Auburn, Ala.--Athletic Director Jay Jacobs introduced Auburn’s new women’s basketball coach on Tuesday evening at the Auburn Arena where she will coach the Tigers as the replacement for Nell Fortner.
Terri Williams-Flournoy was announced as the sixth women’s basketball coach in Auburn history on Monday. She made the move from Georgetown University.
Here are comments from the coach's introductory press conference at the Auburn Arena. Jason is putting up video also. The first comments are from Athletic Director Jacobs:
Quoting Jay Jacobs:
“I want to thank all of you for being here. It is a fun and exciting time in Auburn athletics, specifically women’s basketball. As David Mines, Meredith Jenkins and myself set out to interview coaches to become the sixth head coach of women’s basketball we had a tremendous amount of interest from people who wanted to become head coach of Auburn, and that is not only a tribute to our current players, but our former players and coaches.
"It was really nice that we had so many people wanting to become part of the Auburn Family. That has a large part to do with our student-athletes, but the Auburn Family itself. So congratulations to all of you for the example that you set nationwide, and I mean nationwide when we had people talking to us who were interested to be a part of the Auburn culture.
“As I mentioned, David, Meredith, and I set out with some criteria that we wanted to be met to continue to uphold the Auburn values and Auburn Creed. We have five goals in the athletic department, and one of them is winning. We certainly wanted someone that could win, and someone who has proven success in winning. We also wanted someone who could develop these young ladies, physically, mentally, and spiritually each day. We also wanted someone who has a record of success of graduating their student-athletes.
"As important as all of those things are, we wanted someone to develop our ladies so that when they compete on the floor and get through here with their degree in hand and a championship ring on their finger, they can go out into the community and be leaders. If they choose to be, they can be moms, wives, and aunts, whatever they may be.
“As we visited with Terri, not only has she had the proven success on the court, by her unprecedented success at Georgetown. She took a program at Georgetown and left it far better than she found it. Not only that, all but one of her student-athletes have graduated in her eight years at Georgetown, and that was just a few hours away from finishing.
"Our criteria was somewhat this way; someone that not only can win, but do it the right way, but also develop our young ladies, the Auburn way, and someone whose values matched up with those of the Auburn, and the Auburn Creed. If you would in join me in welcoming, the sixth head coach in Auburn women’s basketball, Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy.”
Quoting Auburn coach Terri Williams-Flournoy
“War Eagle! I am so excited about the opportunity to lead the women’s basketball team here at Auburn University. I want to thank President Gogue, Jay Jacobs, Meredith Jenkins and David Mines for the opportunity that they have given me to lead the women’s basketball team here.
“I can’t promise you how much we’ll win or what we will do, but I what I can promise you is that I know how to win, and that’s what I will put into the minds of our young ladies. I look forward to, Eric, my husband, my daughter, Maya, and Eric Jr., also known as E.J., to join the Auburn family. War Eagle!”
On what attracted her to taking the job at Auburn:
“The elite Auburn University. The Auburn family is all that attracted me to Auburn University. A place where my family can grow and develop into wonderful people. The opportunity to work with a wonderful athletic director in Jay Jacobs, and just to be a part of a wonderful community that loves women’s basketball.”
On if she’s had a chance to look at the team and who’s returning.
“I had the opportunity last night to have dinner last night with the players returning, with the girls, as well as look at the four incoming freshman also. We had a great time last night. I told them I only needed one thing from them, and that was to be patient. We need to be patient because I have to learn them, they have to learn me. They have to be patient in how we want to play, and in being patient, there is one goal that we want to accomplish, and that is to win.”
On if she’s made any decisions on her coaching staff and what her style of play is.
“My coaching style, my style of play, is very simple. We want to play tenacious defense for 40 minutes. We want to cause havoc as much as we can, and in doing that, we want to force teams to turn the ball over as many times as we can, and I know that that’s how it works because it has been successful for me. We learn that in turning teams over 20, 25, 30 times, that gives us the opportunity to have more offensive possessions.
"In doing that as well, and having played against teams in the SEC with my style of play, we beat Tennessee forcing them into 28 turnovers. We beat Georgia forcing them into 25 turnovers, and we forced LSU into a number of turnovers. The game didn’t come out the way we wanted it to, but we definitely had the opportunity to win that game.
“To answer your questions as far as the coaching staff, as soon as this whirlwind turns down just a little bit, the next goal of mine is to put the best coaching staff in place for my players.”
On her experience in the SEC and how it will help her going forward:
“I was an assistant coach at the University of Georgia under Andy Landers for six years. In those six years with Coach Landers, I was a recruiting coordinator I think for four of those years, and in those years we went to the NCAA Tournament, as well as the Final Four. I understand that in the SEC and one of the top conferences in the country, the competition is tough every night. But having been in that same competition for the last eight years in the Big East, I think I’m really capable of dealing with that. The type of players that we have to face each year in the conference, I know it’s tough, and that’s my job, to prepare our players each night for those games.”
On if it was a tough decision leaving Georgetown having built a successful program:
“It was a very tough decision. I built Georgetown. We became one of the winningest programs in Georgetown history, but it wasn’t a hard decision when Auburn University opened up. I knew that this was a great opportunity for me and my family, and what better place to be than at Auburn University. Just look at this arena. It’s unbelievable what we can do with women’s basketball in here.”
On getting fans to come to games and support the women’s basketball program.
"I definitely think first that I have to get out in the community and I have to spread the word on everything I want to get done with our women’s basketball team, but to be really honest with you I did not get fans at Georgetown University until we won. And when we win, they shall come."
On talking to Coach Fortner before coming to Auburn.
"I knew Nell before this and I did have the opportunity to speak with Coach Fortner, and she had nothing but wonderful things to say about Auburn University, the fans, the community. She knew that it would be a great place for me to bring my family and she just kept going on and on and on about the community, and that’s great because I will be in the community, my team will be in the community, my coaches will be in the community, my family will be in the community, and if we can do that then we can get you into this arena right now."
Did you speak with former Auburn coach Joe Ciampi?
"I have not spoken to him. There have been people around me that have spoken to him. I remember playing against Coach Ciampi when I was an assistant at Georgia--not here, in the coliseum--and all I can remember is Coach Ciampi, that zone defense, oh my goodness. It was a nightmare. I don’t know why that had to be my scouting report, because the only thing that you had to do was shoot, and if you didn’t shoot it was going to be a long night if you didn’t hit some shots."
On the advantage of having Auburn’s facilities for recruiting compared to Georgetown.
"Unfortunately, it’s not that much of a comparison. At the prestigious Georgetown University, we sold getting your degree from Georgetown University. It wasn’t the building that we could sell because there wasn’t much of a building to sell. We began to sell getting a Georgetown degree, and we began to sell the success of our program and winning and going to the NCAA Tournament.
"Now my job just got a little easier because now I not only can sell getting your degree from Auburn University, I can also sell playing in the SEC and then to come and play in this arena and to walk around and see the facilities that are being built around here.
:When I walked through the locker room last night the girls gave me the grand tour and I thought ‘Oh my God this is unbelievable.’ I’m thinking to myself ‘I just walked into a gold mine’ and then just the construction that’s going on, so more building and more building. That’s just more notches to put into my recruiting bonus to sell, so I don’t think it’s going to be hard to sell Auburn University and the facilities and the people here at Auburn."