April 12, 2007
BERKELEY, Calif. - Cal head coach Joanne Boyle addressed the media in a teleconference April 11 to discuss her commitment to the Golden Bear program. Following is a sample of Boyle's comments.
"Through the process, I've been flattered and humbled that Duke even considered me for the position, being an alumni. I told the kids (my team) the reason that people are calling me is because of our success and what we've been able to build here at Cal. This is a tribute to Cal and what we're building here. Ultimately, that was one of the reasons I couldn't leave."
On other reasons why she couldn't leave and whether she was offered the job at Duke
"I was offered. The administration is awesome at Duke and here, as well. Everyone knows five years ago when I got real sick, it changed my life. I've lived more in the last five years of my life than I think I did in the first 35. I'm on this incredible journey, and I'm running in a track meet, and I'm finding so many new things out about myself and my life and the journey I'm supposed to be on. I'm here at Cal, and we've been able to build something pretty special in two years. I have no idea where this journey is going to go. Being on Duke's campus and being around people that I love and have been around forever, but it felt like that is not the place for me at this time in my life. It had nothing to do with Duke. It's not that I didn't want to be at Duke. It's that I feel like my journey is here at Cal. You've got to follow your heart. As much as I kept trying to put myself there, I knew that I didn't want to start the first 20 years of my life at Duke, which I did, and finish the last 20 years of my life at Duke. To me, that wasn't the journey of my life I felt like I was being called to. At least, not now. That chance might never open for me again. I have to be at peace with that. It took me the process to get through that."
On whether it was a dream job to one day be the head coach at Duke
"When I left Duke five years ago, I was walking out of the gym to get in my car to go to Richmond. I looked back, and in my mind, I wondered if I would ever be back here again. That was only five short years ago. People have dream schools when they grow up as kids, and there are dream jobs. It was. Things happen for a reason. Timing is everything in everybody's life. I wouldn't have had the opportunity to do what I've done if I hadn't gotten sick because I don't know if I would have left Duke. I don't always follow the norm. You have to know who you are as a person and what is best for you. I'm excited to not know where I'm going to be in seven years. If I'm at Duke and knowing that I'm there for the next 20 years, I don't know if that's the way I'm supposed to write my story. I like the excitement of not knowing and knowing this is the place for me right now. We're building something special."
On what is special about Cal
"It wasn't about the money at Duke. It wasn't about that stuff. It's about what are you living your life for? What are you trying to figure out about yourself? What are you doing? We've created something special here. It's not me that's doing it. It's my staff that's done it, and these kids have bought into us. We have a great group. I love living here. It's about how far can we take this thing? That's what I was feeling most strongly about."
On whether she'd be too comfortable at Duke
"It took a lot to come out here and do this. It was definitely part of the decision. It wasn't a fear of following Gail (Goestenkors). I worked through that in my mind. 'Can you do that? Do you want to follow Gail?' I knew I could become my own person there. I knew I could accomplish all of that. It was saying you spent 20 years there. Do you want to finish 20 years there? Or, is there more to the story than that? A lot of people look at it like it's one of the best jobs in the country, and it's Duke basketball, and you can win a national championship. For somebody, if that feels right to them, then that's the person that needs to have that job. That's not my journey right now. I don't know what we're supposed to be doing here. I feel like it's something special. I couldn't just cut it off in the middle and say, 'Go be comfortable.' It wasn't where I was at. As hard as it is, that's not where I'm at in my life."
On how the final decision was made and when she told the Cal players
"I strategically tried to plan last night. I gave myself until this morning. I wanted to sleep on it one more night. I was walking around my house this morning for about an hour. `Are you sure? Are you sure? Are you sure?' It's been a big story about Gail (Goestenkors) leaving (Duke). I wanted to handle it very delicately. I talked to my team the day Duke called me. The day I decided to go for an interview I talked to my team, and today I talked to them. They have been a part of this whole process with me. I wasn't going to leave them out there wondering what was going on. They've known all along, the truth, the rumors. I've been honest with them about the process. I called Sandy (Barbour, Cal Athletic Director) this morning and told her I was staying at Cal, and then I called Joe Alleva (Duke AD) and Jackie Silar (Duke SWA) and Coach K (Duke men's coach Mike Krzyzewski) and a couple other people and explained why. I texted my team because I couldn't see them today until 3 o'clock, and I knew it was going to get out. I said, 'I hope this is a good thing, and I'll meet with you at 3 o'clock or 4 o'clock,' which I did. I would have liked to have had their reaction where I get them all in a room and said it. I just felt they were going to know beforehand, and since it was good information, I went about it that way. They've been supportive."