Five days after losing to Connecticut in the AAC Tournament, USF announced the hiring of Brian Gregory as its new head coach on March 14. RTBs sat down with Gregory to talk about his transition to the Bulls program and more.
Gregory, 50, was the head coach at Dayton for eight seasons, and then Georgia Tech for five seasons before being fired following the 2015-16 season. He spent the 2016-17 season as a consultant to Tom Izzo at Michigan State.
On Friday April 14, Coach Gregory granted RunningTheBulls.com an exclusive on-on-one interview in his office in the Pam and Les Muma Center. What follows is part of that interview.
How has the first four weeks as USF head coach gone?
It’s been great.
We had our first set of visits last weekend and myself and the staff all agreed that after that weekend that this place is even a greater product to sell than we expected. So we’re excited about that and excited about our future recruiting and being able to bring recruits and their families on campus and sell this program, sell this university, sell the total package of being a true student-athlete what we’re going to build – our vision for the future. But it also confirmed that with the current players that we can give them everything that they need to be successful in the classroom and on the court. As we continue to give them the direction and the support that they need, that those guys that continue in the program depending on how many years they have could have the best years of their careers during that time.
On working out the current team...
Those guys have been great. Our weight workouts have been tremendous. I think our guys realize that S&C are all related to improving as a basketball player is an area that we can dramatically improve in. I think they’ve all kind of accepted that and embraced that. The individual workouts, the skill development stuff, our guys have really came in with great energy and great attitudes. In the 3 weeks that we’ve done it have seen improvement in those guys already. Understanding how we want to do things, at the pace that we want to do things, at the energy level we want to do things. Guys have not backed down one bit on that. One of the things we emphasize is that should be the best time of the day for them. I think they’re coming in every day with that type of attitude and they’ve been very good. I’ve been pleased with the three weeks of S&C and skill development. I think it’s gone extremely well.
On any surprises with the current players during workouts…
I think guys have made improvements in the three weeks the other thing I think the guys are starting to buy into is that whatever we do is not enough to be successful at this level. That they have to make a sacrifice and put in some time on their own.
Obviously because of taking over a new job, we’re here morning noon and night. It’s been a pleasure to look out the window in my office in the evening and see guys coming back to get their work on the gun, on the shooting machine getting extra shots up and things like that. When you have a great program that is part of the fabric of what guys do so I think that’s been a big change and I think it’s only the beginning in terms of getting that extra work in.