With a surprising swing, the Bearcats knocked it out of the park!
Tuberville talks to the media on Saturday his his first press conference as Cincinnati's head coach.
Cincinnati football, recently regarded as a job that can springboard a rising head coach into a better job (see Mark Dantonio, Brian Kelly and Butch Jones), is now attracting proven commodities and big names.
Enter Tommy Tuberville, a former National Coach of the Year, who led Auburn to a 13-0 record and the No. 2 national ranking in 2004, is the perfect man to continue the recent winning tradition the Bearcats have built over the last five seasons.
In what seemed like out of nowhere, Tuberville accepted his new position at Cincinnati on Saturday after spending the last three seasons at Texas Tech. He went 20-17 in Lubbock after going 85-40 in 10 seasons with Auburn, which included eight bowl games, and at least five years where he won nine or more games.
With his winning pedigree and the many All-Americans and draft picks Tuberville has coached going back to his first head job at Ole Miss in 1995, he’ll have the goods to sell Cincinnati on the recruiting trail without having any ties to the geographical area. In fact, Tuberville has never coached anywhere not considered the South in his career.
Despite those past logistics, Tuberville knows what it will take to win at Cincinnati and it isn’t his past history.
“Regardless of what you think, players win games and it’s all about recruiting,” Tuberville said from his first press conference at his new post. “We have players here that are committed to us and I will follow up on that. I will make a lot of phone calls the next few days and we will open more roads.
“We will spend a huge amount of time within a 200-mile radius within this campus. I grew up under some very good coaches. I learned under Jimmy Johnson, Dennis Erickson, R.C. Slocum – they had a lot of success. And the one thing I learned from those guys was the closer you take your players to your campus, the better success and the better retention that you’ll have. So that is what we want to do.”
Area coaches are excited about Tuberville coming on board.
“I remember when I was a young coach, I went and listened to a presentation Coach Tuberville gave at a clinic when he was the defensive coordinator at Miami the U,” Steve Specht, head coach at area power Cincinnati St. Xavier said. “Since then I’ve followed him and stayed in contact learning a little here and there. I think he’s an excellent coach.
“I think it’s a matter of keeping the ship right,” Specht continued. “They’ve done a great job there. I think you see the great job. I think you need to keep the ties in the city. Keep as many as the good local talent here. The Tri-State is big, the Indiana connections, the Kentucky connections. Keep as many guys here and fill in the gaps with guys out of state, with the Texas connections in Houston or the many connections in Florida. The key to UC success is to keep local guys in the program and keep growing the program.”
Tuberville can recruit in any of those areas, and also open up Cincinnati to other potential parts of the country. West Chester (Ohio) Lakota West head coach Larry Cox agrees.
“Obviously he’s an outstanding coach,” Cox stated. “I think that’s a pretty good catch for Cincinnati.
“I think number one he has to put a fence around Cincinnati and make sure he keeps the top recruits in. When you recruit this state, there is so many good schools nearby, Louisville is 90 minutes, Ohio State is 90 minutes, Kentucky is 90 minutes, Indiana is two hours, that’s a lot of good football schools that are really close. I think someone with his credentials in the coaching profession can help keep those kids close and seal them on that.”