Brady Hoke addressed the media for the first time as Tennessee’s interim head coach on Monday.
And he didn’t have much to say.
Here are a few key observations from Hoke’s first comments as UT’s head man.
Winning for the Seniors
Hoke opened his press conference by imploring this fan base and the players to rally behind Tennessee’s seniors. And he alluded back to that comment multiple times throughout his answers to the media.
“The last two games are about one thing…our seniors,” he said in an opening statement. “As a staff, we’re going to coach our hearts out for these seniors.”
Hoke is focused on recruiting as well. And he pointed out how important that will be moving forward for this staff.
But these final two games are the only thing that really matters to him.
“We have to stay in the present and what I want to accomplish for these seniors. That’s what this is all about.”
Changes Moving Forward
Hoke isn’t planning on changing much. But things won’t be business as usual over the next couple of weeks either according to Tennessee’s new interim coach.
“I’m going to be who I am. We’re going to tweak some things because the comfort level I have and how I’d like to run a program,” Hoke said.
That starts with an immediate change on Tuesday. UT will not allow any access to the media for tomorrow afternoon’s practice.
Hoke also wouldn’t comment on details of his meeting with the team yesterday. And he gave no insight to his talk with John Currie on Sunday morning.
“I told you I was going to change some things, didn’t I?”
Although there will be changes over the coming weeks, Hoke wouldn’t comment on Butch Jones’ shortcomings this season.
“It’s not fair to comment on what went wrong or what didn’t go wrong,” Hoke said. “I think there’s a lot that went right.
“Number one, we lost a good man…and then you’ve got to move forward. If we don’t move forward…then you won’t get that from the players.”
Well, there wasn’t one.
Hoke said that he’ll know more as the week progresses. He’s planning on checking in with a few players today and getting back to us on Wednesday.
But hey, let’s talk more about the seniors.
“This senior class has won 29 games, three bowl games…the guys who have lasted have put their heart and soul into it…they should be appreciated,” Hoke added.
That’s going to be the message moving forward. Buckle up.