Jan. 12, 2010
Tim Hinton Quotes
On himself and his thoughts on coming to Notre Dame:
"Well one nice thing I knew about the University of Notre Dame was I had some friends that had coached here over the years, guys like Chuck Heater and Urban Meyer and some other people that I've known, including Mike Haywood. I have been up to Notre Dame multiple times to visit them. I knew the kind of outstanding, quality football program, campus atmosphere, and all of the things that go along with a very special and unique place in American football. That was a very attracting part. I also believe working with Coach Kelly is in an opportunity to win a national championship and to play the best the country has to offer every year and I really look forward to those challenges."
On what factors went into deciding to leave Cincinnati for Notre Dame:
"Well, we were very successful at Cincinnati. We had a 12-0 season and two BCS bowl games back to back, but I wanted to try it at supposedly the highest level of college football. I think the University of Notre Dame is one of those schools. I like to look at life as a lot of challenges, and one of the challenges is putting Notre Dame back where it needs to be, as a national competitor year in and year out on the BCS level. Everything we have talked about here is what you have to do to win championships, and if I didn't think that there was chance for that, I don't think any of us would be here."
On how he will help Notre Dame get back to this kind of level:
"I think several factors go into this coaching game, and one of those factors is player-coach relationships. This is one of my main objectives. I think you have to have a very professional, very open, honest relationship with players, and I think in the process, you have to get a very clear message across, whatever that message may be. Whether the message is an academic, social, or football message, being able to have a clear, distinct objective allows guys to build trust. It is like any other human relation you have. If the players know you trust them, they trust you, and then all of a sudden the football thing is going to start taking care of itself. It has to be a two-way street and we have to have the ability to make sure our players are very in tune to what it takes to win championships. If we get all of that to work, I think we will be successful."
On his coaching personality and what the players can expect from him:
"I tell my players that I am very proportional. What I mean by proportional is if you are doing things poorly - in the classroom, socially, being lazy and inattentive with football - well I am proportionally not a nice guy. If you are playing well - putting a great effort forward in the classroom, doing things off the field very well, presenting yourself in a way that your parents and the university would be proud of you - and you may not be as good as somebody or better than most, that part of it is not important to me. But the ability to give great effort and to be attentive in meetings and take what you are being taught onto the field, then I am a great guy to work with. So I try to be very proportional, and you determine what portion you get. You can get a lot of pats on the butt and a lot of 'great job's,' or you can get a lot of things you don't want. So that is really up to you as a player and I have held that philosophy for a long time."
On his history of coaching running backs and how that will help at Notre Dame:
"I kind of have been a jack of all trades in many ways because I was a high school coach for a long period of time, and when you are a high school coach you better know all of the positions. Even in Division I college football, I have coached the wide receivers, linebackers, defensive line and running backs, which is a big variety of positions when you think about it. I even did my share with tight ends a little bit too and some GA stuff at Ohio State. The position really isn't as important as bringing the same message and making sure we have the ability to pass Coach Kelly's message down and hopefully win a little football in the process. So it is being a football coach and understanding protections and understanding the run game and having enough background as a receivers coach, being able to line up our guys in all the positions they might be in. Running backs here have to be able to play wide receiver and have to be able to understand the protections and being able to do the running game, so I think my background allows me to bring all of that to the table."
On recruiting and his history with recruiting and how coming to Notre Dame he can help with recruiting:
"I think recruiting is a very simple process and I think it's done with honesty. There may be some places that have some nicer things than you. There will be other places that you have nicer things than they do. But I think as long as you are dealing with it with open honesty, I think players and parents respect that. I think when you walk in and tell players and parents the strength of our programs and tell them about the strengths we have, then here is what makes us elite in America. I seldom tell players how great they are, but I tell them more about what their opportunities to become great are. I think in high school, they are all great. We wouldn't be recruiting them if they were not a great player. But they have to realize that what they did in high school really doesn't matter to us. It's what they will do in college, and I think players often find that very refreshing."
On what his immediate plans are for this week are:
"There are several things I plan to do. One, make sure that recruiting gets up and running under my position and, two, make sure that I know my recruiting area and understand what needs to be done. Then, the other part is getting to know some of the new staff members and starting that relationship with the players. I have to make sure that the players understand that change is happening. They need to know that it is not bad change, though it may be scary. It is scary for us as adults and it is certainly scary for them, but we are all on the same team. The bottom line is I am trying to develop that player-coach relationship that you better have to be successful. You better have guys starting to be accountable for what they do and how they act and what kinds of things they are going to bring to the table. If we can get those accountabilities started and develop those relationships, then we can get recruiting up and running. We will worry about the "x's" and "o's" when signing day is over, because right now it all recruiting."