'That's what I thrive on' — 8 quotes from Geoff Collins' introduction at Temple

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Wednesday December 14, 2016


Geoff Collins was introduced as Temple head coach on Wednesday, and he wants to bring the "mayhem."

Collins spent the past two years as Florida’s defensive coordinator. He’s a close friend of Matt Rhule from their previous time working together. Now Collins inherits a team Rhule took to two straight 10-win seasons.

At his press conference, Collins addressed his mentors, the transition, and why he believes he can succeed in the northeast. There wasn't much talk about scheme and style yet. Here were 8 notable quotes from Collins.

- It was a book that made him want to be a coach.

“When I was 16 years old, I read a book. Now, I love football, playing the game, everything about it. Sam Rutigliano was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns at the time. The name of the book was called ‘Pressure.’ It went from being a passion and drive for me to be a great player, to wanting to be a coach. A lot of people see it’s named ‘Pressure,’ and I’m going to stay away from that deal. But that drove me and has driven me throughout my career.”

- There’s a lot of pressure in taking over Temple coming off a conference title.

“I’ll answer the question now, do you feel any pressure, back-to-back 10-win seasons, back-to-back winning the East, winning the conference, do you feel pressure? That’s what I live for. That’s what I thrive on. I just met with the team. The look in those guys’ eyes, their demeanor in the room, it is obvious why what has happened — the top 25 ranking, academic success — it’s obvious looking in their eyes why that happened. It’s a testament to the leadership of this university. I couldn’t be more proud to be the leader of the team here.”

- Collins learned from Jim McElwain how to treat everyone in a program.

“One of the best things I’ve learned from him is be yourself. You’re Geoff Collins. Be that. Treat people with respect. Every person’s role within this organization, equipment manager, assistant trainer, walk-on wide receiver, it doesn’t matter. You’ve earned respect, you deserve respect, and you will be given respect. That’s important.”

- Collins learned from Saban how to recruit as an organization.

“Organizational structure, how to do your job, people accountable within the organization, and obviously recruiting. Everyone in the organization recruits. If a recruit steps on campus, players, equipment managers, whoever it is, we’re recruiting. You might not have ‘recruiting’ in your title, but it’s your job to recruit for this great university.”

- So how does he plan to recruit the Northeast with little experience up there?

“I was at Albright College (PA), we signed 82 kids and I was responsible for 45 of them. I got to Georgia Tech (as a GA), and I ask Coach O’Leary, ‘Let me recruit.’ He’s like, ‘No, Geoff. You’re good. Just be a GA, learn ball.’ Second year comes around, ‘Let me recruit. I can recruit.’ He says, ‘Alright, Geoff. We have six primary states. You have the other 44.’ I took that and ran with it. We signed five kids from those 44, with help from the full-time coaches.

“Relationships, being a good person, being relentless, knowing the university, knowing the program you’re selling is everything in recruiting. Florida, South Jersey, Philly, people who are successful recruiting do those things, regardless of area. I’m excited to sell this brand and university.”

- Collins says he’s been blown up with people who want to come to Temple.

“Within 30 minutes, I had 400 texts. Obviously a lot of them are congratulations, but the majority were, ‘Congratulations, I want to be a part of it.’ I don’t think it’s all because of me. I think it’s because of what this university represents, the job that has been done with facilities, support, and they see on the field how these kids play, how they carry themselves, and they want to be a part of that. That’s a huge part of the reputation.”

- Ed Foley will continue to lead the bowl game prep, and Collins knows how advantageous that is for the next coach, as he did with McElwain at Florida.

“I got to be with him through the entire transition. For that three-week piece, I was with him on the ground in Gainesville, watching practices, seeing the coaches interact with players, kind of getting to know the guys from an outside perspective. That was a huge step for how we won the SEC East two years in a row. That transition period. I’m committed to watching these guys. I don’t want to intervene. Coach Foley and the rest of the staff. They’re amazing men and coaches. Let’s go get this thing done, and when we get back for the spring semester, then it’s on.”

- Collins talked to Rhule about the Temple job, as they talk about everything.

“Matt and I for probably 20 years, it’s a daily basis, every other day. We’re close friends. I care about him. These kids do as well. We’ve had great conversations. He’s had nothing but positive things about everybody involved in this process. Everyone on campus and the different departments, and obviously the (players).” 

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.