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Quotes From TU Coaches, President Upham On Ross Parmley

Jan. 19, 2012

TU men's basketball coach Doug Wojcik
"The hiring of Ross Parmley is great in terms of continuity to the university and the local community. It's a great opportunity for Ross and his family. He has strong roots locally, which I think is very important to the continuity and success of the Tulsa athletic department."

TU women's basketball coach Matilda Mossman
"I am extremely excited for Ross [Parmley]. He was the sole reason I took the job at Norman High nine years ago. He is a guy that is super intelligent, he thinks things out and he is very proactive, which is probably the thing I like the best. He sees into the future and he plans so that you as a coach and as a program receive the best benefits."

TU track and field/cross country coach Steve Gulley
"We're real excited about Ross from a coaching point of view. He brings a lot of fire and grit to the job. That's a little bit of a change from what we've had in the past, and I think that's something we as coaches need. He's a great competitor and I think he's going to change a lot of our outlooks on what is expected from us."

TU director of tennis Vince Westbrook
"Ross is great for the department. He's a guy that wants to stay here. He's worked tirelessly to improve our department and keep the nuts and bolts together since he got here in 2005. I think he's a great hire for The University of Tulsa."

TU women's tennis coach Dean Orford
"We as coaches are all excited to hear about the hiring of Ross as the new Director of Athletics. He has been great for both tennis programs over the last few years, and we know he is going to make an excellent director of athletics for many years to come at The University of Tulsa."

TU women's golf coach Randy Keck
"I think his hiring is fantastic. Ross has been involved in all the programs for a long time, and we're excited about it. He does take a little bit more direct approach, and we want an athletic director who wants to win."

TU volleyball coach Steven McRoberts
"Quite a few of the coaches were concerned that if we were gonna wait until the summer or fall to make a permanent hire, it could really hinder us in conference negotiations and different things with the NCAA. So, not only is this a great time to make a hire, it's the right person to hire, too. President (Steadman) Upham and Bubba (Cunningham) have had such a great vision here, and it's nice to have somebody who's been in on those conversations and understands where we want to go as a university."

TU softball coach John Bargfeldt
"He's been a very accessible person since he's been at The University of Tulsa. Even though he claims to be a little different from Bubba (Cunningham), I think there are a lot of similarities as well. He's easy to talk to, easy to work with, and I think that's going to be a great move for the university.

TU women's soccer coach Kyle Cussen
"I'm excited. I think he's gonna do a great job and I think he's already done a great job. There's a lot of stuff that has gone unseen here recently with these merger talks that he's been a part of, and I think he stepped in right away and took the baton from Bubba (Cunningham) and just kept running."

Quotes from Tulsa Press Conference Introducing Ross Parmley as the New University of Tulsa Director of Athletics

Opening Remarks


"Thanks to all of you for coming this morning. It is an exciting day for us. For everyone who follows intercollegiate athletics, I don't think I need to say there has never been a more uncertain and chaotic time in Division I intercollegiate athletics - conference realignment discussions, NCAA reform, changes to the rules, changes to the way we support student-athletes. In our own case, the conference realignment discussions with the Mountain West continue with greater complexity and intensity. We have had a number of meetings about the possibility of new alignments and formations, with respect to the reform agenda at the NCAA, new regulations are being adopted and the rulebook is being rewritten. These changes are really going to be momentous when implemented. That, coupled with the need for stability and leadership in our own department of athletics, has led the board and me to seriously consider the need for permanent leadership in the department. We are very, very fortunate that we have an individual named Ross Parmley, who has been with us since 2005 and has had positions of increasing responsibility since then. (Since last fall), he has served as Deputy Athletic Director with (former Tulsa Athletic Director) Bubba Cunningham, and worked hand-in-glove with Bubba on all major issues, including fundraising and administrative issues. It is my great pleasure to introduce Ross Parmley as our new Athletic Director at The University of Tulsa. I also want to introduce Ross' wife, Heather, and their two beautiful children, Jordyn and Blake."


"Thank you. President Upham, I would like to thank you and the Board of Trustees for this opportunity. Your leadership has made this university a truly special place. I am excited to work with you through the many challenges and opportunities ahead. I would also like to thank Bubba Cunningham for his mentorship. The level of involvement he allowed me, and his transparent style most definitely helped prepare me for this opportunity today. I would like to extend a special thank you to our coaches and student-athletes that are here today. Your trust and support in greatly appreciated. I would also like to thank my family - my wife Heather, and children Jordyn and Blake. You will continue to see them at many events around this campus. Heather, I especially want to thank you for being a great friend, a great mother and a great wife. Thank you.

"As I thought about how I would like to describe the next chapter of TU Athletics, I thought of another great leader. Oklahoma's finest, Will Rogers. He said, `Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.' He had the mind of a winner and the heart of a competitor, and that is something that I admire greatly. My theme as leader of this department is competition. We will compete both on and off the field. This competitive spirit will be focused on the following areas: competing for conference and national championships. We will compete to educate and graduate our student-athletes at a higher rate than our peers. We will compete to be leaders in community service. After all, it is a privilege to be at a university that bears this city's name. We will do all we can to give back. We will compete to provide the ultimate student-athlete experience, an experience that could not be obtained at another university. We will compete for fans in this community. We want the entire Tulsa area to be a part of this university. We will compete to be the most compliant department among our peers. We will always do things the right way. These objectives will not be easy, but our staff is just as competitive as our student-athletes. I am confident that we will be successful. After all, this is a people business, and you win with good people.

"I would like to address a special group of people, our coaches and student-athletes: Thank you for being who you are. You are a great group with incredible integrity and character. You are extremely dedicated and hard-working. We will continue to provide you with the support and resources you need to compete at the highest level. We will be proactive in positioning our department in a manner that will allow you the greatest opportunity for success.

"To our fans, alumni and letterwinners: We will continue to recruit student-athletes that you can cheer on and be proud of. We will be proactive in providing a game day experience that is truly great. We will continue to compete for the thing that brings us honor and excitement: championships.

"To our university campus and family: Athletics is not the most important part of this university. We are simply a piece of the educational puzzle. However, we are often the most visible. With that comes a great responsibility to portray a positive image of TU. Our efforts will display an image of a competitive spirit focused on winning on and off the field.

"I will leave you with some remarks that Lou Holtz made during his TU commencement speech here in December. He said, `You are either growing or dying. There is no maintaining.' These great words truly represent the next chapter for TU Athletics. I look forward to growing with this university for many years to come. We will grow, we will compete, and we will win. Thank you."

Question-and-Answer Portion


On the decision by the Board of Trustees to make a hiring decision at this time
"As you know, we originally intended to wait. When Bubba Cunningham left, Ross was appointed as Interim. I will say that from October to the present time, a lot has happened in conference realignment and NCAA discussions. As we discussed in the Board yesterday, it was quite clear that we needed stable and permanent leadership within the department in order to be a full participant in the discussions. I am very involved at the presidential level, but the athletic directors are also very active in these discussions. I just felt that it was better for our university to have a leader who had stability and roots, who could represent us in the discussions and have greater credibility. We are very, very fortunate that we had Ross, because Ross was ready to step in. So, it was really the changing circumstances that brought us to this point."

On the `changing circumstances'
"It is precipitated in not only that (Houston, SMU and UCF leaving Conference USA), but Boise State, San Diego State, and before that, TCU leaving the Mountain West. It has precipitated great uncertainty in the conferences, especially at a time when the need for stability and negotiating media rights is so important. We are very, very disappointed, especially about SMU and Houston leaving. We understand why they did, but we regret the loss of those rivalries in the conference. But, we are also equally excited about what's going on in the merger discussions between the two conferences."


On the importance of the restructuring of the BCS vs. the questions about conference realignment
"We can control the conference realignment. Our focus will be on the merger with the Mountain West and Conference USA. I think the changes at the BCS level will have an affect on that. Our focus will be on how we better position ourselves through the merger with the Mountain West. I think there are a lot of great opportunities ahead for us in that merger. I think the opportunity for additional television revenue and the opportunity for a more stable conference environment in the long term will be a great asset to us in the future."

On whether he thought he would be in this position when he joined TU in 2005
"To be honest with you, probably not at that time. But as I grew into the role in 2007, this idea very quickly came to a point where it seemed like it was something that I would want to do and that I was capable of handling. So, I think it was probably more, after being here a few years."

On whether he decided he wanted to become the permanent Athletic Director after being named the Interim Athletic Director on day one
"Absolutely. It came up with the Kansas situation. It's something Bubba and I have talked about for a few years. It's part of being the type of leader he is, to prepare you for that. That is something for which I am indebted to him greatly."

On positioning Tulsa among the schools that receive automatic BCS bids
"I think, as we move through the BCS changes, I think there is a great chance that BCS AQ (Automatic Qualifying) status in conferences will not be there. We've said it before, but we will focus on what we can control. We will focus on positioning ourselves in the merger with the Mountain West to be the best we can, and we'll let the BCS AQ thing shake itself out."

On the similarities between himself and former Tulsa Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham
"Bubba and I are probably a little more opposite than we are alike. I have a little more coach in me, probably. I have that `ready, fire, aim' mentality every once in a while. Bubba was so even-keeled, especially with the way he handled adversity and handled situations. I think they thing that Bubba taught our whole department, was how to do things the right way. Every department, every company, every business has the opportunity to do things the right way, or to cut corners. I think the thing that we've done best is doing things the right way."