Bryan Fetzer was named Virginia’s director of track and field/cross country on Tuesday (Dec. 20) and spoke with VirginiaSports.com shortly after being hired. This is the first section of a multi-part interview with the Cavaliers’ newest head coach.
Question: How does it feel to be named Virginia’s director of track and field/cross country?
Fetzer: It is absolutely amazing. I feel very blessed, honored and humbled. I am so excited to hit the ground running and try to make UVa better than it already is.
Question: What is your coaching philosophy and what you stand for?
Fetzer: My coaching philosophy is to communicate, to motivate and foster an environment that is filled with a passion for excellence. We’re going to make sure everyone is on the same page, that the athletes and coaches understand what is expected of them and they know what we’re trying to do and where we’re trying to go.
Communication with my student-athletes is important; I’ll always have an open door to talk and share our thought process. My job is to motivate, be positive and have a good attitude, not only with my students, but my staff and the folks that work with us.
Fostering an environment with people who have a passion of excellence. I want to be the best and I will always be a lot harder on myself than anybody else will. I will constantly expect and push our team to do their absolute best, no matter what it is. Whether it’s in the classroom, the weight room, on the track, at a meet or doing community service. I want people to look at our program and say, ‘Wow!’
Question: What attracted you to the University of Virginia?
Fetzer: It’s the total package. It’s an incredible academic school and a storied athletics’ program that’s in one of the great conferences in the country. It’s a no-brainer. I think the things we can accomplish can be great, but at the same time it can be very challenging. Having an opportunity to guide this program, I’m ecstatic about it.
Question: What are your goals for this program?
Fetzer: We’re going to graduate student athletes, get better every day, win championships and we’re going to be on the podium, which is top four in the country. Those are my big goals, but my first goal for the program is to create a team environment. I want everyone to realize that were all in this together. From every single athlete, men and women, from every event, all the coaches on staff to every single support staff member, from sports information, strength and conditioning, equipment and across the board and we all will function this team as a family. That’s the first goal, we accomplish that first goal, those big goals will come into place.