Mike Price Media Luncheon Quotes (11/19/12)
Nov. 19, 2012
(On Saturday's 34-33 win at Southern Miss)
"Last night I talked to our coaches about keeping the worst kept secret in the Durham Center, that Rice would be my last game as your head coach. I wanted to tell [the coaches] face to face and make it as personal as possible. I told the team this morning face to face. I want to keep the emphasis on Rice, and I want to keep the emphasis this week on our seniors. I am retiring from the game that I have loved and respected my whole life ... 44 years, I guess. That's all I've wanted to be. I know some of you wanted to be track stars or soccer stars. All I've ever wanted to be is a football coach. It has been a great life. Talk about being lucky. Every day has been fun. I have respected the game. I wish I could coach here forever. But that doesn't happen. That's the reality of life. I'm sure proud to go out with this group of players. They are great kids, great men and lots of fun to be around. I'm just so proud of them. They have been so good to coach. That has made this year a lot better. The won-lost record isn't what we wanted it to be.
"Everything you want in a young man is what we have on our team right now. They represent our school. And I mean our school. We didn't all go to school at UTEP, but whether you went here or not, we're all Miners. We all want the Miners to do well. We want UTEP to be successful. And I intend to support this program and help this city as much as I can in the future. This is mine and Joyce's home now, and we're El Pasoans.
"First of all, I have to thank and should thank [UTEP President] Dr. Natalicio. She gave me a chance when no one else would take a chance on me. Joyce and I will always be thankful to her. She is the best president in America. Her right hand man, Richard Adauto has been so supportive, cooperative and helpful. I can't thank him enough. I was proud to have coached his son here. I know we're leaving the program solid for the next head coach. Financially, we made some money this year. We're doing a great job academically with the football players. Everybody on this team is eligible right now and athletically we're in good shape. We have 34 redshirt freshmen on the team. It's a good young program in good shape. Our support staff is awesome and has done a great job, and there needs to be no changes there in my opinion. My coaches are truly my friends. Thanks everybody so much. We will have all week to hang out together and celebrate, because that's truly what I want this to be, a celebration this week with our players. This is going to be fun.
"I would be remiss to say that I'm not 100 percent supportive of Andre Patterson to succeed me as the head coach. It is not my decision, but I do want to make that perfectly clear if anybody wants to listen. There is someone else I'd like to thank. That's my wife of 46 years, Joyce. She wants to talk, but she goes on and on and on [laughs]. She has been with me as a player. She has raised two football players and watched them play little league, Pop Warner, junior high and high school, and then they went into the god awful profession of coaching. For 46 years she has been with me, and now I'm going to spend some time with her and she's going to come first in my life.
"Bob [Stull] has given this program a lot and has been 100 percent supportive of me and really loyal. When things are going bad, boy is he good. He's at his best. I didn't win enough games, period. In this profession you've got to win games. But it's really something when you can call your boss your best friend. Joyce and I love Bob and Kim a whole bunch, and that doesn't happen a lot of places. It's hard to have that kind of relationship with your boss in the athletic world, because everybody leaves pissed off and I'm not. I just came back from Hattiesburg, Miss., and boy did that make me realize what great fans and people we have. They have a first-year coach, and he's a big-time coach, and they're booing him all through the stands. It's not like that here. These fans appreciate UTEP and always have. It's the best thing for our family to be here, and we appreciate your support of our football team and our program and what we've done here."
(On staying on in the athletic department)
(On when he decided to retire)
(On his legacy)
(On maintaining continuity in the football program)
(On keeping the recruiting class together)
(On meeting with the team)
(On what he has done for UTEP)
(What's the hardest thing about consistently winning here?)
(How much would a packed Sun Bowl mean on Saturday?)
(On the best day of his UTEP tenure)
(On staying in El Paso)
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