Barry Collier Press Conference Quotes

Aug. 1, 2006

Quotes from new Butler Athletic Director Barry Collier

Opening Statements

"It is a tremendous honor. I am incredibly excited and even more so humbled to accept this position as athletic director of Butler University."

"Butler, for the longest time, has meant so much to me as a student and then, for a number of years, as a coach. And now, to be able to return is really a tremendous opportunity. I think that Butler has, clearly, a deep and rich tradition as a university and in our athletic programs."

"As exciting as that is, the future holds even more excitement for us as we move forward. Butler has always stood for the right things as a university, and athletics has been an important part of the university itself. Keeping the proper perspective is one thing that has always been important about Butler in all the time that I have ever known about the university."

"We ask a tremendous commitment of our student athletes to come here and make sacrifices and to work hard in their studies with the eventual outcome and expectation of graduation. And we also ask them to devote considerable time and effort to make a great commitment to their athletic endeavors and to try and represent Butler positively that way."

"There is a tremendous devotion to Butler University throughout the athletic department and has been for as long as I have known. I am specifically talking about our coaches and our support staff. Every single person in the athletic department works diligently and tremendously hard and they, too, want what is best for Butler University. My part in this is to provide what I can to help the athletic department to do the things that Butler wants done, which is to continue to carry out the `Butler way.' The `Butler way' is something that has served us extremely well for a long time, far long before I ever stepped on this campus, dating back to the early days of the university."

"I have a tremendous hero in a man whose name is up on the fieldhouse and who really embodies Butler University's commitment to the right thing and the right way. Tony Hinkle worked at Butler University for a long time, and that's a major understatement. By my estimation, I only have 41 years to go to catch him."

"I am a penned-up, leashed dog right now and I can't wait to get started for Butler University."

Questions from the media

This move would obviously indicate an exit from coaching. Why at this time and why are you leaving?
"Obviously I thought long and hard about this. I wanted to be able to give back to Butler in a way I never had before in the efforts of leading the athletic department. This is an exciting change. In my estimation, the bar has been raised. It's really not about me. It's about what can be done with Butler University. And I fully intend to show my commitment."

Not a lot of people would give up the job [of coaching]. What does that say about Butler and your decision to come here?
"There are a lot of ways to look at it and I believe that for each person, you have to follow your passions in life. In coaching, I tried to help our players understand - and as a father of three, my wife and I try to help our children understand - that following that passion is really the key to your success and your happiness and your contribution. That, for me, is clearly here at Butler University."

Do you have any sense of unfinished business at Nebraska?
"In any decision like this, it's a tough one, not because of the jobs at either place but because of the people at the places. I was especially torn because of those relationships. I do know that, as a program, we did have our best year last year. Were this opportunity not available, I'd still be coaching at Nebraska today."

What are the main things you want to accomplish?
"We have to understand that what we want to do must always represent the mission of the university. We always want to seek constant improvement in what we are doing. That may sound very vague, but it is true. We are going to make decisions everyday that are what is best for the school. I think that one of the key things that I must do immediately and continue to do as long as I am here is to listen to our people: our staff, our student athletes, our administration, our faculty, our alums and our supporters. I want to have an open-door policy and take in their contributions because I value them. I know their commitment.

"We need to continue the academic success of our student athletes. Butler has always done a great job with that. They've been doing a lot of great things for a long time. That is maybe the leading issue, but it is not the only issue and that doesn't require us to drop our other goals. We of course can't be everything to everyone, but we will keep that first and foremost: graduation as expectation.

"The second thing that we will drive everyday to accomplish and this is already being done and will continue, will be to make our teams successful. As a group, athletic success is important. It does create learning experiences for those student athletes. It is what Butler is about. Butler is committed to excellence and doesn't bat an eye or back away from that commitment. Our coaches and student athletes have that same commitment. Academic excellence and athletic excellence are going to be major priorities, and we will do that in a way that represents Butler in the right way.

"Finally, we must do this in a real world. We will not be able to do everything today that we want to do, but we are going to work everyday to make more and more possible for ourselves."

How difficult is it to leave coaching?
"When I left the career of substitute teaching at the age of 23, I got into the coaching field and ultimately was able to move into the field fulltime. Each day and each position was an opportunity that led to many changes in the course of my career. But I don't have the least bit of doubt that I'm in the right place today and suited for this position. One thing I would make obvious to all is that Butler will try to marshal its army and bring its alums and friends and family and team and staff together because this is a big job. There is a very proud tradition here and we will do everything we can to make that happen."

Can you say for certain today that your coaching days are done?
"I can say for certain today that my coaching days are done. I am committed to Butler University as their athletics director. Saying that and living that will be the same thing. You will see that as we move forward."

Are you going to miss having a team, having practice and coaching?
"I will miss many parts of coaching, the greatest of which are the times spent with people within a team and within an athletic department. There are some that I won't miss because I will still be involved in it. I'll have, in a removed way, a part of every one of our teams here."