ACC Kickoff quote book: Coastal Division

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The Osceola takes a look back at some of the best quotes from Coastal Division players and coaches this week at ACC Kickoff. We have some of the best quotes from the Atlantic Division players and coaches here.

Miami first-year coach Manny Diaz (who was an FSU grad assistant in the late 1990s)

“That game is like a holiday to me. And hopefully it won’t be very long until it becomes a game like what I suspect it should that the winner has the inside track not just to winning the ACC but to winning the national championship. That’s how I remember it. If you look back to who won the national championship in those given years, it usually came down to who won that game. There’s been a mutual respect between the two programs. It’s a heated rivalry, for sure, but I think both schools have always respected each other because we always play before we got in the ACC together. … You look at the game the last three years, it doesn’t seem like it matters what everybody’s record is and what they got going on when they come in, the games weirdly all turn into one-point games. It’s just bizarre how that happens.”

North Carolina coach Mack Brown

“When we got out of coaching five years ago, I talked to Dick Vermeil. He said, Don’t ever say you won’t get back in coaching. You don’t know what opportunities can come up, how you’ll feel at that time. I kept saying we would look at things. Every year, as much as I love TV, we would interview at some job. None of them seemed to fit, whether they didn’t want us, we didn’t want to live there, whatever. I actually asked Sally a year ago, a prominent job I was interested in called and asked if I would talk to them. I asked my wife, Sally, ‘Would you go here?’

“She said, ‘No, I’m not going to go there. I don’t want to live there, you don’t fit there. That’s stupid. We are not doing that. I’ll let you coach in Hawaii, I’ll let you coach in The Bahamas.’ I said, ‘They don’t even have football.’ She said, ‘Well, we’ll start a team called the Bahamas Iguanas. Or I’ll let you coach in Chapel Hill. That’s it.’ We really liked Larry Fedora. He was a great friend. Never thought we’d coach again. Bubba called at the end of the year.”

North Carolina offensive lineman Charlie Heck

“So obviously I’d heard of him, national championships at Texas. I was super excited. And just what I’ve heard from previous UNC players that have been through the program who have stopped by. Something that’s interesting is Coach Brown brought in a lot of former players. They’ve been saying the same things that I’ve been witnessing firsthand, how Coach Brown will go to bat for you, he’s always there for the players. I’m already starting to see the improvements. We have the brand-new indoor facility, best in the country. The brand-new turf football field. It’s beautiful. I’m excited to play on it.”

Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins (on beginning his day at Waffle House)

“It’s been a great relationship. There’s 400 Waffle Houses in the state of Georgia. The fact that everybody loves Waffle House, at least I know I do, just the relationship, a lot of those guys are Georgia Tech graduates. The founder, upper level management. It’s been a really neat thing. I had zero idea that it was going to take off the way it did. there’s not a Waffle House within an hour of Philadelphia (Collins previously coached at Temple). When I got back down to Atlanta, the first nine days on the job, by 5 a.m. I was in a Waffle House. It just kind of organically happened. But it’s genuine. Everybody loves Waffle House, and I’m one of those people.”

Duke coach David Cutcliffe

“I think we got a lot of outstanding coaches. The ACC, this is 12 years for me, is at a height that it is by far the best football conference it’s been. It’s as good as any football conference in the country. … I think every team in our division believes it can win a championship right now. The proof is in the pudding, which is what I like. You’re going to win it on the field. There are not going to be any gifts in any game you play in the ACC any more. That’s when you know you’ve arrived as a conference. We want to make all of your guys’ jobs really tough in picking a champion. That’s our goal as coaches. So we’ll see. Don’t change your pick halfway through now.”

Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins

“I’ve always been the biggest critic of myself. I’m definitely self-motivated to do better more so for personal reasons rather than having a lot of attention on me. I definitely want to be the best version of me I can. Last year gave me something to work on and gave me a platform to strive for this year, kind of overachieve on that. I’m just making sure that I’m all I can be for this team. I think what separates a good quarterback from great quarterback is the ability to win a championship. Having that as a motivation, just keep going.”

Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall

“He’s the primary reason we jumped our win output from six to eight. He’s one of the primary catalysts for our program. I acknowledge his role. Quite frankly, how he goes, we go. That’s part of being a quarterback at UVA under our system.”

Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente

“It’s such a unique situation in terms of what we inherited, following a Hall-of-Fame coach, continuing to try and build on that legacy, all that’s been accomplished at Virginia Tech. I’ve never felt better about the direction and the purpose that we all have moving forward with this program. If there’s one thing I think we do well, it’s evaluate, self-evaluate as coaches, as players in terms of how can we do things differently, how can we do things better, how can we be more efficient in our protocols. What can we do to help our kids play at a higher level.”

Pittsburgh coach Pat Narduzzi

“Where are we after four seasons going into the fifth season? I feel good about where we are. I felt good every year. I think we’ve got great kids, I think we’ve got great character. We’re going to find out what’s season has got. After four years, you get to a championship game, I think things are going in the right direction. The question about winning the Coastal, is it a success or not, I mean, nothing is a success unless you win a national championship. I think that’s the ultimate success is when you do that.”

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