Clemson assistant football coach Ron West was a recent guest on SportsTalk with Dan Scott to discuss his return to the Clemson program. SportsTalk can be heard from 9 a.m.-12, Monday-Friday, on WCCP-Fm, 104.9 in upstate South Carolina.
Listen to the full interview here: Windows Media
DAN SCOTT: Ron West, I guess once former and now again Clemson football assistant is with us, just getting out of a recruiting meeting and is kind enough to give us a call here. Ron, welcome to the show. Ron, how are you? I would imagine this last 48-72 hours has been rather a tumultuous one here for you and your family.
RON WEST: Oh, it's been pretty hectic and I'm glad it's over. It's good to be back at home and I'm just glad it's over.
DAN SCOTT: Ron, walk us through what happened. From the reports that we got you had accepted the job at West Virginia and then the next thing we see a press release that you decided to come back and I know you and I talked for a bit yesterday and I'm just going to leave it up to you to divulge how much you want to divulge, but if you would, kind of tell us what happened and why you decided that in the end, it was best for you to remain here at Clemson.
RON WEST: Well, I'm not going to go into real detail about certain things, but the biggest thing, you know, we were attached to Coach Rodriguez, and Rita, we went, me and Becky, and we really enjoyed them, we enjoyed West Virginia, thought it was a very beautiful place, and just thought that they've got a tremendous program and they're doing a great job and it's a good offer, and there's no doubt that it was a good situation too for us there, but the thing that I got concerned about again, is that when we came back on the plane, the thing that I got concerned about, me and Becky had our first chance to be alone and got to talking about, the biggest thing is our family in this area, and the biggest thing is, you know, I had come to Clemson in '99 and I felt like that we had recruited really well, I felt like in the last 3 years we had recruited really well, we have a solid recruiting class going know, and I felt like we could do it, and I didn't want to run away from Clemson because this is a place I really enjoy, my family enjoys it, it's just a good place. I didn't want to run away just because of the pressures at Clemson. You know there's pressure. I'm disappointed that we didn't win the ACC and I'm disappointed that we didn't get in the ACC championship game the last 2 years and it's been very frustrating and we know that. We know what we have to do. We've got our foot in a little bit of a hole and we got to get out of it, but the point is, I felt like we could do it and I didn't want to give up on Clemson because I believe in it.
DAN SCOTT: You said something in our conversation yesterday; you always apply something when you go out and recruit players. You ask them a particular question that kind of deals with what happens if you're not playing football and you told me that you applied this to yourself, which I thought was very interesting.
RON WEST: Well, Dan, I do believe in the principles, you know you have a job, you always have a family structure that's going to be important outside of your job, and then where you live, the community you live in and what's important to you and I tell players all of the time, look if your picking Clemson without the football, let's just take the football off of it, you get hurt and you can't play, where will you feel the most comfortable? Where will you feel happy, where could you make it without football?
If it's Georgia and Athens, then go to Georgia. If it's Tennessee and Knoxville, then go to Tennessee, but if it's Clemson, follow your heart and go where you're the most comfortable, because when it's all said and done, that's what's going to make you happy anyway because it doesn't matter what you do in life, there's going to be a lot of obstacles and a lot of times, it's not going to be at the mountaintop all of the time. There's going to be some peaks and valleys, you're going to be in the valley and then you're going to get back up to the top, so the way I look at it, you've just got to trust your heart and do things based on those principles.
DAN SCOTT: I guess probably the thing lost in all this is that once you decided you wanted to remain at Clemson, you had to make a phone call to Tommy and make sure he wanted you back didn't ya? Laughter.
RON WEST: Oh yeah, that was the first thing and of course, he did and that worked out and we talked about that and then the hardest thing was having to call Rich, but I had to call Rich and tell him.
DAN SCOTT: It sounded like from what I've been read about it though, that Rich understood and handled it with class.
RON WEST: First class. It was nothing but first class and Rita was first class. I know Becky talked to Rita last night and they were great to us and I'll never forget that.
DAN SCOTT: Well Ron, I appreciate you getting back with us like you said you would yesterday, I know you're awfully busy with the recruiting again now for Clemson that 's going on right now. I can only tell you my friend that once the word got back that you were in effect going to stay at Clemson, based on the fan base, from what I've seen, they all seem to be very very excited that you've decided to stay inside the Clemson family and I know that should make you feel very good.
RON WEST: Well, it does, this is our home, having been here when we won championships when I was a player and then being back here, we've experienced some peaks, we've been at the low bottom and then we've been back at the top and we've had a winning season every year, but we've not accomplished our goals, but I really believe that now we're getting closer to getting our goals and getting what we want and I just don't want to give up on Clemson, I believe in Clemson and I believe in what it's all about.
DAN SCOTT: Then I tell you what we'll do, we'll get you off the phone and get you back on the road recruiting where you belong. We appreciate Ron West taking time out of his busy schedule to talk with us, it's crunch time now, signing day is coming!