Dan Coonan Press Conference Remarks
Aug. 27, 2004
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -
"It is great to be a Bronco. I know Father went out looking for someone who would be accepted in the Bronco family. He looked for someone. He found five. I would like to introduce my wife, Donna and my son Tommy, my daughter Claire and Kevin, my one-year-old. I think the smartest thing I have done in my life, besides marrying my wife Donna, was deciding to bring her on a couple of the interviews. She was clearly the more impressive of the two of us. I am only happy that she wasn't the candidate because she would be sitting here right now. As a family, we are thrilled to be here." "I think for us Santa Clara University; we love and respect everything it stands for. It stands for so much in my mind. It is high achieving academics. It is top-notch athletics. It is a commitment to community service. The graduation rates at Santa Clara are the top in the WCC and compare very favorably across the nation. There is a genuine Santa Clara family. I have heard about it quite a bit. When I first became a candidate, I knew quite a bit because of my brother about Santa Clara and I always followed it. I tried to find out through the conference and the people I knew about Santa Clara. They all talked about the Santa Clara family. It absolutely is as advertised. I can speak to that because in the past two weeks, I have met 80 or so people in the interview process, which is great. I have a real good feel for that. They all speak of that Santa Clara family. It speaks volumes about this place." "I think the athletic department here has tremendous potential. I think there is a great group of coaches. I think there is a wonderful staff, a hardworking staff by all accounts. It is a wonderful university to recruit young student athletes to. It has a great location in the Bay Area. It has a Jesuit Catholic mission, which really resonates with a whole lot of young people, many of whom are attending Catholic schools and others as well. It is a place we can really sink our teeth into. I think we can do great things here. I cannot wait to get started." "Just a little bit about me and what matters to me in running an athletic department. Number one is integrity. I think in who we hire and how we conduct ourselves we will have integrity, no question about it. That is paramount, and number one." "Number two is personal relationships. Father Locatelli talked about personal relationships. I will make it in the first two months my number one objective to go out and try to form rock solid relationships with everyone in the Santa Clara family. I have a good start at that in the last two weeks, but there is a lot more to do. That means donors, alumni and within our staff. I need to meet all of the staff and get to know them as people. Of course, relationships with campus and in the WCC, I am looking forward to doing that. I think that is right up my alley and I can't wait to get started." "Thirdly, in terms of things that I think are really important in running an athletic department, anyone who has been around Cal and listened to Steve Gladstone knows that this isn't original thinking on my part. Attracting and retaining great coaches, I think is paramount. That clearly will be a focus. I intend to have our staff help out with recruiting as much as we can and really help the coaches. Often times, we get a coach who might have to re-invent the wheel in terms of figuring out what the real message of Santa Clara is. I think we can simplify it for coaches and really help with that. Those are three of the most important things, I think, in terms of running an athletic department." "At the risk of sounding a little bit like an Oscar acceptance speech, I do have a lot of thank yous to go through. Number one, of course, my wife, for her unwavering support. My brother, Dennis, who is known in Santa Clara circles as Manny. In our house, he is known as Psycho. He was the one who really introduced me to the Santa Clara family. All of his Santa Clara friends that I see so often at his barbecues will now become my biggest critics." "Of course, I want to thank my parents. They continue to be a tremendous influence in my life. They put six of our kids through college, most of us private schools. It was a phenomenal achievement and I have to thank them. Missy Conboy at Notre Dame, who gave me my first start in this industry. I will always be indebted to her. And of course, Steve Gladstone. The last three years at Cal have been one of the highlights of my life. Having the opportunity to work along side Steve, and learn from him, a true Bay Area sports legend. So, I have to thank him too. Finally, Santa Clara. Father, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity. And Dr. Carmody, I really, really appreciate it. And lastly, Charles Erekson, for the way he conducted this search with a professionalism. He worked so hard the last month and I have to applaud the result too. I really appreciate all of his efforts." "I can't wait to get started. It will be a few weeks here, while I wrap things up at Cal. Thank you so much. Thanks for being so accepting. Thank you."