"It's clear that Gilby's a veteran and knows what he's doing," Turner said. "He's been through some adversity in his career, but I think that's toughened him up. He's focused and determined now, and you can see it, and that excites me."
The decision was "kind of an evolution,'' said UW athletic director Todd Turner today. "Keith and I were honest with each other. We both agreed the program needs shot in the arm and investment, so we're going to do that.''
"When we began our search, if you had told me that we would be at this point today; announcing a coach that had in 10 years taken his team to six bowl games, including a Rose Bowl, had been named Pac-10 Coach of the Year twice, had been named National Coach of the Year once, had been recognized by the Sporting News as the Sportsman of the Year, the first college football coach ever to achieve that award, a man who had graduated virtually all of his players, who had never had a slip up with the NCAA then I would have been absolutely ecstatic."
“Notre Dame's expectations are high, their traditions demanding. They made a decision they felt was right for Notre Dame, and it was to our benefit"
“Anybody with half a brain can get on the Internet and say whatever they want — pay no attention to that,” Turner said. “I’m not worried. He’s the Huskies coach. Husky fans everywhere are going to support our coach. They may second-guess for a short time if he was the right coach. But over time, as they come to know him and watch our team, they will agree that this guy is special.”
"The Internet is an interesting thing. It's an identity-free medium that is available to anyone with a computer and a keyboard."
"I'm sticking with a guy who's been there before," Turner said this week of the former Stanford and Notre Dame coach. "A guy who's tough, who's smart, who's principled. He isn't learning on the job. He's done this before, so I have complete confidence in him. I have no concern whatsoever in his ability to take us where we need to go. I'm just not sure about the timing of it."
"Being among the country's top programs presents a number of challenges, not the least of which is maintaining our ability to compete for national championships."
"Opinions without the facts are dangerous. We should strive to provide the facts. We are not afraid to answer tough questions because, frankly, if we don't people will make up their own answers... and those may not be based upon the facts."
"I envision the same things for the women's program that I do for the men's," I believe we have all the pieces in place to be a program that can be every bit as good as Stanford and Arizona State and can challenge Connecticut and Tennessee.
"We need to have our flagship women's program, along with women's volleyball, have positive buzz in our community, and it just wasn't there," Turner said. "As much as we willed it, it wasn't there. We need to re-energize things."
"Strong fences, make for good neighbors."
"What I do worry about is the difficulty of this year's schedule at this particular time in our program's rebuilding process. Are we ready to go toe-to-toe with Syracuse, Boise State, Ohio State, UCLA, and USC on five consecutive Saturday's to begin the season? I'm not certain even the most veteran, bowl-tested of teams could navigate that run unscathed. However, I like our mind-set. Coach W. and his staff see this not as a daunting challenge; rather, it is an opportunity to make a monumental statement about the future of Husky Football."
It's a totally different universe in college football," Turner said. "I'm not thinking that the third year now is the same as it was 30 years ago."
"The kids are not the same," he said. "They've got a different level of commitment and focus and determination. Our biggest challenge is to try to field teams that look like Southern Cal or Cal or Oregon or Ohio State, and we've got some work to do there. ... I'm as disappointed as anybody when we lose a game. But you have to look at the big picture, and the big picture is vastly improved."
"In my mind, I think the one thing that is most critical for us is recruiting and trying to find players for our program that look like the players we are playing against, and have a lot of them that are fast, big and strong and talented,"
"What people need to understand is that this is a very, very difficult rebuilding job, Maybe as difficult as any in the country for a number of reasons."
"Nothing about our vision for the stadium has changed," Turner said. "We still have the same long-term list of objectives that we are trying to address."
"I think the Internet and talk radio have changed the nature of our business more than anything I've dealt with in my 30 years," says UW athletic director Todd Turner. "It's forced us in many ways to have to deal with faceless, nameless, genderless, coverless people — that we're not sure who they are, whom they represent or what their agenda is."
"It just was enlightening of where our society, our culture has gone and where their expectations are about what constitutes a quality program on a campus of higher education... "
"I just came to the realization that there is too much controversy in the air. It's taken a lot of the fun out of it for me and made it very difficult on the president, and I'm at a point in my career where I don't have to be an athletic director to be happy or be successful."
Turner said he would never say winning is not important, “but the message that our students hear, that our coaches hear, that our leadership hears from the general run-of-the-mill fan is that the only thing we really care about is how many games they win. And I have to look at that after 32 years of doing this and say ‘wow, is that really what we are all about? Have I been that naïve all this period of time? I have been spending all my time on the student-athlete experience and trying to create better lives for people and the proper place in higher education when all I should have been worrying about is how many games we’ve won.’ Why didn’t I go to the NFL if that’s all it’s about.’’’
"One outcome that I think should be measured is the experience the athletes had here," he said then. "I'm proud of what I'm hearing from our players. But if all that matters is the win-loss record, I've got to examine what I'm doing."
"In recent days, I’ve seen a side of athletics that sickens me with the incessant interloping of uninformed, unenlightened, self-anointed experts who look upon intercollegiate athletics solely as entertainment to satisfy their own self interests."
"In time, Coach Willingham will be extremely successful and everyone will say, 'Oh, I knew that was going to happen.' "