Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Press Conference Quotes
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: December 04, 2000
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John Mackovic
"It has been a long wait, but I finally feel like I have come home. This has been a very exciting week for me, to have the prospects to come back to Tucson, and the University of Arizona where I earned my spurs and learned a lot as an assistant coach before I went on to coach other places."

"This is also bittersweet as my great, great friend Dick Tomey is no longer the coach here. There is no one that I feel more strongly about than Dick Tomey."

"I read in one story that Arizona was the fifth-best coaching job (available in the nation), but there are many people, and I am one of them, that believe that this is the best job because of where it is and what it has surrounding it. That is not just because I am sitting here today. When I sat down with and met (university) president Peter Likins and athletics director Jim Livengood, it is wonderful to hear their commitment and leadership for the athletic department and the football program. I am very grateful for the opportunity."

"I have worked in TV for the past two years, and I got to look at about 20 games (every Saturday), and we had a good feeling of college football and the trends in the game. I also kept seeing myself in that position that I could do it again. If I had any opportunity to follow someone as great as Dick Tomey, I wanted to. When Jim (Livengood) called and asked if I was interested, I told him I was very interested. I have never had such an quick rapport with anyone like I did them (Livengood and Likins) and the communication on a one-on-one basis. I was so excited because they want to be the best."

"This university is very concerned and does a great job working for the overall well-being of the student-athletes. The life skills program here is one of the nation's hallmark programs. I see the graduation rates here, and that tells me that there are student-athletes here who want to graduate."

"You can't just take a snapshot of one particular day; one short picture is only that. There may be ups and downs and changes. I am really looking forward to filling this stadium to the brim. It can be done, and I want to create a home-field advantage that will be attractive to our players, but fearsome and loathed by opponents. There are other places in the Pac-10 that are doing that, where it was not necessarily a tough place to play before."

"I have been an offensive-minded coach in the past, and I will be here, as well. I am going to be involved in all aspects of the team, but I am going to be coaching the offense and calling the plays. I think one of the biggest things is to be a balanced program, though, with a good kicking game and defense.

"TV was a nice gig, but it was not coaching. I enjoy people, and being around and coaching young people. I enjoy the challenge and wanted to get back into it."

University of Arizona president Peter Likins
"John Mackovic is committed to building our program and continuing the proud tradition that we have with Wildcat football and the athletic department."

University of Arizona athletics director Jim Livengood
"This process to find a new coach started basically last Saturday. We looked across the country, I visited with ADs and so-called football consultants. Some (candidates) came forward and some others were sought out by us.

"John Mackovic was on the short list a long time ago, but we never talked about this job until last week. Everyone else was compared to John, and no one was able to measure up to what he was able to offer. I am not here to tell you he is a saint, but he is exactly what this football program and university needs."

"No one else offered the impeccable credentials that John offered for the well-being of the student-athletes, football knowledge not just Xs and Os, although he certainly knows a lot about that. This guy has a ton of passion and a burning desire to be back in college football and coaching young people."

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