SFA Media Day Quote Transcript

Head coach Clint Conque at the dais for 2014 SLC Media Day

July 23, 2014

2014 Southland Conference Football Media Day
July 23, 2014
L'Auberge Casino
Lake Charles, Louisiana

Head Coach Clint Conque

Opening Statement...
"It's great to be here representing Stephen F. Austin State University. I'm very excited about our football program and the direction we're going for this season and for the future. I have two outstanding student-athletes with me today. Trey Vallier to my right, a senior defensive back from Henderson, Texas, and Byron Williams, a junior offensive lineman from Dickenson, Texas, to my left. The young men have worked very, very hard, and it's obviously been a whirlwind transition over the last seven months, but we are excited to put an end to one process and begin another next week or in 10 days or so with the beginning of fall camp."

On turning SFA back into a winning program...
"Moving forward we inherit a little bit of a wounded program, and everybody here recognizes that. That's part of the challenge. These two young men and their teammates back home have bought into the cultural changes we have put in place, the expectation level of how we want to go about ourselves and do business and the processes. It is a process, and we have to respect each phase and each part of that process. We're gaining on it each and every day."

 On rebuilding SFA's program...
"We are only three years removed from back-to-back, I believe, out-right Southland Conference Championships, 2009 and 2010 at SFA, and these two young men (with me today) were both recruited on the backs of a tradition of those championships. We have good players in our program. We have really good players in our program, but we have some work to do from a physical maturation standpoint, and an academic standpoint. Obviously, some roster management went into this, some roster moves. The young men have embraced that. As a coaching staff we are energized. Every place that we have gone we have been well-received both in recruiting and our satellite camps. I think we have a very, very bright future."

 On the Southland Conference...
"It's been a pleasure to watch the conference grown and, (Commissioner Tom Burnett), I appreciate your leadership. I know it's been probably expounded upon a great deal, but we are on the cutting edge in setting the trend now in FCS football when it comes to instant replay across the country. It's really an honor to be in this conference as long as I have been."

On areas that need improvement...
"We've talked a lot about off the field things, but on the field we've got some very tangible areas we need to improve on. We've got to get more consistent offensive play. We can't turn the football over. We've got to be better at valuing the football. Defensively, not give up the big play. Last year at SFA, we gave up six special teams touchdowns, five pick-6 for touchdowns and eight other interception returns and kick returns for 50 yards. You can't do that and expect to compete at a top level in this conference. That's not an indictment of the previous staff or the previous players. I've had a year or two like that myself coaching. But to get to where we want to go and to do what we want to do, we've got some work to do."

On the players making changes within the program...
"We had our best academic semester, according to the powers that be, in probably the last three or four years. And that's the first tangible result of our new staff and our young men buying into our philosophy. We take that and now we build on it."

On Gus Johnson...
"Gus has been a proven player in this league for the last three years, a two-time all-conference selection. If he stays healthy and has good production, he should go well over 3,000 yards for his career at Stephen F. Austin. We bring back an experienced offensive line, experience at wide receiver, we are new at quarterback; and to be able to take the pressure off that position it is important you need to have a quality running game. I know this. Two years ago I competed against SFA, and Gus Johnson ran for 215 yards and, I don't know, half a dozen touchdowns. It was ugly, and we couldn't tackle him. It was the only conference game we lost (at UCA that year). He's a big back, explosive player, he's had a fantastic summer. He's healthy and I think he's ready to go. We'll go as our line goes and as Gus Johnson goes."

 On Tyler Boyd...
"Speaking on Tyler Boyd, another East Texas native. What people don't know about Tyler Boyd is, Tyler played quarterback at Dangerfield High School, and I think we can document this. He is the winningest high school quarterback in he history of Texas high school football. He plays receiver for us. What am I thinking, right? He won three straight titles at Dangerfield and won well over 50 games as a starter there. He's one of the leaders of our team. He's very elusive. As good a player as he is, he's that much better of a person."

Junior, Offensive Lineman Byron Williams

On the team's attitude this spring and summer...
"I'm proud of my guys and the team. They showed a relentless amount of effort this summer, showed a lot of commitment. I'm really looking forward to this upcoming season."

On the atmosphere with the new coaching staff...
"The commitment these guys have put into this summer with Coach Conque and a good group of coaches on the coaching staff that came here with us. It's going to be really fun. I'm looking forward to it."

Senior, Defensive Back Trey Vallier

On his excitement for the season...
"Honestly, I can't wait until the season starts. Me and my guys are ready. We've been working hard and preparing. It's just about time to strap it on and get it going."

On the team atmosphere with the new coaching staff...
"The atmosphere has changed very positively, from the weight room to the cafeteria, to us just being here in June and July and working hard. These coaches expect a lot from us, and we're going to do what we've got to do to make them proud, and make us proud."


SFA opens up the 2014 campaign in 38 days on Saturday, August 30th, when SFA travels to Manhattan, Kan., to battle Big 12 foe Kansas State. The `Jacks open up the 2014 home schedule the following Saturday, hosting SLC newcomer Incarnate Word at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6.

Season tickets for 2014 SFA Football are now on sale through the SFA ticket office. Available season ticket packages will include Reserved Chair back and Reserved Bench seats. Stephen F. Austin football season tickets start at only $77.00 for the general public and $38.50 for Faculty/Staff. For more information you can call the Stephen F. Austin Ticket Office at 936-468-5225.



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