VIDEO: Dave Clawson Press Conference

March 4, 2014

On the changes that have taken place since he arrived...
"I think a lot of things have changed. We've hired an entire new coaching staff; that was obviously priority number one before we hit the ground running with recruiting. We've also had to hire an entire operations staff, a recruiting staff and a video staff. All of those positions are critical to making the operation run. We're really getting to know our current team well which I've really enjoyed that process. We're also always recruiting. We're beginning our work on the Class of 2015 and, in some cases, even starting on the Class of 2016."

On what he has learned from the current team so far...
"I think the one thing that has been really impressive is their willingness to be coached. It's a `look you in the eye' type of group. I think they want to learn. Their work ethic in the weight room has been really good and we've made some good strength gains already. We're starting to get our offensive and defensive systems installed. The amount of guys trying to watch extra film to learn those has been impressive. I believe it's a group that wants to learn and that wants to win."

On being the "new guy" and establishing his coaching persona...
"I think it's human nature to want to be liked by your players, but I don't know if being liked helps you to win football games. I think players want a sense of discipline and want to know what the expectations are. The expectations in the weight room, in the class room and all of those things are important. I've said this before: the biggest challenge in your first year is getting your systems established. You have to be very clear to your players on what the expectations and standards are. You give them the chance to live up to them, and way more often than not our players have been doing that. There is a way that we expect them to lift. There's a way that we expect them to run in the offseason program. There's a way that we expect them to behave off the field socially. There's a way that we expect them to handle their academic responsibilities. We're going to celebrate the achievers; we have a bunch of guys who are doing exactly what we need them to do in order to have academic and athletic success at Wake Forest."

On winning at Wake Forest...
"This is my fourth head job. If I had listened to everyone that advised me on the other three jobs, then I never would have become a head coach. Every job has its strengths and every job has its challenges. The thing you have to look at is whether or not you have a plan in place for long-term success. After being here for three months, I'm more convinced than ever that we can win at a high level. Is it easy? No. I don't know if it's easy anywhere right now. There are certain things that are unique and special about Wake Forest that will allow us to get good football players. We have a great staff. At every position on the staff, I got my first choice. We finished up strongly in recruiting. We won a lot of recruiting battles against schools that many people might perceive as being `football schools' moreso than Wake Forest. Given the choice, there were young men that picked us over those other schools."

On the players' work in the weight room...
"As a football player, you don't mind working hard if you feel like you're getting better. When they start seeing results, it helps morale. We have a conditioning program, and when we started it four weeks ago they could barely make it through the first 20 minutes of it. Now they're maintaining a good tempo. That capacity has increased in just a month. They're doing little extra things on their own, and that's the sign for me that there has been buy-in."

 

 

 

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