Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
University of Arizona AD Jim Livengood Officially Opens Head Football Coach Search
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: November 29, 2000
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Press Conference Quotes
"The University of Arizona would like to thank Dick Tomey and his staff for 14 years of great commitment and dedication. He is exactly the kind of person that we would want our sons, our kids for that matter, to play for.

"In the past days, I met with every member of our coaching staff so that they know what is going on, know what to tell their families. I met with our team on Monday afternoon to talk with them, too. Our priority is with our players. There is a lot of anxiety with them when something like this happens, and we want to do everything we can to ease that.

"We are not going to let the grass grow when it comes to looking for a new coach. We are starting that process already. We are gathering every possible name of people who might possibly be the next coach here at Arizona. We have put together a small group, a small committee, but I would not call it a search committee. You can call it a gathering committee. The responsibility of selecting the new coach will be my responsibility to pass a name on to (University) president Peter Likins, who will pass along a recommendation to the Arizona Board of Regents.

"The timeline and process for hiring a coach is anybody's best guess, but we are going to select a coach as soon as possible. We are going to be fast, but not in a hurry, so that we don't overlook anybody, or that we don't do a good background check on someone to find the best person for Arizona. We have not hired a person for the job, and the job has not been offered to anyone.

"My hope is (as a timeline) is that we would have a coach in place by mid-December or even faster. That is not to be first and not to hurry, but we would like to have a new coach in place before the students leave for the holidays (Dec. 15 is the last day of classes).

"We want to, and we will, get our No. 1 choice of a coach. This is not going to be a situation where we are going to say that we will accept one of the following seven people. Our goal is to get the best coach for Arizona.

"There are qualities that I believe, our university believes, need to be demonstrated by a head coach: the ability to be successful; to act with care and concern for the players; genuine concern for academics and graduation rates; to be a good citizen; we would like a person with Division I(-A); the ability to work in a diverse environment; organization skills; discipline on and off the field; offensive-minded, who understands offensive football; ability to hire a good staff that will be committed to this university; active in the community; a department team player; recruiting skills and a background and knowledge where pipelines might exist; truly committed to intercollegiate athletics, not someone who thinks they just want to play around with college athletics.

"Salaries are negotiable. We don't have a big bank here. We don't have a vault here in McKale like some people think, but we are not going to go out and hire a certain coach just because he fits into a certain (salary range).

"There are some people on the staff now that I hope the new coach will take a very serious look at some of (the current assistant coaches). I said it before that this is not a sinking ship here. There are some very good people here and good things going on.

"Expertise and knowledge in recruiting would be a big plus. If we talk to someone who has some knowledge of our recruiting in California that would be a big plus. Also we have done a lot of good things (recruiting) in Texas. Some of that can be maintained in terms of the staff, but we are looking for things in that respect."

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