New UTC coach Rusty Wright thrilled to see daughter play Division I basketball

New UTC football Rusty Wright speaks during his introductory news conference on campus Friday.

KNOXVILLE - After a crazy couple of weeks, Rusty Wright has had a few opportunities to be just a dad.

The new University of Tennessee at Chattanooga head football coach turned his phone off for four days during the Christmas holiday, focusing his time on his wife, Kelly, and daughter Maddie, a junior forward on the Belmont women's basketball team.

Since being announced as UTC's new football leader on Dec. 21, Wright has fielded texts or phone calls from former Liberty coach Turner Gill, former Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino and even Alabama coach Nick Saban, among many others. There have been numerous calls from career-long assistants, like Wright, who are happy to see one of their own get a chance to lead his own program.

He's also had a lot of people visit his office to offer congratulations or even drop by the house, to the point where Kelly told him one day, "This is how it's going to be."