Newly-hired Kansas State males’s basketball coach Jerome Tang spoke to the media for the primary time on Thursday, March 24. Tang instantly mentioned all the pieces the gang needed to listen to.
“I realized this phrase,” Tang mentioned. “EMAW. EMAW! I get goosebumps. Each Man a Wildcat.”
The press convention was held within the Shamrock Zone in entrance of a whole bunch of followers and a slew of media personnel. Athletic director Gene Taylor launched Tang to the stage and had nothing however good issues to say about his new rent.
“We discovered our man,” Taylor mentioned. “I didn’t know who he was personally … after that first hour, the bar was set fairly excessive. We talked to some nice candidates – all head coaches – and each time we went again to [Tang]. It was only a match, and we felt it.”
All through all the press convention, Tang gauged the room and gave the Wildcat trustworthy all the pieces they needed to listen to. Sometimes, “coach-speak” can sound superficial, however nobody doubted what Tang delivered to the stage Thursday.
Tang was requested why he took the job at Ok-State over different colleges, to which he merely replied with, “As a result of [athletic director Gene Taylor] mentioned sure.”
The response was adopted by a roar of applause from the gang.
“I consider that there have been alternatives that I needed to take, they usually had been blocked on function as a result of there was one thing larger that was deliberate in my life,” Tang mentioned. “When folks inform you no, it could possibly influence your ego or make you’re feeling unhealthy about your self, or you may say, ‘God mentioned one thing greater for me.’ I’m right here, greater, higher.”
Tang shared the story of when Baylor head coach Scott Drew realized of Tang’s hiring at Ok-State. Drew and Tang helped flip round a Baylor program overrun with quite a few scandals and NCAA infractions.
When Drew took over this system, he was handed a bottle of wine and was informed to not open it till one thing joyful occurred. After an NIT championship, three Elite Eights, two convention championships and a nationwide championship, the wine remained unopened. Drew took the bottle over to Tang’s home after studying of his hiring at Ok-State.
“These deep bonds, that take colleagues, to mates, to brothers for all times … that’s what we’re going to do right here,” Tang mentioned. “I plan to be at your weddings, ship you one thing when your first son is born, daughter is born, I’m going to have that image up in my workplace.”
Even with the connection between the 2, Tang doesn’t plan on taking it simple when he reunites with the Bears.
“Scott Drew is a terrific man,” Tang mentioned, “however I count on you to present him a tough time when he comes right here.”
Born in Trinidad (West Indies), Tang spoke concerning the path he needed to take to get right here. In a video from the Ok-State males’s basketball Twitter account when he first launched the crew, Tang mentioned he wasn’t “born with a silver spoon in his mouth.”
— Ok-State Males’s Basketball (@KStateMBB) March 24, 2022
“Whenever you put within the work, you may go on the market and play confidently,” Tang mentioned on the press convention. “The one cause I’m right here is as a result of I work exhausting. My dad and mom are immigrants, I’m an immigrant. No one handed us something. We simply out-worked folks … we’re going to get credit score as a result of we’re going to have the ability to step out on the courtroom and belief the work that we put in.”
All through the press convention, Tang would take a second to collect himself whereas his feelings received excessive. Tang was requested how he deliberate on conserving his feelings in verify.
“I actually don’t wish to hold it in verify,” Tang mentioned. “That is who I’m. I’m actually passionate, I care deeply, I’ve no drawback crying, I’ve no drawback laughing, I’ve no drawback cheering. That’s my coronary heart. After I actually, actually care about one thing, I’m all in.”
Each time the story would drift into a brand new matter, Tang discovered a strategy to carry it again to the fanbase, displaying the significance he locations on filling up Bramlage Coliseum on recreation days.
“I used to be all the time blown away by the followers and the group and the vitality and simply extraordinarily, extraordinarily grateful for that,” Tang mentioned. “I keep in mind the scholars tearing up the paper and throwing it up within the air and pondering, ‘Man, that’s so cool.’”
Tang will function the primary Black head coach in Kansas State males’s basketball historical past.
“It’s fairly cool to be part of historical past and be capable of go away a legacy for my children, however I received to verify it’s an incredible legacy … so we received to get gamers and we received to win,” Tang mentioned.
Tang, 55, signed a six-year contract, receiving $2.1 million in 2022-23, growing $100,000 yearly by means of 2027-28.