Excerpts from Saturday's Press Conference Announcing Shannon Currier The New Bulldog Football Head Coach
Director of Athletics Jerry Wolmering: Good morning. We appreciate everyone coming out this morning. This is a great start to a new era in Truman State University football. We're very excited. We had a lot of great excitement and interest in our position here as head football coach. As we went through the process coach Currier kept rising to the top. Then coach Currier cam to campus and impressed everyone top to bottom. So we are very excited to have him here and I know most of you have seen his bio and so it is my pleasure to introduce to ou our new head football coach Shannon Currier.
Shannon Currier: Thank you! I'm excited to be here as well. I've been real impressed with all the people at Truman State. I know everyone talks about the academic tradition and the great academics they have here at Truman State, but I was even more impressed with the people and I think that is something we really have to accentuate here is the people. The best resource here at Truman State maybe is the people and the people of Kirksville. Everyone here at Truman seems friendly and I really can't wait to make a difference and get my hands dirty and start working. I come from a little small college Division II team in St. Paul, Minnesota. We've done a few little things there but we're excited about the opportunity to come here and play in a great conference. If we can do some good things in this conference and then we're definitely looking at national opportunities and the playoffs that is something we plan on doing. At this point if people have questions I'll answer them.
What did you do at Concordia that caused the team turn around?
Currier: I think the first thing we did was just create a lot of enthusiasm. We got the players really thinking that you know there is a chance to be great. We started to instantly do a few things that made the players believe that "yeah this program is going to make progress". I think the other thing was I was able to have a great staff. People who worked well with the players. That's something I plan to do here is find people the players can relate to and count on. I think the second thing is you have to have a sense of family. We had a great team chemistry, we really spent a lot of time on developing relationships. The players liked each other and the coaches liked the coaches and the coaches liked the players and vice versa. To summarize 1) we created enthusiasm and 2) we created some great team chemistry. We also got lucky and had a lot of great players, but those are two things that come to mind.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face coming down to Kirksville?
Currier: Obviously, there are a lot of great football teams in this conference. So we have to be consistent on a regular basis. Just like any program we have to get great student athletes here. We have to keep the student athletes once we get them here and create vision and expect to make progress. I'm coming from a place that presented a lot of challenges so I'm excited about coming here.
Is it important for you personally to continue the academic tradition of Truman State University as head coach?
Currier: Absolutely. Championship football teams are made from championship people, and as a championship person one of the things you have to have going for you is you have to be a smart person. I'm anxious to work with the caliber of people in this program. It's a lot easier to train at place like this where you have kids who have great ACT scores and high GPA's. If you are a student-athlete looking for a great education I think Truman State has to be at the top of your list. It's going to be a great advantage being at a great academic school. Also, I want to surround myself with successful people in order to be successful. One of the things we have to do is keep the alumni involved. These are people who have moved on and our successful. It is nice to have those kind of people around your program.
What areas are you looking to recruit heavily from?
Currier: I have thought about a state of Truman. There has got to be a certain area that we have to own. Obviously, this part of Missouri, the State of Missouri, Iowa has some great programs, and of course Illinois, and you mentioned some of the bigger cities like St. Louis and Kansas City. I think those are the main three states, but really anyone in the country who is looking for a great education should be looking at this place as well. I think we are going to really heavily rely on the state of Missouri. I want to get to know the coaches in this area. So that when they have Division II prospects, Truman is at the top of their list.
How do you feel about coming to the Midwest from Minnesota?
Currier: I'm excited. I'm from a really small town. People see that I'm from the Twin Cities, but that's just where I've been working. I grew up in a town of 500 people. I had a graduating class of 18. So I can definitely relate to the smaller communities. My wife is from a town about the size of this in Minnesota. I'm anxious to be in a community like this where I can drive five minutes home for supper and come back to the office or go to a basketball game. So I'm excited about that type of an atmosphere and the Mid-west and again the weather will be nice. It's not too far from where I'm from. At the same time I think this is a great opportunity for my career. I mean we are the best show in town. The best football team in town you know, I think that's what we've got going for us is to get people excited about our program.
Do you have any set style of play?
Currier: I want to be multiple on both sides of the ball so that teams can't really game plan against you. Sometimes we'll be shotgun, no huddle and others times we'll be lined up underneath center and have two backs. The defense is going to look at the opponents' offense and decide what they do best and then stop their best run plays. The other thing is, I want to have the best special teams in the Division II.
What do you plan to do to involve the community?
Currier: I want to be really involved in the community. Some of the things we're going to do is try and do lots of things in the community. Rake lawns, put on camps for kids, not just in Kirksville but in the area. Have some seven on seven camps and some team camps. I think our players understand that if we are going to get what we want we are going to have to give others what they need. I think that's something that it takes to have a great program, you have to get everybody involved. Not just the community of Kirksville but also the community at Truman State. I want the student body to want to come to all of the games. I want people when they think of Truman State football to think "that's the best program in the country".
What do you think of the MIAA as a conference, nationally?
Currier: I think it's the best Division II conference in the country. I don't think there is any question that the MIAA is the only conference from top to bottom great. Last year, with five team tied for the conference championship tells you right there that it's pretty competitive. I know it's a great conference.