Quotes On UMass Football Head Coach Mark Whipple

Bill Cowher, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach from 1992-2006 and current CBS sports analyst, was one of those who provided supportive comments on Mark Whipple as a head coach and his hiring at UMass.

Bill Cowher, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach from 1992-2006 and current CBS sports analyst, was one of those who provided supportive comments on Mark Whipple as a head coach and his hiring at UMass.

Jan. 15, 2014

Official Announcement: Mark Whipple Returns To UMass As Head Coach
Press Conference Video: Mark Whipple Introduced As UMass Head Coach
Photo Gallery: Mark Whipple Introductory Press Conference

The University of Massachusetts Athletic Department introduced Mark Whipple as its football head coach on Tuesday morning. With the hiring of Whipple, some of those to play for Whipple in college, current Minutemen and NFL and University of Massachusetts dignitaries showed their support of the hiring and Whipple as a head coach throughout the day. Below is a compilation of what has been said about Whipple as he makes his return to the Minutemen.

On UMass' decision to bring Mark Whipple back as its head coach after he led the program for six seasons (1998-2003) that included an NCAA Division I-AA National Championship...

Kole Ayi (Massachusetts Linebacker, 1997-2000):
"As a former player of his I don't think anyone could be more excited about him coming back to UMass Football than I am. I am a huge fan of his. We had a lot of success under him. A lot of the success had to do with the players he brought in, his leadership ability and his commitment to excellence to make sure we did everything we needed to. Failure really was not an option under Mark Whipple."

Todd Bankhead (Massachusetts Quarterback, 1998-99):
"I am incredibly happy for Mark and for UMass. He is the type of coach that will get things going right away. They could not have done better with this hiring. Congratulations to [UMass Director of Athletics] John McCutcheon on hitting a grand slam with bringing Coach Whipple back to UMass."

Robert Caret (University of Massachusetts President, 2011-present):
"We are confident that Coach Whipple will be an inspiring leader who reaffirms our commitment to playing Division 1 football at the highest level. I couldn't be happier for the student-athletes, the loyal fans--including myself--and everyone else who looks forward to welcoming him back and cheering on the Minutemen come this fall."

Bill Cowher (Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach, 1992-2006):
"Mark Whipple as a football coach is not just a great teacher, but an excellent motivator. The Pittsburgh Steelers won Super Bowl XL and he was an integral part of our success. The University of Massachusetts is getting a Head Coach who is a Leader of Men and committed to Excellence, both on and off the field."

John McCutcheon (University of Massachusetts Director of Athletics, 2004-present):
"I am extremely pleased that mark has returned to guide UMass football. He brings a unique combination of experience, accomplishment and passion for Our football team that can not be matched. We all stand ready to support Mark, his staff and our student athletes as we develop an outstanding football program that the entire UMass family will be proud of."

Kumble R. Subbaswamy (University of Massachusetts Amherst Chancellor, 2012-present):
"We are thrilled to welcome back one of the greatest coaches in the 135-year history of UMass football. Coach Whipple is committed to fostering a positive environment in which our student-athletes will thrive both athletically and academically. His passion for the flagship campus and his drive for excellence have already earned the support of alumni, faculty, students and fans. I am confidant that, under coach Whipple's leadership, Minuteman football will continue to improve and will excel at the FBS level."

Kerry Taylor (Massachusetts Tight End, 1995-98):
"It was a great decision and a great move by the University. I do not think they could have picked a better person. The knowledge and leadership Coach Whipple brings to the table is something every football player and team looks to their head coach for to see how they are going to react in any situation. The way the head coach reacts is the way the rest of the team is going to react and he is the type of the coach that is going to fight to the very end for his team, the rest of his coaches and the university to be successful. There are so many stories I could tell about him as a coach and my experience with him. Bringing the school to the FBS level and having Coach Whipple at the helm you are going to see a big difference in the team and the effort they give on the field. The excitement is going to be through the roof, especially the excitement from the players, and every game will be more competitive just by adding him to the mix. I don't think you could have brought in a better person for this position. He will bleed Maroon and White to the very end."

Ken Whisenhunt (Tennessee Titans Head Coach, 2014-present):
"Well I'm excited for UMass in hiring Mark Whipple. I had the opportunity to work with him in Pittsburgh for a number of years and not only is he a good football coach, but he's a good role model. I think he'll do a great job with those young men. He did a great job with a young quarterback named Ben Roethlisberger and we had some success, so I know he has a good offensive mind. He'll do great in the community. I think it's a great hire and I'm excited for the school."

Thoughts on Mark Whipple as a head coach from former players...

Kole Ayi (Massachusetts Linebacker, 1997-2000):
"His offense was very successful in our league and that success essentially came with the same players that were at UMass before he arrived. As an `Xs-and-Os' guy, a motivator and a coach who can reach out to the community to help bring UMass to the level of play and height the program can reach, there is no better guy for the job."

Todd Bankhead (Massachusetts Quarterback, 1998-99):
"When I arrived he had been brought in to guide the rebuilding of UMass football. Immediately he instilled confidence and toughness in the guys. He put us in a great place to succeed on the field in terms of knowing how to match up against our opponents. Coach Whipple got the most out of us as players and led us to successes I could not have imagined achieving before I arrived. He helped me develop as a quarterback and he helped us all maximize our potential as a team."

Jacory Harris (Miami [FL] Quarterback, 2008-11):
"It was great playing under Coach Whipple. He guided me to one of my best years at the University of Miami. The style of offense that he brought to Miami helped propel me into Heisman contention and led our team to a 9-4 record that year. He's a great coach, but an even better person!"

Kerry Taylor (Massachusetts Tight End, 1995-98):
"I personally was fortunate enough to have him coach me my senior year. He was able to bring out more of my talent and our collective talent as a team. We were 2-9 the year before he arrived and then went out and won the national championship the next season with almost the same exact team. He had a way to motivate you to get the best out of you and get you to achieve things you did not think you would be able to do. With his motivation and leadership, a lot of us played to levels that people thought we could not reach."

What current Minutemen are saying about Mark Whipple as their head coach...

Stanley Andre (Massachusetts Redshirt-Senior Linebacker, 2010-present):
"I am really excited for what Coach Whipple brings to this program. He has a superb résumé and is known as an excellent coach. I only envision positives here on out for UMass football."

Joe Colton (Massachusetts Sophomore Defensive Back, 2012-present):
"This is the perfect situation to have Coach Whipple back. He is familiar with taking a team and its players and building it into a winner. I do not see a better guy for the job."

Tajae Sharpe (Massachusetts Sophomore Wide Receiver, 2012-present):
"The hiring of Coach Whipple is great for our program. I have spoken to a few of the other returning veterans about it and we are all excited about him becoming our head coach. We cannot wait to kick off the 2014 season. We know he has a great coaching résumé in college and the NFL and he already brought one championship here to UMass. We are looking to do the same thing now."



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