March 11, 2011
MALIBU, Calif. -- New Pepperdine men's basketball coach Marty Wilson was introduced to a capacity-filled Jones Trophy Room on Friday morning. In an emotional speech, he thanked many people and talked about his vision for the program.
"I want a team that's going to be smart, I want a team that's going to be tough, I want a team that's going to be unselfish," Wilson said. "That's what we're going to challenge our guys to become. That's what we're going to demand our guys to become. That's what we're going to recruit our guys to become. Defensively, we're going to compete."
Wilson was elevated to the position of head coach after serving as associate head coach the past three seasons. The 1989 graduate of Pepperdine has been an assistant for the Waves a total of nine seasons.
Director of Athletics Steve Potts and University President Andrew Benton introduced Wilson and thanked retiring head coach Tom Asbury.
Following is a partial transcript from the event:
Pepperdine Director of Athletics Steve Potts
"What a great day, what a great day to be a Wave. I've had a smile on my face all day because I know how much this means, how much it means to Marty. It's an exciting day as we introduce our new head coach.
"However, let me pause and talk a little bit about Tom Asbury for just a minute. A little over three years ago our men's basketball team was suffering competitively, suffering academically, suffering with some NCAA compliance issues. That's not the most attractive situation when you're looking for a new coach. It takes a special person to take on that challenge, especially someone later in their coaching career. That's what we needed, a coach to come in and start to rebuild this program, a coach with great character, great integrity, a commitment to academics, and we needed a coach that understands what it takes to be successful at Pepperdine. Who better than one of the most successful men's basketball coaches in Pepperdine history, who better than a man who averaged almost 21 wins during his first tenure here, who better than Tom Asbury.
"Tom answered the call to return. Tom and Carlie answered the call to return to Pepperdine to begin the challenge of rebuilding our program. He answered the call knowing how difficult it would be knowing that his career record might suffer. He wasn't concerned about that. He simply loved this university and loved our basketball program and wanted it to succeed.
"Tom Asbury is leaving this program in significantly better condition than he found it. Tom has set our program on a new direction and given us great hope for the future. He occupied a special place in Pepperdine history based on his first tenure here. Now he leaves us with a legacy that we'll always be indebted to Tom and Carlie for. I wish them nothing but the best, much happiness and God's richest blessings as they leave our community. They will be missed.
"Tom wanted to be here, but he didn't want to be here. Tom was emphatic, and if you know Tom emphatic is probably a weak word, Tom was emphatic that this be a day about Marty. In fact three weeks ago he told me that there would be no lunches, there would be no dinners, there would be no pregame or postgame presentations. That's the way he wanted it and we respected his wishes. I made him promise that at some time in the future he and Carlie will make their way back and will give us the opportunity to appropriately recognize and honor them, and we will do that."
Pepperdine University President Andrew Benton
"I believe in sport, I believe in sport in the context of an academic institution like this one. I believe in providing students with an opportunity to go and celebrate successes and achievements. I believe in providing a counterpoint to what goes on in the classroom and the rigors that our students face, so I like the arts and I like extracurricular activities and I like sport. I like to win. Not as much as Charlie Sheen, but I do like to win. I've been a part of Pepperdine University for 28 years and I've seen a lot of wins.
"I know that Coach Asbury doesn't want this to be about him today but I'll just say we walk a little taller as a consequence of the fact that he came home and began the refurbishment and turnaround of this storied program. It is a storied program, a very, very successful Division I athletic program. He helped recruit athletes whom I will have the privilege of handing a diploma to. Not a one-and-done kind of place, but a place where young men come and succeed in the playing courts and walk across the stage heads held very high and receive a diploma for hard work and what they've accomplished. I am so grateful that I am president of a place that values the student and the student-athlete equation.
"There's a time to stir the pot and go outside, there's a time to look inward and recognize remarkable talent that is within the coaching staff at the university. We believe in this case that continuity, that taking the fact that we are walking a little taller with a feeling of confidence about the future, was just the right time to recognize an individual that loves Pepperdine. Not just views this as a place to work a job, a stepping stone, but someone who has affection for this institution, who believes in the mission of this place and his knowledge and awareness of what it means for us to win and in the right way.
(after introducing Marty Wilson's family) "I needed for you to know the family because family at Pepperdine University is very important. We don't just select an individual, we select the whole individual, which in this case very importantly includes Mayra and the two children. Marty is not just a great coach, not just a student who did well and competed well as an athlete. Marty is a good father, a good role model, a good example, and is going to be a great example for the young men that come under his instruction and tutelage. I'm proud that today is the day that we get to announce Marty Wilson as the head coach of Pepperdine University men's basketball."
Pepperdine Coach Marty Wilson
"As Steve mentioned, this is a great day. This isn't about me, though. This is about our basketball program. I am honored, I am privileged to be standing here and be named the new head basketball coach at Pepperdine University. I am very thankful to be in this position. Obviously there's a lot of people that I want to thank first before I talk about the direction and the future of the basketball program.
"First and foremost, President Andy Benton and his wife Debbie, it means the world to me that you have the confidence in me as a former student, a former player, a former assistant, that can come back and lead our basketball team back to where it's supposed to be. I cherish that. It means the world to me.
"Second, Dr. John Watson, who is our former Athletic Director, whose vision three years ago, was to bring Coach Asbury back and to have me return with him with this day in mind. John, I truly thank you and I look forward to continue working with you. I appreciate your thoughts and believing in me as a basketball coach. The next person is Dr. Steve Potts, who just recently took over as Director of Athletics. I am extremely excited to continue building my relationship with Dr. Potts. He and I came back to Pepperdine around the same time so I've gotten to know him but I'm getting to know him in a different realm and I think under his leadership our basketball program and our athletic program will continue to grow and continue to shine. So Steve, I'm looking forward to working with you.
"There are some coaches that I'd like to thank. None of them could be here, but I owe a tremendous amount of thanks. Dean Bradshaw, who was the high school coach at Simi Valley High School and gave me my first opportunity when I finished school here. Brad Holland, who was the head basketball coach at the University of San Diego, who I spent two years with as an assistant. Bob Williams, who was a former assistant here and is the current coach at UC Santa Barbara, who I spent six years with. And then Ray Giacoletti and Jim Boylen, who were the head coaches at the University of Utah. I worked with Ray Giacolleti for three years and Jim Boylen for one and they gave me some great opportunities to grow as a coach and a person.
"Bob Hawking probably has meant more to me a person, when I was 14 years old and first enrolled at Simi Valley High School, and all that he's done for me in the 30 years that I've known him. I'm sure Coach Hawking is watching, I love you, I will always love you.
"And Jim Harrick, whom all of you know, who gave me the opportunity to come to Pepperdine University. He gave me a scholarship. I came to his basketball camps when I was a little guy. He believed in me, he recruited me, he trusted me, he gave me an opportunity to play basketball and earn my degree. I'm sure Coach Harrick is out there watching. Coach, I love you as well and I appreciate all that you've done for me.
"Tom Asbury gave me great opportunities. Number one when I was 15 years old, I came to basketball camps here for two years, I got to know Coach Asbury, I worked with him, he worked with me and taught me some things in the game. But he gave me the opportunity to receive a scholarship as he recruited me as the lead recruiter as an assistant. He gave me the opportunity to play basketball here, he gave me the opportunity to earn my degree from Pepperdine University. Coach Asbury gave me the opportunity as a senior to be the captain on his first team as a head coach. It seems like yesterday. Coach Asbury gave me my first opportunity to become a Division I assistant coach 22 years ago. I was one year removed from playing basketball with several of the guys I was going to coach. Guys like Doug Christie, Geoff Lear, Steve Guild, Rick Welch, guys who were freshmen my senior year. There was a year inbetween. I was in charge of the guards and I asked Coach Asbury, `What do I do? How do I coach them? What do you want me to do?' He said, `Do what you did as a player, because I trust you're going to do the right things.' And that gave me a lot of confidence to handle the challenge that he presented me with. He challenged me every day to learn every aspect of the business, whether it was coaching, recruiting, fundraising, scouting. He gave me every challenge to be successful. I didn't understand it at the time, but he was preparing me for this day. Coach Asbury has always been there for me. Every time I had a chance to make a move or make a decision in the business, I've always called him, and he's always been there. He will always be there for me, he will be on my speed dial so any time I have a question, anytime I have a concern, anytime that I have an issue or a thought that I need to bounce off of him, he will be there when I call him. And then Coach Asbury had the faith in me to become his successor. I can never repay him. My duty to repay him is making sure this program succeeds. That's the best way that I can repay him. Coach Asbury, I know you're watching and listening, I love you and will always love you. You mean the world to me.
"To his wife, Carlie Asbury, who has been the ultimate head coach's wife, I know years ago when we were here before I was concerned that my wife would struggle with me eventually becoming a coach and all the ins and outs you have to deal with as a wife. But I just asked her years ago, watch Carlie. And when Carlie came back these last three years we've had even a closer role model for my wife to watch and follow and learn from. Carlie, I know you're watching and listening, we love you and will always love you as well.
"I want to thank my family. I have a lot of family that is here. First I want to thank my son, who couldn't be here, and that's a good thing. Probably more so for him, he hears me preach and talk to him all the time, so he's probably tired of hearing all of my speeches. But he's my shadow. I told my wife years ago when he gets to an age where he didn't need a nap I was going to start taking him to games, take him recruiting with me. He was my guy. He was always there wanting to go to games. I remember one time I came back from a game that we had lost, I had got back to the house about 2:30 in the morning, I couldn't sleep, I was so wired up I turned on the TV. He's about two years old and I see him come walking out of his room and he sits down right beside me. I'm looking at the TV and he starts looking at the TV with me. I'm watching a basketball game. I turn and look at him, and he turns and looks at me, and we both turn back and watch TV. He's my guy.
"My beautiful daughter, Jessica. Many of you that were here years ago when we were first here, she was born in the basketball family. I have photos to this day that I look and I'm still amazed that I used to carry her in one arm, almost like a football. And it's amazing to see what a gorgeous person she is and how she has grown and I am proud of the person that she is. I'm very thankful for my family.
"And my wife Mayra, we've been through everything. You have been there, you have sacrificed a lot of things, missed birthdays, missed anniversaries, missed holidays and other milestones of our kids' lives. My wife is a loyal, committed and understanding wife. You have to be a special person to deal with all the rollercoasters that you go through being a coach's wife. My wife is a special person because she believed in raising our kids in the church. Every time we had an opportunity to move, when we left Pepperdine the first time to go to the University of San Diego, when we left San Diego to go to Santa Barbara, when we left Santa Barbara to go to Utah, the very first thing she looked into was where is the nearest Church of Christ. Not anything else, where we were going to live, it was the nearest Church of Christ. She did that for a reason. Because of the travel that we do, the time that we spend away from our family, she wanted to create a church family for our kids. So when we're gone, we wanted a church family that would help her, help the kids, to continue to believe in the faith that we believe in. And I've always appreciated that. A lot of times when you travel as a basketball coach, you sacrifice time with your wife and kids to try to help build, mold and develop somebody else's kids as a basketball coach. Sometimes it can be difficult. If you have a family that doesn't understand that or is insecure with that, you'll struggle. But my wife has always been the type of person that welcomed our guys. We've always lived close to campus, she's always invited the guys over and made dinner. Our guys love the tacos and burritos that she makes. We've had guys invite themselves over to dinner because they love the tacos and burritos. One thing that's important is that she wanted the guys to know our family outside of basketball. That's always been important to us. Mayra, I couldn't do it without your trust, your motivation, your encouragement and your understanding, and I love you.
"I want to talk about my vision of building our basketball program back up. It's important for me to build on the foundation that Coach Asbury laid when he came back. I have a motto of what he did before, because I lived it. I sat in all the meetings, I was one of those assistants, so I understand the commitment, I understand the desire, I understand the process that we will have to take. And that's a mindset. Our staff is going to focus on the process. We're not just going to focus on trying to win games. We're in the process of building a basketball program. That's very important. We're going to do it the right way.
"My vision is to build a basketball program that the current students and alumni can be proud of. I know there are some alumni here, I know there are some current students here, I am an alum, I want to build a program that we all can be proud of ... It's my vision that the Pepperdine and Malibu community is excited about our team and our program. It's my dream that we can build our student section...
"It's my vision to one day coach in a new events center. That new events center is going to give us a facility that's going to surpass all other programs in our league. That new events center is going to tremendously impact our recruiting and impact how we build our basketball program.
"It's a vision of mine to recruit young men that will represent Pepperdine University, represent our basketball program and represent their families in a professional manner on and off the floor. It's my vision to recruit players who are good people, good students and good basketball players. We're going to have a slogan, `both feet in.' We want to recruit guys that will have both feet in. When we break our huddles in our jump circle, we're physically going to have both feet in that circle. We're not going to have two guys kind of straddling the circle, or halfway out and halfway in. We're going to have our coaches making sure everybody's two feet in, because it's a conscious effort of buying in to what's important to help this basketball program. Everything we're going to do is going to be team first. We're going to preach that, we're going to demand it, and we're going to encourage it. It's important for us to recruit guys that want to graduate, not just guys that want to be eligible. If we're on track to graduate, we're not worried about them being eligible. If we're on track to graduate, they have a goal, they have a plan of success, and that's important to us.
"Talking a little bit about basketball and the style of play, and I'm going to be real basic with this. It's important to me, I want a team that's going to be smart, I want a team that's going to be tough, I want a team that's going to be unselfish. That's what we're going to challenge our guys to become. That's what we're going to demand our guys to become. That's what we're going to recruit our guys to become. Defensively, we're going to compete. Our guys must have heard that word eight million times the last three years. They're going to hear it 80 billion times as long as I'm here. Everything we're going to do, we're going to compete. If we're running lines, we're going to compete. If we're lifting weights, we're going to compete. If we're jumping rope, we're going to compete. Because you don't win just by putting on your shoes and going out and competing at the game. Competing is going to become a habit for us. We're going to be a physical team, we're going to rebound, we're going to press. We want to create easy opportunities on the offensive end. Offensively, we're going to play as fast as we can play well. I want to push the ball, I want our guys to push the ball, I want multi-skilled guys that can create opportunities. But we're going to push the ball, we're going to share the ball, and most importantly we're going to take care of the ball. We're going to value every possession that we get. And we're going to be very disciplined. I want a team that's going to play the game within the game: blocking out, diving for loose balls, taking charges, doing all the little things that add up to those wins. That's the type of team that we're going to have.
"The last thing I want to talk about is what it means to be the head coach at Pepperdine. As I said before, it's a great honor, something I do with a great deal of pride and responsibility and integrity. It means, and President Benton said it earlier, it's more than just having a job. When I was at the University of San Diego, at Santa Barbara, at Utah, that was a job for me. I took it very seriously, but this is home. This is home for me. This is family. You all are family to me, and it means so much more than just coaching a team because I lived it. I went through all the stuff that our guys are going to go through. I sacrificed, I sweated, I ran, I didn't always enjoy it but it paid off. I don't know if you noticed, I'm wearing a ring today, this ring is from is from our 1992 championship team. For those of you that don't know, we were 24-7, but more important we were 17-0 in league. That's our vision. That's our commitment. We want to get Pepperdine basketball back to that level. For me being the head coach that means I get to live in Malibu, California. Unbelievable. The most beautiful campus in the world. I get to recruit young men and give them the opportunity that I had. I get to be the leader of young men, try to help them strive to reach their goals and their dreams. I get to be the leader of young men and help them mature into productive and successful men."