know them individually, as much as I can in the short period of time. Go to San Antonio, do some things, some obligations there. Then, really start to think about the staff, and take the time to visit with the people that are here without a doubt. I have an incredible staff back home. In my nine years, it was as good a staff as I've had and I've had five people go on to be head coaches. I have a young man like Darrin Horn who is now the head coach at South Carolina. The reason I'm peeling is we were in Phoenix to watch him coach. I was so proud watching Darrin coach the other night against UCLA. He did such an incredible job of coming back. I recruited him to Western (Kentucky), coached him for a couple of years, and then he was with me in my first four years at Marquette. I'm looking for people that have incredible loyalty, that are just driven to work. If you wear a watch that is great, but I don't expect to you to be looking at it a whole lot. We are going to have to roll. We're really going to have to work at it. I know that Indiana has had great coaches for many, many years, and I certainly want to put a staff together that people are going to get excited about, that people are going to be proud of, and that the opponents are going to stand up and take notice of."
On having an assistant with ties to Indiana:
"I think again, that is something that is important that we look at. I think that everyone that is here has an incredible passion, and it has going to have to develop, no matter who you are. No matter if you play here, no matter if you've never ever been here, you've got to continue to sharpen that knife when it comes to understanding the passion that you need to coach at a place like Indiana. Right now, with that said, I don't have anything ruled or etched in stone right now. I know what kind of people I want. I know what I want their skill level to be. The bottom line is, our players have got to have an ability to relate to them to trust them, but at the same time they've got to give their heart to this staff. I don't know who those will be yet, but I know we're going to work diligently to get that rolling here pretty quick."
On convincing recruits to stay at Indiana:
"I think the biggest thing I'm going to try to do is explain why I'm here and what Indiana means to me. Every person that chooses a university, a job, a spouse - you name it - there is a reason. Every one of those young men chose this university for different reasons and it is probably more than one. Certainly the coach and the coaching staff is a big part of that. There have got to be things that drove them to make that decision, just like there were things that drove me to make my decision. I'm going to try to get that across to them. I'm going to try to let them know what I feel about Indiana. I'm also going to let them know what I feel about winning and what I feel about work ethic, what I feel about what it is going to take to be successful here and do my absolute best to convey that. If it is not good enough, or I don't think it is the right fit, then we're going to have to make that decision. It is like the players I met with today. We're all going to start, we're going to get to know each other and see where it can go. I plan to meet with those people quickly, very quickly. It is not going to just be me talking to them about what I see. I want to know what they see and what they want. I've only been here for a few hours, but I don't know what there is not to want or what there is to get that you can't get at Indiana. I know that we don't have the arena full for a game for them to come in and see right now, but I know we'll find some video. I can't wait for people to be on this campus. I can't wait for the unofficial visits, which are absolutely going to be paramount to whatever success we have in recruiting. I can't wait for them to see what this arena is like when it is filled, but in the mean time, there are going to be a lot of other things that have to go on before that."
On whether Marquette could've done anything to keep him:
"No and no. I tried to explain this to our president and our senior vice president last night. I can't be thankful enough for my time at Marquette. When I arrived at Marquette nine years ago, we probably weren't selling six hundred season tickets to the students. Every year the student ticket seating has gone up. The students at Marquette, it has been a love affair. When I first got there, we had an event called `Coffee, Crean and Donuts' that 17 people showed up for. I wasn't sure we were going to have the fan base then, but the 22 largest crowds in the state of Wisconsin later, our students and our fans really bought in and I'm proud of that. There is absolutely nothing that could've happened once I got the feeling, because Marquette has done more for me than I ever could have imagined. They did more for me in every area, and this was a heart decision. It was not a business decision, it was not a legacy decision. This was a heart decision. There had been other chances to leave, and it never felt like that because I felt like I had the greatest job in the world. I walked away from an incredible job to take another one. It just so happens that this one has been at the pinnacle of college basketball for a long time. I'm going to miss those people there. I really am. I'm excited to learn this environment. I learned so much at Marquette. I learned about appreciating fans, appreciating students, appreciating young children for what they mean, and I'm going to what I can do to bring my lessons there to here."
On his future involvement with the IU student body:
"Get them set up right now, we'll find out. Let's meet them right now. I've probably met twelve so far. Four in front of the Hilton and seven or eight last night. I can't wait. Roy Williams said something the first summer I was at Marquette when we had that `Coffee, Crean and Donuts' event that 17 people showed up for. He said that when he got to Kansas, the first clinic they had, had 18 people. The first camp he ran had 117 people. That put everything in perspective for me that you have to build it up. We worked incredibly hard to build it up. I have no doubt that I've walked into the Cadillac area of students, fans, alums, supports, and I've got to say that when I was at Michigan State with Tom (Izzo), there was never a tougher place to be than Assembly Hall. I doubt it has changed much. I doubt it has changed. We're going to do everything we can do as a family of the Creans, as a coaching staff, as a support staff, and as a player group to make sure that every one of the students knows that we appreciate them and respect them, and I can't wait to start meeting more of them.