Charlton Young Press Conference
April 9, 2009
Charlton Young Press Conference
Nessmith-Lane Continuing Education Building
Georgia Southern University campus
Director of Athletics Sam Baker:
Thank you, Pat, and thank you all for being here today. When we met with CY, it was
very obvious early that he had great passion for basketball. He had a great love
of Georgia Southern in Statesboro. And I am thrilled that he was willing to bring that
passion and love back home to take over as the head coach at Georgia Southern
and it's my privilege to introduce our new head basketball couch,
Charlton Young. [applause]
Ya'll are going to make me cry. I promised my Pops and a couple of my players that I
wouldn’t cry. Man, it's so good to be home. So good to be home. I want to thank
President Grube, Vice President Core, I want to thank Sam Baker, just for the
opportunity, and the rest of the members of the search committee,
Professor Geyerman, who helped me get a degree in communications. Did I miss anybody Sam?
And Michael Curry. That would have been a mean butt whooping.
You know that guy still thinks I'm a freshman and he's a senior?
[Laughter] Michael, I am 37 years old, stop threatening to kick
my butt. He is a dear friend and a great mentor. It's so good to
see friendly faces. I know some of you guys are looking at it
saying, "What happened to CY's hair?" This coaching stuff
will kill you. I've been in the business 15 years now,
and the sole reason I decided to get into coaching was
to be the head coach at the Georgia Southern University.
And ... I’m going to cry ...
A lot of people made this possible, starting with Ernie Bell, and the staff at Miami Carol City Senior High School.
One of my best friends is in the crowd -- stand up, Ernest (Rozier). [applause] He and I won a state championship
together at Miami and started playing basketball together off of 37th avenue in Miami at Risco Park. And as you
can tell by my emotion, this is definitely a dream come true. Please cut that part of the video out, I don’t want to see
that. [laughter] We'll work out a payment plan if that is what we need to do. [laughter] I'm going to get killed by a lot of
the guys. But I'm prepared to take it for the Georgia Southern University. That's for sure.
I've had a lot of great mentors. I've been around some of the best basketball minds in the game. I want to give special
thanks to Cliff Ellis, at Auburn, who gave me an opportunity as a young couch, when nobody probably would have.
I want to give special thanks to Hugh Durham, former coach at Georgia, who I worked for at Jacksonville. Mom, you
missed the crying. [laughter] This is my mother, Betty Young. Stand up, mom. [applause] I want to thank Rudy Keeling,
head coach at Northeastern University. I want to thank John Shulman, who had the guts to name me associate head coach
in his first job. He's the head coach at Chattanooga. We won Southern Conference Championships together, which
was probably in my 15 years a lot of different experiences, but probably the best year I had in my life, because I had
just come out of a tough situation, being released at Auburn, and I told him that I wanted a chance to show people
that I was more than just a recruiter -- that I could coach the game.
Sometimes when you're good at recruiting, which is a necessary evil, what's overlooked is your ability to teach young
men, to get them better, and to teach the game, really teach the game. And he stepped up and gave me that opportunity
to be associate head coach, and we won the Southern Conference title. We beat Tennessee. We won the Southern
Conference tournament when Davidson was supposed to win it, and played Wake in a terrific game. That was one of
the most rewarding experiences for me. And last, but not least, I want to thank Paul Hewitt at Georgia Tech.
I've got to give him a special thanks. He's like a big brother to me. He is responsible for the last step of my development
as a Division I head coach. He really taught me how to be a CEO of a basketball program. And that's something that you've
got to understand if you're going to be in this profession. You've got to be the head coach, but at the end of the day,
you're the CEO of a basketball program, and I'm prepared to do that because of my last four years at Georgia Tech, so I
wanted to give him a special, special thanks.
I love the Georgia Southern University. And I want to tell you guys this from the bottom of my heart: There may be some better
coaches out there in the country than me. I said, may.’ [laughter] But one thing I know for sure: There is not a better coach in the
country for the Georgia Southern University than me. I've got blood, sweat and tears on that floor, and I remember what it was.
Nate Hirsch was there, Gallassos making me brownies all the time, and letting me cry on their shoulders when we lost games.
And I'm going to fight, and fight and fight until I get it back to that.
I'll tell you a little something about me as a basketball coach. The first thing I'm going to say it my philosophy or my soul belief is:
Championship people win championships. Championship people win championships. Bottom line. Every day of the week.
It's consistent behavior. Don't ever bet against it. And my goal as head coach, initially coming into this program, is to focus
on building championship people, every day. Every day. And I believe that if I can get these young men to buy into being
championship people, and I can get them to buy into healthy relationships within the team and within our staff before we
ever touch the line, I believe in my heart that we can exceed expectations, far and beyond. So that's my first goal, coming
in to our basketball program.
A lot of you guys remember when I played. I was 6'2" and 147 pounds, wasn’t I, Nate? [laughter] But I pride myself on
being a tough guy.A guy who delivered the first blow. A guy who played every game like it was his last. And that's the
way I'm going to coach. And that's what I'm going to expect our young men to play. And I'm going to remind them everyday:
you're looking at a guy who, quite frankly, wasn't very talented, but was a heck of a player.
Guys told me when I was playing, Man, your mouth is always moving. You're always talking. You're always trying to run the team,
you're always talking trash,’ and I had to tell them: You know, I believe I can talk a little trash because I learned early with
Ernest Rozier that’s in the crowd with me that there's a direct correlation between preparation and success. So when
that ball swings around the horn, pass it to me, President Grube, pass it to me. When it swings around the horn, I set my feet,
I'm talking trash already because I know it's going in, you can take that with you. [laughter] That's preparation. Don, you were
there, a lot of those went in, didn’t they? I tricked them, Don. I wasn't very good. [laughter] Now, Frank Kerns knew that,
because he told me I wasn't very good every day. [laughter] Is Frank here, no? Just for the record, that guy was a helluva
coach, was one heck of a coach. If I could be one tenth of what he was, I'd be really proud of myself as a basketball coach.
I want to play fast, but organized. I want to deliver first blow at all times. I want to be the aggressor. I think in a battle the
man who delivers the first blow wins the exchange. And I'm going to instill that in my guys. We've got a lot of work to do;
it's a process. I'm not standing up here claiming to be the great messiah who's going to change it overnight. I realize we live
in the microwave generation where everyone wants things in 30 seconds. The best meals take a little time to prepare.
I just want to make sure it doesn't take too long. Again, I realize that now I'm the head coach of Georgia Southern. I realize
that I'm now the CEO of a basketball program. But in terms of my work ethic, I'm going to approach it like I'm the top assistant.
That's what got me here in front of you today.
So, first issue I have with the city of Statesboro is we've got to get some fannies in them seats. And I'm going to be at Snooky’s
and I'm going to be at Wal-Mart, and I'm going to be at Statesboro football games, and I'm going to be everywhere until I get 4,500
in them seats. And I promise you this: 4,500 in Hanner Fieldhouse sounds like a tornado. And I'm telling you from experience:
I saw the look in the other guy's eyes when he couldn't hear the play being called. And I could just climb up under him and
say, "Hey, you're in hell today, baby! You're in hell! Uh huh! It's going to be a long day for you!" And Vice President Core, he was
looking at me like I was crazy in the interview when I said that. I said, "I can't wait to see your face when we get that thing going.
I'm going to look at you during the game, I'm going be like, "Uh huh! What'd I tell you? These people are nuts!"
Nate, do you remember when on the first shot, there was a stack of toilet paper? I mean, I can remember the last time
that we won the championship was '92. And, what a team. What a team. What a coaching staff with Robbie Laing and Mike
Backus. What a coach with Frank Kearns. And what a group of guys I played with. Dexter Abrams. Calvin Sinkfield. Wendell
Charles, Tony Windless. Real players. Guys that, you know, they cried after losses. We played every day. We played Monday,
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. And on Sunday, we played on the Band-Aid* in the Pines.
They tore the Pines down; that broke my heart. [laughter] Why didn't anyone call me on that? God, I loved that place,
I lived there four years.
I mean, what a team. What a work-ethic. What a group of guys. And not all of them are the most talented guys. Sometimes
you can be talented, but you're not a player. Sometimes you can have no talent, and a helluva player. And I'm going to be looking
for players. And I'm going to instill the championship person attitude off the court. We're going to do the right thing. And we're
going to win a championship before we ever step on the floor, by what we're doing every day. And that will give us a chance.
Again, I want to thank the search committee. I think I've spoken enough. Do we have any questions? And I will be glad to
[laughter as Coach Young’s six-year-old daughter Audia was the only one to raise her hand]
Oh, she does have a question, this is my daughter, this is Audia. And they had in the paper, and Sam and I were bewildered, that
I turned the job down because the salary wasn’t good enough. Number one, that wasn’t the problem. There was an issue,
but my girls were concerned with how far is Chuck E Cheese? And that’s why I told Sam we got to have a family meeting,
I assured them that Chuck E Cheese was in Savannah and ... and they said we could take the job. That was ... I wanted to clear
that up amongst the media.
Don Heath, can you give me a question? You’re good? Good, no more questions. Anybody? Good, I don’t have to be in
the crock pot, I’m happy. Coach Cram, it’s good to see you, thank you, thank you for coming. Sam, if you want to
come up, I think my work is done.
I think we are good. I am sure they are going to want to talk to you individually. Good job.
I expect to see everybody in those seats and we are going to give you something to be proud of. These guys are wearing
Georgia Southern University across their chests and we are going to make you proud and I promise you, all right? Thank you
very much for coming.
*a concrete court near a now-demolished dormitory. It was likely that participants in pick-up games on the court
would need a band-aid after they finished playing.
- Category: Men's Basketball
- Published on Thursday, 09 April 2009 22:03