What players/fans are saying about Rick StockstillDecember 13, 2005 · MT Media Relations
Sophomore, Tight end
"First impressions always are a big deal, and I think he's made a big one. He told us he wants to win and that's what we want to do here at Middle Tennessee. I think he's the right guy to get it done. "We are looking to play hard for coach (Stockstill) and look to get this off-season going so we can get ready for next season. It will be different with a new coach. Everyone will be coming back from break, and it's going to be exciting to see what he wants from us. It's exciting in a way because it's a new change, and I think that's what we needed. It's going to be great."
Junior, Offensive lineman
"Our initial meeting went well and I like (Stockstill) because he is an offensive-minded coach. With me being on offense I like spreading the ball out, and I think he's going to be a good coach for us. "Now we can relax somewhat. We were told we were going to have a new coach sometime this week. Had that not happened it would have been a lot of stress on us going home for Christmas break not knowing what to expect."
Junior, Defensive back
"I think it's a great feeling, especially before we are going home for the break, so we know who we are going to be working with. I'm going to go meet with him (Monday) at 2 p.m., just so we can get on a one-on-one basis, but it seems like he's going to be a great coach, and a player's coach. I think it's going to be a great experience, and I'm looking forward to next year already. "These last few weeks haven't been too difficult because we knew our athletic director (Chris Massaro) was going to bring in the best guy possible. Now that we know, it is a good feeling. We are ready to go to work. "It seems like (Stockstill) knows what he wants and what he wants to do. He wants to get straight to work and that's the kind of coach I like, someone that is going to be hard on the players. Losing coach (McCollum) is a loss, but it's also going to fun and exciting to get going with this new coach. "Knowledge from the guys he has coached with is a great thing. You see those guys (Steve Spurrier, Lou Holtz, Bobby Bowden, Danny Ford, etc.), in the big programs on national television all the time. Just from a mental standpoint, having learned from those guys have to be a great thing. I think it's a credit to him and something that will help the team."
"It's a relief knowing who the coach is. I have been home since the season ended and I've had all kinds of questions about the coach. Now when I go home I can tell them who our coach is and how excited I am about it. "This coach has been around winners throughout his career and that's very exciting. We want to win at Middle Tennessee and this is a positive step."
"When (Stockstill's) name first came out in public, I had heard of him because I following recruiting and had seen his name quite a bit in recruiting articles. I was aware of the reputation he has as a recruiter and being under different programs. I am very happy with the hire. I like his concentration on the student-athlete, talking about going to class, and not having to worry about the eligibility issues. I am a proud alumnus, and I want to be proud of our student-athletes when they graduate, as I do as when they are making plays on the field."
"I am actually impressed with (Stockstill) and am glad to see him here, as alumnus. I like his pedigree, if you will. He seems to have a rich background with several different styles of coaching. I wasn't aware, until today, of the situation at Florida State when he was there as a player. He talked about how the program was just about in disarray and talked about shutting down the program. Albeit a player, he was kind of involved in the building of that program that was having a lot of challenges, much like us."
"I was real excited. I think he said all of the things I expected him to say about getting back to fundamentals, and that excites me. He is going to take responsibility for the product on the field, and he understands his role as far as the responsibility of putting fans in the stadium. The way to get attendance up is to put a good product on the field, so it's good to see that he is willing to take responsibility for that. "I liken it back to (men's basketball coach) Kermit Davis. He took over a program in the same situation in a way. The program was down, attendance was down, and Kermit came in and said, 'we may not win every game but I guarantee you there will be a product on the court that is going to be worth coming to watch,' and it has been. Hopefully the same holds true with coach Stockstill. The students want to support the team but there have been so many times the past couple of seasons when they came, they were excited, and they left disappointed. It wasn't just that we lost, but how we lost."
"It is a new era. We were so lucky to have 'Bubber' Murphy for 25 years, and then Boots Donnelly for 17 years, and then coach Andy 'Mac' for the last seven years, and I think it was great that coach Stockstill eluded to that in his speech today. We have a good base here. We do have a long to go, but we have come a long way. "Hopefully he can come in with a fun offense and defense and utilize the talents of the players we do have because I certainly do think the cupboard is not bare. I think we have the most athletes that have ever been at this school at one time. If we can add to that group of players then we have a chance to be better than we ever have been."
"First, as a fan, I think (Stockstill) did a great job selling himself as I think there were some unanswered questions coming into this because the cards were held so close to the vest. It seems that he is going to focus on some discipline, and we need that. These guys are 18-to-22 years-old, and they need some guidance. As far as a former player, there's still anxiety for the players. They don't know what to expect, it's going to be a different off-season for them and they are going to have to sell themselves to the coaching staff. After all, this staff knows very little or nothing about them."
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