Quotes From Big East Press Conference

Nov. 4, 2003

Big East Press Conference Quotes

Athletic Director Bill Cords

(On the move to the Big East...)

"This is a special time for this university and our athletic program, for our students, our athletes and our coaches. It is a magic moment and one that has been developing for a long time, I can go back 16 1/2 years and I have a lot of people to thank that has made what happened today possible. I have been fortunate to have been able to work with great presidents who are leaders and who have made this university what it is today. Fr. Raynor, Fr. DiUlio, Fr. Leahy, and Fr. Wild and his administration. He won't tell you this, but Fr. Wild has been critical in this process. He has stood by and shared a vision of where this university ought to be and where this athletic department ought to be. In doing so, he has helped make this university attractive to the Big East, all they saw were positives. What they saw was Marquette University, integrity, character and substance. I am telling you right here, presidential leadership has been critical in getting us to this point. Our coaches have elevated their programs over the years. Many of them are here today with us. When the Big East looked at this athletic program they saw quality, substance and they saw positive things. Terri Mitchell has brought her program to greatness. Fr. Wild talked about Tom Crean. What is happening right now is an affirmation for Tom Crean, for his decision to come to Marquette University and his decision to stay at Marquette University. We need to make sure we can do everything we can to get these coaches and athletes to where they want to go,

(On the student-athletes...)

"I want to thank the student-athletes over these years. What they have done academically, athletically and what they have done in leadership-community service-is outstanding. They have no peer in this conference, and they have very few in the country. When you look at what they have done and what they do, that was very important when people look at you and what you do as a university, it is all about the students."

(On the Big East...)

"If you want to look at a blueprint of how college athletics ought to run its business, go back and see how the Big East did its business. This is a result. This is what college athletics is all about, this is what it should be about. This is a wonderful time for out university."

University President Fr. Robert Wild, S.J.

(On the move to the Big East Conference...)

"This is exciting, I am certainly honored to be the first person at Marquette University to emphatically announce that we at Marquette University accept the invitation to join the Big East Athletic Conference. We see this as a truly exciting opportunity for our student, athletes, coaches and fans. It is just a great moment for Marquette University. The possibilities that this opens up for our university are great. Clearly in the sport of basketball, our marquee spectator sports, we know we are going to be competing against the best of the best. We are also convinced that for our Olympic sports, we will have a great arena to compete and we know we will be challenged."

(On giving credit to the people who made this happen..)

"A lot of credit needs to go to a number of people for bringing about this day. Tom Crean, without the work he has done, we would not have been sure that we would be welcomed to the Big East. What Tom has done for our basketball program has been important to this process. Also, our athletic director, Bill Cords. He has worked with both our old conference and positioned us well to respond to the needs of the Big East. We are very, very enthusiastic about this. We are very much attracted to the broad television market this opens us up to. We certainly have a lot of alums in these cities as well. They will have an opportunity to rally around Marquette athletics."

Men's basketball head coach Tom Crean

(On the move to the Big East...) I was asked the question how will you feel. I didn't know how I would feel. When you do something like this and have the opportunity to be a part of something like this, as we have said from day one, Marquette should take a backseat to no one. What happens is, this is happening because of the past, present and future."

(On the university...)

"This is a heck of a time for Marquette. We are making our way as a basketball program and trying to make it one of the best in the nation. We are taking the steps necessary and it wouldn't be possible without the administration. To be the caretaker of the program like I am and follow in the footsteps of Coach Hank Raymonds and others before is no small task and not one that I take for granted. It has always been about the program. The Big East had a vision a long time ago and never get tired of trying making it better. That speaks a lot of why we are trying to be in this league. There is a responsibility that we have no to not only hold up the tradition of Marquette, but also keep that up of the Big East. It is a great honor to be a part of this."

(On making this happen...)

"If we didn't have a president like Fr. Wild that has the vision, enthusiasm, energy and the passion for making the entire university as good as it possibly could be there is absolutely no way this could have happened. When you are a part of Marquette, it stands for something special and he upholds that. Another person who needs to be credited, I have watched him go through this whole process, I have watched the leadership he exhibited, the way he kept people updated on the process but there have been many days and many nights where he continued to spread the gospel of Marquette.. There is no greater representative of speaking on behalf of Marquette and doing it with passion, the care he has with the students and fans, past and present, Bill Cords deserves a ton of credit for what is going on here today."

Women's basketball head coach Terri Mitchell (On the move to the Big East...) "Today is just another landmark in the great moments I have had a Marquette University. Thirteen years ago when I was named an assistant, then when I was named head coach, all landmarks. Today, it is all coming together; people ask me, why have you stayed? There is absolutely no doubt in my mind. I will stay at Marquette and continue to be here. This school embodies everything I want to be as a head coach and everything I want my ladies to be. They can be the best in the classroom and have people that care and have an administration that is behind you. When I came to Marquette, all my friends and family on the east coast knew what Marquette stood for. This is a big moment and it is a big challenge, I promise you this, Marquette women's basketball will be ready."

Men's Basketball Sophomore Forward Steve Novak

(On the move to the Big East...)

"I think there is no question that this is one of the biggest days of my life at Marquette. I can't explain what this means. Mr. Cords talked about completing against the best. Having coaches like we do, we have an opportunity to win everyday, but being a part of the Big East allows us to compete everyday against the best. We will compete against teams like St. John's and Notre Dame, we can play Syracuse, the defending national champions. This is a great opportunity."

Women's Basketball Sophomore Guard Carolyn Kieger

(On the move to the Big East...)

"On behalf of my teammates, we are all very excited to be invited to the conference. When I first came to Marquette, I always envisioned leading the university and represent them. This is one of the best conferences in the nation and for us to be a part of it really says something about our athletic department."

Senior Cross Country Runner Brianna Dahm

(On the move to the Big East...)

"I'm speaking on behalf of the juniors and seniors who will not be able to benefit from competition in the Big East Conference, we want to lead our teammates through the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons in Conference USA in a very competitive, but class manner representative of our university, coaches, teammates and ourselves. We are excited for the future of Marquette athletics and for the freshman, sophomores and those who follow."

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