April 9, 2012
TCU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Chris Del Conte
On the process of finding a new men's basketball coach
"I met with my senior staff to find out what we wanted in a new coach. We looked no further than our football program and the inspiration that Gary Patterson has brought to us. We wanted someone who cares about TCU students and cares about this institution and someone who wants to recruit student athletes to this university that will be successful on and off the court."
On what they wanted in a new men's basketball coach
"The coaches we had that were great back in the day came from well-established programs that knew what it meant to win. They were battle tested and built athletic programs from the ground up. Let's find a coach that has built a program from the bottom up, someone who took over a program that nobody ever thought would be successful and turned it into a winner. We wanted someone who will recruit the top student athletes in the country and is not afraid to go to war and not afraid of the challenge."
On finding the right man for the job
"I reached out to him and had a conversation about what TCU is all about, where it's going and what it stands for. He said `I miss that environment and the idea of being with student athletes.' We had a meeting with Chancellor Victor Boschini, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Clarence Scharbauer and Rick Wittenbraker and had an opportunity to have a long discussion. Today, I'm pleased to announce that Trent Johnson is the new head men's basketball coach at TCU."
TCU men's basketball head coach Trent Johnson
On being the new coach at TCU
"I can't express how excited I am about the challenge in front of us. I've been doing this for a long time and one of the things I've never lost sight of are quality universities, quality people and, more importantly, quality players. The challenge is one that we're going to have to all do together."
On TCU being a destination job
"The toughest thing is always leaving. I've always been in situations where I've been really blessed. One of the things I've always appreciated is when I've walked out the door and looked in the rearview mirror, I felt like things were in good hands. I'm here to tell you right now this is where I want to lay my stone. I'm so comfortable about wanting to be here for the rest of my life and wanting to get this program to an elite level."
On his goals for the program
"The bottom line is winning your conference championship. When you look at the Big 12, it has five coaches that have been in a Final Four. For us, every step of the way, we have to keep that goal in mind. The players have to understand that. It's going to be a journey and the process is going to be extremely hard."
On what he saw in TCU
"I love the academic profile. I love the feeling of community in the sense of how small it is. In the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, there are great players. For me, things are starting to line up. I am so excited about being here and I cannot thank Chancellor Boschini, chairman Clarence Scharcauer, Rick Wittenbraker and Chris Del Conte enough for what they've done for me. I can assure you this - we're going to work our tails off."
On how TCU's move to Big 12 affected his decision
"It's really important. I've been in the Pac-10, which is now the Pac-12. When I took the Nevada job, we went from the Big West to the WAC. In the SEC, we all know the quality of basketball that goes on there. The Big 12 is very attractive. Kids want to play at an elite level and against elite competition. For me, that wasn't as attractive as working with student athletes and being in a situation where my wife and my family are so comfortable about where this being where we're going to be."
On what he plans to tell his new team
"They need to understand that this group has a chance to do something special. They're on the ground level and this will always be remembered as the TCU basketball team that played its first season in the Big 12 Conference. That's something special. I've been through that before, so I know what it feels like and you can't take it away. The first time is always special."