We’re live at Cadillac Williams’ press conference following Auburn’s 13-10 win over Texas A&M. Williams won his first game as Auburn’s caretaker manager.
We will update live from Jordan-Hare.
– “First of all, I want to give all praise and glory to my Lord and Savior,” Williams said to open the press conference. I want to thank my family – many sleepless nights that have allowed me to do what I do. I would like to thank my coaching team. I get so much credit for it and it’s a shame.”
— “I want to thank these players. man, how awesome are they? I challenged her to be vulnerable, to open her heart and let us in. You have people who care about you.”
— “I honestly feel like God designed these buses for this,” Williams said. “To pour into these children.”
— “There are so many people touching these children. I really want to thank them for believing in a small town guy who was scared as a puppy last week.”
– “This Auburn brand, this Auburn family – this place is special. This place changed the whole development of the Williams family.”
— “Wow. I always enjoy watching defenses. I always love to see defenses flying around. The tenacity, the fight, the grind, the hitting, the physicality. What talent we lack and what people are saying , we can make up for that with our effort.”
— “This place should always be at the forefront of college football. This is a place for you to develop, not just on the field but off the field as well. People have a passion for Auburn football, but also for humanity.”
— “What we lack in talent, as people say, and bodies with people who have moved on… we can make up for that with our effort, attitude and mindset.”
— “Why don’t you want to come to Auburn? I coached at IMG in 2017 and 2018, and every player that came on campus earlier said, “Coach, I understand why you chose Auburn. It is different. It has a different sound, a different feel.’”
— “Look at me: first African-American coach in this position. It’s something that never crossed my mind. Not only do dreams come true here, but something you would never have thought of.”
Well – (exhales) First of all, I want to give all praise and glory to my Lord and Savior. Then I want to thank my family who – many sleepless nights that have made it possible for me to do what I do. I want to thank the coaching staff, I’m telling you I get so much recognition and it’s a shame. I tell myself all the time, if you only knew the kind of work they do behind closed doors and how they’ve completely bought themselves in and when challenged, “We have to be more persistent than our children; like, they need us.’ Honestly, I feel like God created us coaches to invade the lives of these kids, because I had coaches once in my life from Steve McConnell, who was my peewee coach; from Rod Gray(?), who was my middle school coach; and to coach Raymond Farmer, who was my high school coach. They laid that foundation for me and I am forever grateful to them.
“I want to thank these players. I mean how awesome are they? I challenged her to be vulnerable, to open your heart, to let us in. You have people who care about you, people who want to see you do good. A lot of times it just felt like they didn’t feel that way, and sometimes – as I told my co-workers when I took this job, and I’m a part of it – we’ve let these kids down. It’s our job to uplift them, inspire them, empower them, make them run, and we haven’t done our job well enough.
“I want to thank the coaches. Wow. Robbie and his staff. Dana, the equipment and his staff. Allison, her staff. So many people touching these kids just really want to thank them for simply believing in a small town guy who was scared as a puppy last week. I’m just telling you Frightened. And I let her know I was scared. I need you all; I’ve never done that. I will lean on you all.
“Finally, this Auburn brand, this Auburn family – this place is special. It had changed the entire development of the Williams family. I mean, from a player, an unbeaten season, fifth draft pick, rookie of the year, from the relationships — look, it felt like the whole 2004 team and the guys I played with for theirs Seeing faces to see how happy they were – it’s unreal. This place is special. And to see the support of the fans putting a battery in my back and energizing me where I was trying early on to be like a lot of coaches you know like I’m the big boss and maybe mine Cross your arms and maybe look serious. You know how typical coaches do it. But thank goodness for Jarquez, Tank Bigsby, Damari Alston, Sean Jackson, Jordon Ingram. Luke Reebels, Justin Jones. Last week these guys checked on me and they could see how nervous I was. I would tell them, ‘Yeah, I’m scared, guys.’ They said, “Coach, just be you.” We’ve been telling these guys for a long time that you all need to speak to Coach ‘Lac. Just as you approach us and flow into our lives, just do it to the entire team. I said, ‘Yeah, but it’s like six seven of you all. There are 120 people along with coaches. It is different.’ To hear that, they have to tell me, ‘Just be you, Coach.’ I tell you, be you. I slept a little. And that’s what I decided. I will be vulnerable, open and transparent with them. I just appreciate this time. It is something special and something no one can ever take from us. This is an opportunity to be in Jordan-Hare. With that, I will open up with questions.”
“Wow. I told the defense – and everyone will tell you, when I was a player here I always loved watching the defense play. I love watching the defense fly around. I love watching the relentless effort the grind the play together the 11 men on the ball the tenacity the fight the grind the hitting the physicality love it like i told you i cant wait to see the… To see cats play and what we lack in talent people say and bodies and people who have moved on and the naysayers – we can’t do that, we don’t have big boys – we can do that with our effort, our attitude make amends, the way we think. Those are the things I can control. One thing I know about a team is that when we pull together we can believe in each other – one team that fights, one team that serves, one team that is disciplined, a team that believes – the sky is the limit. I was part of a team that had done that. As I told you, I want you all to feel the joy I have had to be here at Auburn University for four years. And since we’re in a relationship with men and two decades later the same set of brothers, the buddies I played with, we’re still living together. So that’s what I really want for these young men in the dressing room.”
To Auburn becoming a contender in the future.
“Man, look at all of college football. Why don’t you want to come to Auburn? I coached at IMG from 2017-2018 and every player that used to come to campus here said, “Coach, I understand why you chose Auburn. It is something different. It has a different sound. It feels different.” So, along with the new facility and the Auburn people, this place has always been at the forefront of college football. Because, I can tell the recruits, it really is the people inside the walls. People who serve, people who are in the community. And here you can develop not only on the pitch, but also off the pitch. People who are passionate about Auburn, about Auburn Football, but also about humanity – love, caring, work, hard work. It’s everything kids who want to be better, who want to serve and do great things in life, can do here at Auburn. It’s a place where dreams come true. Look at me. First African American in this leadership position. Something I’ve never thought of. It never crossed my mind. So not only do dreams come true here, but things you don’t even think about can come true. Who would have ever thought that I would be standing here because God knows I wasn’t.”
On Colby’s Strip:
“Great piece by Colby. I mean wow Tempers were running, you know boys, you could tell, the boys started barking about offense. Those defensive guys, they always were. They always bark on offense. We kind of faltered in the third quarter, but to let that young man make that game, in the four years that I’ve been here with him and seen him grow as a young man into what he did (and) did Leader that he is, I’m so happy for him. So happy he got the opportunity to do this piece and bring us to life and kind of put a stamp on him there because they had some momentum there and getting that strip fumble was a blast.
On the cue ball:
“My type D-Hall. I don’t really think about no cue ball and that D-Hall and Shenk and these guys and Colby Wooden and these guys show up and say, ‘Coach, we appreciate what you’ve done, how you’ve done it’ into our lives have cast. The change (and) they believe in us.’ It’s all for these young men to hand me that cue ball. I am forever grateful.”
About Jarquez and Tank:
“Well we had two balls on the floor so I’ll take care of that. There will definitely be some ball safety drills next week and they know I’m going to beat them. You know it. Let me tell you something about them too. I’m so fortunate to have the opportunity to coach two guys, young men of high character who let me flow into their lives and be vulnerable all the time. And they know that I stand on the truth and will call things by their proper name. A lot of times they’re frustrated with me, but like I’ve told them, man, ‘I love you guys too much to just see you going through the moves or not giving your all every day.’ And to see how Tank Bigsby has progressed from newcomer to today, that’s all. He’s as raw as they come. Big heart. Then Jarquez, a workaholic. Served, very selflessly. So it’s a pleasure to see these guys contribute, but like I said to those two guys, I know how badly they wanted this for me. I could see it on their faces. How they wanted me to succeed. man it’s awesome. It’s great to be able to coach them guys.”