7 notable quotes from Butch Davis' introduction at Florida International

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday November 15, 2016


Butch Davis will be back on a sideline, introduced as Florida International’s head coach on Tuesday.

It’s a return to the Miami area for Davis, who was the Miami (FL) defensive line coach from 1984-88 and head coach from 1995-2000, where he was involved in several national championship teams. He last coached full-time at North Carolina, when he was let go as head coach before the 2011 season amid an NCAA investigation.

FIU has two winning seasons since it began play in 2002, but Davis brings an accomplished background. ESPN reports Davis will have a five-year contract.

Here were 7 notable quotes from his introduction.

- Davis and FIU AD Pete Garcia go back to the Miami days, when they worked together:

“We have had a relationship for well over 20 years that goes beyond trust, that goes beyond respect, and I am grateful for his role in this.”

- Why take a job with little past success like FIU:

“South Florida has been a home for us for many, many years. If you look at an opportunity to get back into coaching, you couldn’t visualize a better opportunity than FIU. It’s got a great academic reputation. Its own backyard has great athletes.

“One of the things that sold me was, how about the fact there’s 200,000 alumni in Dade and Broward County? We’ve got to unite those fans an get those people back in that stadium. I’ve already started talking about it to Pete. We’ve got to double-deck this stadium. It’s not nearly going to be big enough.”

- Davis quoted an Anthony Hopkins movie line to his team to describe what can be done:

“In the movie The Edge, one of the classic lines Anthony Hopkins says in there — they’re being chased by a grizzly bear in the wilderness, and the bear had killed some people — he said, ‘If one man can, so can another.’ If one school can, why not us? That’s what I told the players. If Northern Illinois, UCF, Houston, Boise and this year’s version Western (Michigan), if they can get into Jan. 1 bowl games, why not us? Why not us? They’re going to give us the resources, we’re going to hire the staff.

“All I know is the last time I came here in 1984, pull off any road on I-95, I swear there’s someone at the high school that runs a 4.5. We’re going to get some of those. We’ve got to draw a fence and keep local kids and make them a part of this program.”

- His message to the current coaches, who still have two games to coach this season:

“I told them that when the season’s over with, I’m looking forward to the opportunity to sit down and visit with each one of them and listen and let them tell me why they deserve or should be considered for an opportunity to be a part of the staff as we move forward.”

- On the motivation, at age 64, to get back into coaching:

“How much was the motivation on how the last job ended? The motivation to take this job had to do with kids. I love kids. I love coaching, I love the competition, I love recruiting, I love being in the locker room and the weight room. I love having those kids and their parents sit in office and talk about, five years from, the degree they have. That’s why you coach.”

- His thoughts on the current team and his biggest concern:

“Until I look at the film, but the one thing I’m most concerned about is developing leaders on a team. You can’t ever accomplish all the things you want to accomplish until you get guys to buy into your culture. Leaders have to be behind the scenes, in the locker room, in the dorms, in the community, they’ve got to be drinking the Kool-Aid and selling themselves as leaders on the team. That’s issue No. 1.”

- Spending recent years at ESPN and SiriusXM Radio helped keep him in the game:

“ESPN has been fabulous to me. They have treated me with unbelievable patience and opportunities, which has given me — with SiriusXM Radio — chances to visit lots of colleges. I’ve gone to training camps in August, visited coaches and spent days with them. All of those things, it’s like you have an addiction for chocolate chip cookies but you can’t have one. Watching those practices mean you can’t wait to get back on the sideline and in the locker room. Both of those helped me a lot. They love football, and it was fun to be a part of it.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.