Here is a key pragraph from UW president Mark Emmert’s written statement on the decision to allow coach Tyrone Willingham to return for his fourth season, and some quotes from athletic director Todd Turner and Willingham himself, who attended today’s press conference.
EMMERT on the decision:
"I believe Tyrone Willingham has the talent, character and drive to reach the level of success that we want for our football program. He and I have discussed the need to evaluate all aspects of the program, determine what changes need to be made to strengthen it, and set in motion those changes to point the program in the right direction. Everyone understands that we need to become more competitive, and I am confident Tyrone will do what it takes to make that happen."
TURNER on the decision:"I think it’s clear that no one of the Husky Nation is thrilled to have only four wins under our belt this past year. But the body of work that I’ve observed, and the university leadership has observed, over the past three years gives clear evidence to me that that record will change in the very near future. The charge that Tyrone had when he arrived at the University of Washington was to put in place the building blocks for a program that could sustain itself over a long period of time. And by any measure, the foundation, we believe, is firmly in place to allow the wins now to take care of themselves."
WILLINGHAM on his team’s offense and defense:"(Scoring) almost 30 points a ball game (is) getting to that realm of putting you in this conference in a position to win football games every weekend. … (But) defensively we’ve got to improve. And whether it’s a 3-4 or a 4-3 or a 5-2 or whatever it is, we’ll figure out the right thing to do to help us be a better defense."
WILLINGHAM on if he was surprised by the extent of UW’s defensive problems:"I knew we had some areas of concern, obviously, because we came into this season know that we would have to use a lot of young personnel in our secondary, that we had not yet had a dominant up-front guy even though we felt good about the experience of our defensive front. I didn’t think we would probably give up as much yardage as we did."
WILLINGHAM to those who wanted him gone:"My message to them would be please hold on. We’ve had what I call some rough and turbulent waters to navigate. … Hopefully we are in the process of getting through those difficult waters and are now ready to punch our way through and be the kind of football team that I think we can be. To me, that’s exciting."