Quotes from Larry Williams’ introductory press conference

Larry Williams was introduced Tuesday morning as Marquette’s new vice president and director of athletics. Here is a transcript from much of the press conference.

Rev. Scott Pilarz’s opening remarks

“This committee provided tremendous insight and wisdom throughout the process of the search and we would not have had the kind of candidates we did or make such an excellent choice without the help of the four people on this search committee. In their efforts, they were assisted mightily by over 100 members of the university community who were consulted about the qualities and characterisitcs that we would hope for in our next athletic director and vice president.”

“When we started this search, I wanted to hear from every corner of the campus. Faculty, students, alumni, every member of this community who has a stake, because athletics are so important to all of us.”

“Also, right off the bat I want to extend an enormous thank you to Mike Broeker, whose leadership in this department during the transition, you know I’ve started here as President on Aug. 1, and Mike has been there for me since day one, and it has been a challenging and important time, especially in the matters that I needed to get up to speed about. And Mike was very helpful to me in that and to the university. A big reason why Marquette is so well-positioned for the future is because of Mike Broeker’s leadership and skill, and I look forward, as does Larry, with him in his role as deputy athletic director.”

“And as I screened resumes and interview candidates, I was looking for that mix of competitive drive paired with a steadfast commitment to ethics, integrity, academics and the personal development of our student athletes. When I met Larry Williams, and as I spent time with him these last few weeks, I knew that we had found the right choice for Marquette.”

Larry Williams

“Today, and every day going forward, we’re going to be about integrity and excellence in academics, in athletics and socially. That’s going to be at the forefront of everything we do. And at the apex of every one of our efforts is going to be the development of every one of our student athletes. We’re going to create success-driven student athletes that will go out and make this world a better place and make us all very proud.”

Questions

On the sexual abuse allegations at Marquette: “I’ll try to address that. Bear in mind that I have not been on campus and am not aware of any of the details relative to the situations, but I can guarantee that under Father Pilarz’s leadership we will have processes in place going forward. There will be a commitment to that process that will address any issues that come about.”

Pilarz: “As you know, we’ve done an awful lot in recent months to make sure that there is zero tolerance for the kinds of incidents that happened last year. We’ve put some policies in place, we’ve made some changes to the administrative structure, for example the reporting relationship now between the vice preid. We will be vigilant going forward to make sure we are in full compliance with the law and that our students know that Marquette is the kind of place where people look out for one another.”

On Big East realignment: “Marquette stands in a very unique position. It is an iconic entity in college athletics and it should stay as a leader in any new alignment that occurs. There’s a purity about what happens on this campus that we want to make sure is a voice at the table in this realignment. I don’t know what all the answers are, in fact all the questions haven’t been raised yet, but I guarantee Marquette will be at the forefront of those discussions in attempting to take a leadership position in defining a new NCAA structure that values at its apex, the development of success driven student-athletes.”

“We have to encourage and engage in those discussions to make sure that if it is another Big East, if it is another defined group of schools, we are at the forefront of that. I can’t wait to get in and have those conversations, but our commitment is again to the best interest of the development of our student athletes, and we’ll make sure that occurs.”

Plan of attack once he takes over: “I’m really anxious to get started. I have a few things to buck up in Portland, but what I really plan on doing first is sitting down with one the coaches and two the student athletes, trying to figure out what our strengths are and what our challenges are. The second group I want to visit with most is the broader community. I want to make sure I understand what the perceived opportunities might be, to continue to build that community, to bring in as many alums as possible into the support group. And the third group, and hopefully this won’t take too long, to create plans that will take full advantage of every one of our assets and be able to address every one of our challenges.”

On taking the job while Marquette basketball is having so much success: “It’s like Christmas day, isn’t it? Christmas comes early.”

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