Tim Kish was weighing a few professional possibilities when one suddenly popped up at Oklahoma. In his eighth year as an Arizona assistant coach, he was promoted to interim head coach when Mike Stoops was fired in October. Hired earlier this week as the Sooners linebackers coach, Kish will again work with Stoops. The 57-year-old spoke Thursday to The Oklahoman about the transition. Kish said he has introduced himself to his linebackers. He plans to meet with them together, for the first time, on Friday.
You arrive with the reputation of being a solid recruiter. Could you explain how you're unique to that description and what you think is important in the recruiting process?
“I think there are a lot of good recruiters out there. For me, it's building relationships with people and establishing friendships with the prospects, themselves, or whoever might be the champion in that family, the moms or dads or aunts or uncles. For the most part with me, you get what you see. I'm very honest about where I've represented, where I've been and what we've done.
“I'm tireless at doing what I do. I enjoy being in homes, talking with the kids. Now, I understand, too, the amount of work that goes into it. I think people are looking for genuine people to be around. It's going to be easy for me to sell the University of Oklahoma and Coach Stoops.”
To that end, it can only help you, right, that you're at a school now with the resources that a school like OU has?
“I've been at schools that are traditionally schools that need to be worked up from the bottom up. When you get those programs turned around, that's very rewarding for everyone involved. In our profession, we call it the haves and have nots. This is a place that's a have. For me, to be a part of Oklahoma – its tradition, its future – that's something that, in its own right, that's very, very exciting for me to be involved with.”
How much of a surprise was this, really, to land here? Even with Mike coming back, it still seemed for a while as if Brent Venables would stay.
“Oh, I never thought that for a minute this would happen. I understand where Brent's coming from. I've known Brent for years, because of the interactions between the staffs. He's a great guy. He did an excellent job here, I know that. For him, at that time, when he made his decision, he felt it was best for him and his family. It was hard for anyone to predict that might happen. I had been in conversation with both Mike and Bob. I knew there was a possibility of this coming to fruition, but you never know until it actually happens.”