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MC Q&A Part 4

Although the start of your Panthers 2009 camp is still 49 days away (Aug. 10), the new season is gettingMc closer with the newest Panthers meeting today for orientation and an entire team meeting scheduled on Tuesday. FIU then starts its summer conditioning. We'll continue here with your Q&A with MC.

FIUFPL: What steps have you taken/will take to maintain attendance in these hard times?

FIUfantastic: What are you doing to ensure that every single seat in that new stadium is being filled? Commercials? Give-a-ways? Concerts?

Chrisfiu: My guess is attendance most likely will increase this fall. What efforts are currently underway to bring out as many fans to the games as possible?

**The 3 questions above are similar so MC answered them all at once:

MC: Well step number one is recruiting good players which is constant improvement of our product on the football field. That’s something that we’ve said since Day 1 that we wanted our FIU fans, alumni and family to take great pride in to come out and want to watch these guys  provide an exciting product.


Number two is being very visible in the community, everything from Big Brothers and Big Sisters to Habitat for Humanity, and making sure that the community knows that we do care about our people and our hometown.


Fans Thirdly, the advertising for the 2009 campaign is just about underway with everything from commercials to billboards to events promoting the upcoming season as well as reaching out to every alumni possible with contact information to come on out and support the team. I advise everyone out there right now that is a fan to reach out to 20 people and get them to that stadium, because those that have been there understand that when that place is rocking it is a special place and we still haven’t reached its full potential like we can. You have my word always that we are going to put something on the field that is going to be fast and ferocious. It’s going to be geared toward winning championships.


The biggest thing also is always on a program to continually get better. Also, some of that responsibility is on the fan base as well to really put forth a great effort since we are building something that is extremely special. It’s evident it’s one of the best turnarounds in college football last year. It’s going to continue to grow. It’s an exciting thing, but what really generates enthusiasm and excitement is when the fans and alumni take it upon themselves to realize, wow, our school, our team right here in the community is doing some pretty special things and we need to go out there and support it.


FIU Fanatic: Any late additions/substractions from signing class you can talk about? When do you expect signees to report to take classes at FIU?

MC: Everything looks to go according to plan as what we announced on signing day.

They will be here for orientation on Monday, June 22. Most of them, especially the local guys have already had their physicals. They are all graduating from high school this week (MC answered these questions in late May). In the next couple of weeks once they have received full clearance they will be joining us for workouts for the beginning of their summer session as well and officially becomingSbctrophy members of the Panther family.

Nick F: First and foremost, I want to sincerely thank you for making us Alumni proud of our Football Team and I applaud your commitment to the program!! What are your/the programs goals for next season, 3 years, 5 years?

MC: Improvement every year until we win our first championship and then continue bringing home championships.

Gold: Do you see a change in attitude by the players from year to year since your inaugural year? If so what is the change?

MC: Absolutely. Number one it’s from a commitment standpoint and becoming a student of the game in the way they carry themselves and in the way that they go back to their hometowns and they are wearing FIU gear head to toe. The pride they take in the classroom. The respect they show their peers. The amount of work that they do in the community and the hunger and the approach on a daily basis to becoming a championship football program.

Baltimore Panther: I know you expect 100% from all your players, but what unit do you expect to lead the team?


MC: I can answer that question I would say in the second week of camp. You saw a big-time Pm leader step up in T.Y. Hilton last year. You saw Paul McCall step up. You saw Scotty Bryant step up. A healthy Jeremiah Weatherspoon is a guy that needs to step up. Anthony Gaitor stepped up in a big-time way. Greg Ellingson has stepped up. You see a lot of guys that have stepped up, but we need guys on the offensive and defensive lines to be those names that come to mind right away. I cannot emphasize that enough and it may sound like a broken record and I know that and it needs to be that. Our team needs to know that the offensive and defensive line need to have a phenomenal summer in the weight room, because we are going to coach them as hard as humanly possible.


FIUPIKE: Do you think we have the ELITE speed to match up and give Saban some problems?

MC: I don’t think we have elite speed. To me elite speed is 4.3 across the board. We are not there. Do we have players that can give people problems? I believe we are getting there. We trust that anyone we play against we are going to give them problems. We are always recruiting to get to that elite speed. I think very few teams in the country have that elite speed, but being here a team in Florida we areAabs recruiting to get there.

CJ: How can I lose 10 lbs along the mid section? Being that you’re the fittest coach in all of  college football according to ESPN. I’m sure you know, haha.

MC: (Laughs) I think the best way to do this is to employ you as a volunteer tight ends coach for fall practice and we’ll run around for an entire month and eat healthy food and take in some Panthers football.

An insider: Does your blood still bleed orange and green, or is FIU truly in your heart?

MC: FIU is where my heart is. FIU has provided myself, our coaches and our players with an opportunity to make history and this is our only focus. People always bring up alma mater, because it’s a place that you played at and I think every player or coach that played somewhere has to carry a degree of pride for the place you played for, but it should never, ever take away from the focus of what your job is and that is to make your place the best place in the country.

Dp Bruce: How concerned are you about the depth behind Darriet Perry at running back?

MC: Right now, it’s DP, Darian Mallary, Daunte Owens, [Receiver] Kendall Berry has been moved to running back. He kind of played more of that in high school. John Ellis is another back we have back there. Jonathan Ramirez did a nice job in the spring. You always want more. We would like to have more backs and we plan on signing at least 3 backs this year. I feel good about our guys, but we have to stay healthy.

OC Panther: Do you talk shop with any of your peers?

MC: Discretionary shop. Never, ever talk about recruiting. Doesn’t matter if it’s a guy that everyone knows about or no one knows about. We never, ever disclose any information regarding our recruiting and the betterment of our program. In terms of scheme that doesn’t apply and there are no overlaps, maybe. Usually, we go visit and we ask a lot of questions, butJep we don’t tend to answer many.







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