Quotable Coach Prime: He Ain’t Hard to Find

Without an experienced backup quarterback in the lineup, Buff fans will be praying this fall for the continued good health of Shedeur Sanders.

But it was another Sanders, Coach Prime himself, who was on the injury report this past week.

Thee Pregame Show, a YouTube channel that chronicles the program, posted much of the meeting Sanders and CU head athletic trainer Lauren Askevold had with Dr. Ken Hunt, who works in foot and ankle orthopedics at CU and vascular surgeons Donald Jacobs and Max Wohlauer. Wohlauer noted that Sanders’ circulation in his leg was just 66 percent of the blood pressure compared to the rest of his body.

Sanders and his doctors discussed the risks of any future procedures or ongoing complications from his condition.

“He could lose the foot,” Jacobs said. “That’s a risk.”

Sanders emphasized in the meeting that he wanted to undergo any future procedures before the season began so he didn’t miss time during the season.

While the loss of Shedeur Sanders for any length of time this fall would be catastrophic for CU’s chances on the field, any downtime for Coach Prime would also have a detrimental effect on the program.

You don’t want the face – and the voice – of the program to be (no pun intended) on the sidelines.

We have become very accustomed to hearing from Coach Sanders on a regular basis this season. As it says on the shirts and sweats he wears all the time: He ain’t hard to find.

And it has been Coach Prime’s vision, and his ability to put a voice to that vision, which has made the CU program relevant once again. It is Coach Prime’s ability to sell himself – and his new school – which has either brought in or received commitments from, ten blue-chip players (four- and five-star prospects) since he was hired in December.

Ten blue-chip prospects, for a program which had brought in a grand total of nine such prospects … over the previous seven years combined.

We knew from his very first press conference that Coach Prime that he was something special.

I have gone back and rewound press conference tapes hundreds of times over the years, trying to nail down specific quotes.

But Coach Prime’s first press conference was the first time since the Bill McCartney days that I went back and watched a coach’s press conference for the pure enjoyment of it.

For your summertime pleasure, please take a look back at some of Coach Prime’s most memorable press conferences and interviews. If you don’t have the time for the full experience, I’ve pulled out some quotable quotes …

Introductory press conference – Sunday, December 4, 2022 … 

Notable quotes …

Opening Statement …

“I’ve assembled some of the best scouts, some of the best kids that we’re recruiting, commitments already coming on the way as I speak. And now that I’ve gotten here and I see it and understand it, and I can grasp it, and I can touch it. I can feel it, I can taste it, I truly understand what you want. All you want is the opportunity to win, to compete, to dominate, to be amongst the elite, to be amongst the best and darn it, I’m going to give you that.

“We’re going to out-work them, we’re going to out-recruit them, we’re going to out-scout, we’re going to out-develop, we’re going to get our education, we’re going to graduate these young men. These young men are gonna be on campus, respectful and considerate and kind, open opening doors for you and making sure everything is copacetic. They gonna say ‘yes, sir, no sir; yes, ma’am, no ma’am,’ or they’re going to have to deal with me. That’s just the way I father, that’s the way I parent, that’s the way I coach. I’m old school. Sometimes I may look like an old fool, but I’m just old school.

“After we get finished with this work, I just want you to know we’re on the way. Not to compete, but to win. Not to show up, but to show out. Not to be among the rest, but to be the absolute best. We’re coming to work, we’re not coming to play. We’re coming to kill, not to kick it. Baby, I got to believe that we’re coming. You got to feel it in the energy inside of you that we’re coming, don’t you? You got to feel it that we’re going to be there. You got to feel it when you get in that stadium, you better get in there early because the time kickoff comes, baby we’re coming. Do you understand that? Do you feel that? Do you understand the intensity, the excitement and the adrenaline and the rush that I got right now? I can’t wait until this thing kicks off because we are coming.

“Boulder, Colorado, you have no idea what you’re blessing me with, the opportunity that you’re giving me, and I feel like I owe you. So every day I’m going to work for you, I’m going to strengthen for you, I’m going to develop for you, I’m going to commit for you. I’m going to do things that others wouldn’t do. Baby, we’re coming. So if anybody asks you something about ‘When is he coming back?’ You just say, ‘I don’t know, but I know he coming.’

On if he has any concern over high expectations now with CU football

“Do I look like a man that worries about anything? Did you see the way I walked in here? Did you see the swagger that was with me? Worry? Baby, I am too blessed to be stressed. I have never been one for peer pressure. I put pressure on peers. I never wanted to worry, I make people worry. I don’t get down like that. I am too darn confident. That is my natural odor. I don’t even wear cologne. That is confidence I am wearing. I don’t worry because I know the resources and the staff that we’re putting together and I know the work ethic we have and I trust. This staff is going to comfort the heck out of me and we’re going to be good. I do not worry. You need to worry about getting a spot in here the next time we do this because there are going to more cameras than this.”

On his expectations for CU football compared to fan expectations

“Much higher than theirs. Because I have been there. They haven’t been there. I have been to the mountain top and they haven’t been there. I know they want to go there and I want them to go there but I want us to go there together. So, my expectations exceed all. Shoot, we had the game (won) handily last night and I was going off because we were letting them score. We gave up 100 some points in 12 games and they scored 24. I don’t understand stuff like that. But we got the job done. During that game I was just thinking about the kids, thinking about their faces.”

Signing Day press conference – Wednesday, February 1, 2023 

Notable quotes … 

Opening statement … 

Kind of shy away from names. I’m not familiar with everyone’s names. I’m not going to pretend I am. I will get them nicknames when it’s appropriate. I’m not not being disrespectful; I’m just being honest.

We have a great staff. We have a track record that has notably won. 224 years of combined coaching. I like to hear. What works. What do you think … We’re going to keep it moving; we’re going to keep it fast, and play fast and play quick. It’s going to be 100% effort.

On building a roster

Some quotes build inside out, I build both ways. I build outside in when I’m thinking defensively. We’re going to think the corners and the pass rush – let’s go get it. Now, let’s go get the big boys, to make sure they stabilize; to make sure they control the run game.

We’re not done. This is just a pause, a comma. There will be a lot of people who are going to bungee jump after spring. They’re going to be disappointed in their playing time … and we’re going to take full advantage of that.

On recruiting with his history as a Hall of Fame cornerback

They don’t ask me to reflect on the game; they ask me to reflect on life. The kids don’t remember me; the parents remember me. They look at the way I’ve maintained consistency in life. So we’re not just connecting about football, we’re connecting about life, and navigating that kid through life. From 17 to 21 a lot happens, and if you don’t have the right navigation system you’re going to find yourself on the side of the road, distraught, and saddened, and hurt. The game of football, that will take care of itself if they have the skill level. But the game of life? That’s for keeps.

On his first Recruiting Class

We’re recruiting our butts off. We’re not recruiting some Tom, Dick and Harry. We’re recruiting some guys who can light up the scoreboard, and who can prevent some touchdowns from occurring. We’re coming, and we’re serious about that.

What are you selling to the recruits? 

I don’t sell nothing, that’s the thing. It is what it is. If you are coming for NIL or to get rich, we’re not the school for you. But if you are here to become a man, and get a degree, and grow and win, and possibly go pro if you do all of the correct things, we are. We’re not here for the NIL, we’re here for the NFL. We’re not selling anything. We’re so honest and genuine and real with these kids and their parents, and I think they embrace that.

The city sells itself. We don’t have to sell it. Just look out those windows and it’s a wrap. The city is beautiful; it’s virtually crime free. Everybody’s been pleasant; everybody’s been wonderful; everybody’s been energetic. You see we’re coming.

Are you surprised by the success in creating a Top 25 Class in six weeks? 

Why would we be surprised by success? That would mean that we didn’t expect success, if we’re surprised by success. We expect success. We expect to go get that kid. The only thing to keep that kid from coming and signing with us … is a bag. Someone paying him. The coaching staff, the atmosphere, the city, the publicity, the structure, the discipline, the academics, the graduation rate, the food in the cafeteria … it’s hard to say no. It really is.

Spring Game press conference – Saturday, April 22, 2023

Notable quotes: 

Opening statement

“Thanks (to) all the fans for attending this scrimmage and spring game (despite) the inclement weather. We changed the script of the whole thing to be more accommodating to the players and ensure we’re not risking injury. But it was phenomenal. I’m amazed and just stoked, if that’s the proper word about the attendance and about the energy and electricity, and even all of you.

On the game atmosphere

“I was amazed. I didn’t know that it would be like that. It was unbelievable. It was a moment. It was one of those moments that you will never forget. It was one of those moments to behold like you had to be there. You had to be there. So just lining up in the tunnel, getting ready, and feeling it, our song comes on. And here we go. And we’re running out there. It was unbelievable. Even with the weather, it was unbelievable. I’m always thinking way down the street. So recruiting, I’m thinking, ‘okay, national TV show and snow and spring. That’s not good.’ But you know, people use it to recruit against us, but with the fan base and everybody that was there, I’m pretty sure they say, ‘hey, man, this is all right, then it’s gonna be 50 tomorrow’.

On what is next in the process for the team

“Well, this is the genesis of the new era, the new thing. This was the genesis. This was the beginning of everything in the direction that we go right now. You all know that we’re going to move on from some of the team members and we’re going to reload and get some kids that we really identify with. This process is going to be quick, it’s going to be fast, but we’re going to get it done.

On his recruiting efforts

“You must understand – many coaches attack it differently. Often, the kid is holding all the cards, and you’re trying to see if he’s gonna choose you. We’re trying to see if we want him because we have a certain standard. When I talk about being smart, tough, and disciplined with character. I’m not playing. I’m serious about that. So we’re recruiting one another. So these young men that are coming with family members and mothers and fathers and siblings, it’s interesting, that the thought process I have several questions, pointed questions, and I ask every last one of them. I want to know those responses. Some people approach it differently. I have a certain approach, and I don’t fluctuate from that. And I want what I want and will get it. And I’m not gonna compromise my thoughts. I’m gonna stand for what I believe.”

Coach Prime on Joel Klatt podcast – June 12, 2023

Why Colorado? 

Rick George gave me a tremendous opportunity. He laid something before me, candidly, and I saw a need. I’m a need to be needed kind of person … There was a tremendous need, a tremendous want, a tremendous desire for excellence. I love that challenge … Why do you think that I went from Atlanta to San Francisco and from San Francisco to Dallas? It was the challenge. I thrive on that.

On the exodus from CU

I was the Genesis; now it’s the Exodus … I’m accustomed to adversity; I’m accustomed to ridicule … When the President becomes President, what happens to the Cabinet? What am I doing that is different from any CEO? I’ve got to get it right … I’ve got to get it right now. Let’s go get it now.

We’re getting the type of kids that we want. Kids that want to take it to the next level. Want to get a good education … We’ve got those types of kids, and I can’t wait to see them play.

On the identity of the CU team in 2023

Smart, fast, tough, disciplined, with character. People made a big stink about who we let go, but not a big stink about who we brought in … Now, there is competition in practice. You’ve got to compete to get on the darn field … It’s really rare that you have really good talent, and a really good coaching staff, and you don’t win. I’ve seen no one who disagrees about the level of the coaching staff. Assembling the coaching staff is harder than assembling the kids.

On it being tough to recruit to CU

Are you kidding me? If we get a kid here, it’s a wrap, and we don’t have anything for sale … I’m too honest and straightforward to be selling you anything … There’s no way you can look out the windows of our offices, and see how beautiful the mountains are … there’s no way you have to sell this place. It sells itself.

On being on Big Noon Saturday against TCU to open the season

Why wouldn’t I want that for our kids? That’s what they want. They want to be seen. They want the lights, the oohs and the aahs … We don’t want kids in the locker room who don’t want that moment, and they have got to be ready to seize that moment.

A plus-four or a plus-five in the win column is a drastic improvement …

Not for me. I don’t think like that. I want it all, I don’t want a sip … I want it all and I want it now. I feel like we are assembling the type of young men and the staff to have it. I really do.

Do you think you can compete with TCU?

I don’t think. I know. Yes. What is the commonality of all the teams who went to the playoffs last year? Talent. They had a quarterback – we got that. Relentless talent – that’s what we’ve brought.

On NIL and collectives

NIL is not the problem. Collectives are.  What kid out of high school is going to be notable enough that a CEO of a major company, is going to lay it on the line for a kid that nobody knows? Collectives – you could be Tom, Dick, Harry or Larry, and you just put a bag together, and solicit kids to come to your university. Who is that helping? … I want you to chase the NFL bag … They’re putting the bag before the game. The game has to come before the bag. Ball out. We want to give it to you when you ball … I want them to be comfortable. I don’t want them to be filthy rich.

There have been plenty of other notable Coach Prime interviews … The Rich Eisen interviewthe College GameDay interview at the College Football Championship game … It’s always Prime Time with Coach Prime.


One Reply to “Quotable Coach Prime: He Ain’t Hard to Find”

  1. Reading all of the above again and combined and I just don’t see CP making excuses for losing because he doesn’t expect to lose. And, that has to be contagious for the 75 new players on the team many who must feel like they’ve been chosen over other recruits, they’re special and part of something bigger than they know the sum of. With Prime telling them, you’re coming to work, you’re coming to win.

    And by the videos it looks like they are buying in fully and working their butts off for the coaches. And just think, if your ass was being filmed working out everyday and the videos are posted on the ol’ interweb, wouldn’t you be pushing even harder? Those videos both promote and inspire and they’re not going to want to be seen slacking by all those “clicks”.

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