CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern Athletic Director Jeff Barber formally introduced Autry Denson as the Buccaneers' new head football coach Wednesday morning at the Buccaneer Athletic Performance Center on the campus of CSU.
Select quotes and comments from CSU President Dr. Dondi Costin, Barber, and Denson can be found below. The complete press conference and media question-and-answer session are posted at the top and bottom of the article.
Dr. Dondi E. Costin, Charleston Southern University President
"This is a big day in the life of a university for all sorts of reasons. When we discovered we had a coaching vacancy, I asked Jeff Barber to look for three traits in the next coach. The first of those was that he would be a man of Godly character. That he would be a man who loved the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength. I wanted him to make sure that we had the right fit for our university that is decidedly and unapologetically Christian.
The next thing that I asked Jeff to look for in our next head coach was somebody who could be a leader, who would build a culture of Christian character. That culture would be honoring to Christ, that culture would be one that would lift up and that his main function was to make sure that these student-athletes were raised up to also love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.
The last thing that I asked Jeff to look for in a head coach was that he would be the kind of coach that would be committed to winning championships. This is a big day in the life of the University as we have found a man who does all of those things. We found a man who has great experience on the field itself, who understands what it's like to live as a man who is both student and athlete in that order, who understands what it's like to live that life. We found a man who loves the Lord his God, we found a man who loves his wife and his kids, and understands his primary function is to raise up young men to do the same.
We also found a man who has coached at the highest levels. We're grateful that Autry has decided that God has called him to this place."
Jeff Barber, Charleston Southern Athletic Director
"We appreciate everyone coming out today. I could not agree more – this is a big day for the university. I want to thank some folks too. I want to Dr. Costin and Luke Blackmon for their support through this five and a half week process. They've been terrifically supportive of me and been by my side in helping us.
Today is a great day for CSU. One of the reasons it is is another thank you. That's to thank Zane Vance who has served as our interim coach. It's also to thank our assistant coaches and I look around the room and see many of them here today. During this transition period, it's not easy, it's not fun, and they have kept our program where it needed to be.
It is a great day for our Buccaneer football program. It's a great day for the lives and the hearts of our young men who are currently with the football program and those who will choose to be a part of this program. It's a great day because this man to my right will change their life. He's going to make a big difference in who they are as people."
Autry Denson, Charleston Southern Head Football Coach
"First and foremost, I want to thank God, the Lord, and Savior. I believe every day that He wakes me up for a purpose and that purpose is to live out loud, on fire, and for Him. That's what I try to do. I want to thank my family, my aunt who is here, and some adopted family members who played with my dad. I'd also like to thank my beautiful wife. She's my rock. I want to thank my four beautiful children - Autry III, Ashley, Asia, Elijah. I'd like to thank my former teammates, coaches, mentors, so many people who have come into my life. Everything I'm going to say, I'm the product of so many people who have taken the time to care for me.
I'd like to thank Dr. Costin for taking the chance on me. Jeff Barber, I feel like we are connected at the hip right now. This process has been a process, but it has been one I wouldn't take with anyone else. Luke (Blackmon), my fellow banker here, I want to thank everybody for this opportunity.
I want to preface this by saying and this is how I spoke to the team this morning. There are very few times in life, very few opportunities when you have the chance to do something which is the status of legendary. There are very few opportunities that you get and I feel that today, right now, that is the time we have here at Charleston Southern. We have the chance to do something that has not been done, both on and off the field."
View the Full Press Conference Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sln0DsFWbR0&feature=youtu.be
View the Full Press Question-and-Answer Session Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5F1_FYizMk&feature=youtu.be