Coaches have a number of obligations when it comes to bowl appearances, and Washington State Cougars coach Mike Leach and Iowa St. Cyclones coach Matt Campbell met the first of those today when they took questions from the local media in a joint press conference in San Antonio, Texas.
Featuring loads of softball questions, these things tend to be full of smiles, guffaws and effusive praise for the opponent. This one was no different.
Asked what he thought of Iowa State and its defense, Leach said:
Well, I think it’s really impressive. I mean, I played at Iowa State a number of times. They played at our place before Coach Campbell was there. I know it’s an impressive and unique place. I think he does a great job on defense.
The biggest thing is they just keep playing extremely hard. Everybody, whether you’re on offense or defense, you face a certain amount of adversity. One of the biggest strengths I think they have is they just keep playing no matter what, relentlessly, till the clock says 0-0. I think that’s one of the highest compliments you can give any team or any side of the ball.
They’re certainly very good on defense, very complete group, but also offense as a team.
Of course, Campbell reciprocated.
Again, I think you go back to what Coach Leach has done really in terms of shaping and really changing the game of the football in a lot of ways in terms of passing attack.
You watch the success they’ve had, been able to build a tremendous foundation. Again, I think it goes down to fundamentals and details. Like coach said about playing hard, I think also what’s critical in this sport is fundamentals, details, having a really great foundation to what you’re about.
You turn the videotape on and you see a very well-coached football team in every aspect of the game.
There also was a question for Leach about parenting advice (“You got to be a little bit like Coach Campbell’s defense: just keep perservering, keep signing up and showing up”), and a question for Campbell about “Swing Your Sword,” Leach’s biography/leadership missive (“Certainly enjoyed reading the book”).
Leach also was asked about San Antonio, which, of course, as a history buff, he had some thoughts on:
I’ve always loved San Antonio because they got these old gorgeous buildings. One of my favorite places is the hotel bar at the Menger, looking at the pictures, history, everything going on there, from Teddy Roosevelt to Babe Ruth to ghosts.
I’ve heard little bitty things on how the city is designed, how the river was developed, stuff like that. I’d like to know more about that. I don’t know as much about that as I’d like. I’ve read and studied some on the Alamo. An omission. I’ve gone by the Alamo, thought constantly about, I’ll go to the Alamo. I run out of time. Next time, next time. Have to make sure I go this time.
I have read some and studied about the Alamo, which is captivating. Pretty much when you get right down to it, it only took a couple years for the settlement of the statehood of Texas, almost a microcosm of our country, took place in a short period of time. I’m very interested in that.
Just San Antonio kind of looks and feels right with the unique buildings, unique architecture, that whole setting. A lot of places, you go downtown, it’s a mess, it’s an ugly gun and knife area. San Antonio has a gorgeous downtown. San Antonio is one of places you would like to live downtown, at least I would.
For the rest of the answers, you can watch the video above or read the full transcript here.