KL: We know Rip and Tay have a history with him. In your conversations with those two guys, what’s left of your foundation right now, what’s been their reaction to John’s hiring?
JD: I spoke to Rip and Tay before I hired Q and both of those guys were very happy with Q coming aboard as head coach. Those guys really, really respected Q when he was here, respected the work he did, respected his approach, respected his passion for the game. So those two guys are Kuester guys. They’re John Kuester guys. Having Ben back here now, who knows Kuester from his championship days here and from his time in Cleveland, will help make the transition. What I didn’t know was, the day Kuester came in to sign his contract, Rodney Stuckey happened to be here and I was getting ready to introduce them and they looked at me and said “We know each other.” They hugged and I said how do you two guys know each other? Stuckey said, “This was my Rookie All-Star coach.” They spent the weekend getting to know each other. They hugged and laughed. I didn’t know they had a small relationship. There are three or four of these guys here already who have some kind of background. That’s huge, when a coach comes in, to have a handful of guys who know what he stands for and can support him from that standpoint. That’s going to help make the transition a whole lot smoother for him.
Funny how things change.