How tough was it for you to leave the Saints organization for Tulane? It wasn't tough at all once I was presented with the opportunity and the "lay of the land" so to speak, was explained to me. I felt it was a great opportunity and I am a person that believes in Divine Intervention and that He has a plan for me, so I trust in that when I make decisions.
For you personally, what's been the biggest adjustment moving back to the college game? My memory of what it takes to coach in the college ranks is clear in my mind from previous experience, so I was able to make the transition happen fairly seamlessly. There are obvious differences, but nothing "big" - just different.
What's the biggest challenge your team faces heading into the 2012 season? The "buy in" factor is always a tough thing when you first take a position with a new team. You have to get the players to buy into your vision and your plan for them personally and as a team. They have to trust and believe in you. My staff and I started that process day one of our tenure here and I feel like we have had great results so far. That was the biggest challenge and we've faced it already. I believe everyone will see a huge difference in our team both mentally and physically when we take the field Sept. 1, 2012.
Your team will be successful in 2012 if…? They have to believe. They have been preparing to perform at the highest possible level. They have to continue to buy into the vision and never let up. "Jonathan didn't just believe that God might give him the victory at the top of the cliff; he started climbing the cliff."
How soon can Tulane be a contender in C-USA? Immediately
Why should Green Wave fans be excited about the upcoming football season? I believe we are on the threshold of fielding a team that our loyal fans deserve. My staff and I are working toward that end and the players have bought into the plan. We are inspired by the response we've received from our supporters. Our fans ARE excited, they stay excited about us and are behind us.
Who has been the most influential person on your coaching career? The readers may have picked up the fact that I am most influenced, inspired and driven by God, but the most influential "person" has been with regard to my coaching career, I'd have to say there have been a few, but my father is the person I most emulate. He was a professional baseball player and then a politician at a time when he had many more obstacles and hurdles to overcome than I have today.
What would a new stadium mean for Tulane football? Obviously, having a home field would allow us to enjoy a home field advantage. It seems like a simple thing, but I think it will bring a "cohesiveness" to our "athletics family" that we haven't enjoyed for a very long time when it comes to football. It'll be our house, which is an engrained and innate thing to defend one's home. I am convinced that we will have an even larger fan base because it will allow more people to weave the tradition of going to the games into the fabric of their lives.
If you could change one thing about the college game what would it be? Why? I'll just say that the game is great, but maybe a little less paperwork would be nice. I think the general public would be very surprised to know just how much paperwork is involved on a day-to-day basis when it comes to college athletics. I don't see that changing though. The bottom line is I just want to be on the field with the players and coaches, so maybe I'm biased.