i like 'em both
IMO, since Bo left, UM has often looked not at the strength of its leaders but their weaknesses. So, it has often chosen opposite, new leaders who lack these weaknesses, but who often also lack the strengths of their predecessors. And that has led to serious problems.
Consider first coaching. UM went from the defensively-principled, tough-as-nails Bo to the offensively-minded Moeller. But Moeller was perceived to have an alcohol problem, which he reportedly refused to get help for. So (regardless of the truth or falsity of this perception), UM turned to a man they perceived as more principled and intelligent Carr. Yet, when Carr’s record began to plateau, he was called too old and predictable. So, UM turned to the inventive spread-coach, RR. But his defensive incompetence then made UM go the opposite way. So, now UM is back to a defensive-minded but offensively disorganized Hoke.
In choosing its AD, UM also has seemed to choose each succeeding leader as the opposite of his predecessor. For example, under the cloud of scandal, the aggressive fund-raiser, Roberson was replaced as AD by his opposite: the less profit-minded, more flamboyant and humanistic Goss. Then, after Goss led the UM AD to the brink of financial ruin, UM chose the opposite once again: a quiet, out-of-touch financier named Martin. Ill-equipped for the myriad public relations disasters during the hiring and demise of RR, however, Martin himself was then also was replaced by a dramatically different type of AD: the publicity-seeking brand-maker Brandon. His public relations campaign seemed to work wonders at first. But the obsession with publicity and profit ended up making UM look far worse.
So what can we learn from the past forty years of UM’s athletic leadership choices? Most clearly they have taught us what not to do—that is, just choose the opposite type of leader from the one you have now. It does not work for very long. Why? When you choose a leader, he fills his program or department with one type of student or employee. But if you then fire him and choose just the opposite type of leader, there is no growth in the program. It is like putting matter together with anti-matter. If they collide, what do you get? They annihilate each other in a violent explosion. In an organization, that means turnover, disorganization, and chaos.
So, no matter how angry we feel sometimes, we should learn from past experience. We should recognize not just the bad in our past leaders and seek their opposites. We should also recognize the good in our past leaders, then search for new ones with their best characteristics. The toughness of Bo, the fire of Moeller, the inventiveness of RR, the intellect of Carr, the likeability of Hoke. The decision about whom we should choose now I leave to others, who are far more knowledgeable than me.
But IMO, only if we seek to see the Best in our own past Leaders can we hope to find the new Leaders and Best.
This post is predicated on the concept that all open, or theoretically soon to be open, positions at the University must be posted. Maybe the later is wishful thinking...
Unfortunately, you are out of luck for athletic department or coaching jobs, unless you are:
- a volunteer coach (Women's Lacrosse)
- a video coordinator (Men's Lacrosse)
- a temporary personal trainer
- athletic facilities assistant
Go see for yourself:
I've done a little research, and I'm unable to confirm whether either Hoke, Brandon, or Nussmeier's jobs were ever posted.
So, any of you potential coaching or AD candidates, just move along. There's nothing to see here... yet.
Thank you for contacting us and sharing your concerns about the state of intercollegiate athletics at the University of Michigan. I greatly appreciate the thoughtful input that I and other leaders have received from you and many other members of our community. Such input only serves to enhance my feeling of pride at becoming a member of the Michigan family.
The passion you bring to U-M, and in particular U-M Athletics, is both amazing and apparent. We appreciate your commitment to the university and support of our student-athletes. This depth and intensity of dedication help make Michigan a great and special institution. We value your support and recognize your concerns.
On the issue of student-athlete safety, I am extremely disappointed in the events surrounding the handling of an on-field injury to Shane Morris, one of our football players. I have apologized for the breakdown in our system of responding to player injuries. New measures to correct issues identified last weekend and enhance player safety will be implemented for our October 4 game at Rutgers. I support these immediate changes in medical protocols that the Athletic Department has identified in its initial assessment, and I have instructed the Department to do a thorough review of our in-game player safety procedures with the involvement of experts from our Health System.
I pledge to make sure that our procedures going forward reflect the very best practices for student-athlete safety and will enforce the necessary accountability to protect the health of our players.
Is everyone getting this response to emails calling for new AD?
Since my arrival in July, I have spent a great deal of time getting to know our campus and students. I have been particularly struck by the conviction and drive of our student-athletes both on and off the field, and I am focused on doing all I can to support them in their academic, athletic and community efforts. Like all aspects of our university, I aspire for athletics to continue to be among the “leaders and best” and will work toward this goal in the months and years ahead.
We know that we must find the way to maintain the traditions we hold so dear while keeping our athletic program vibrant and competitive into the future. We are learning from our experiences and we are listening to alumni and fans. I feel that I owe it to our university community, our alumni, the many fans of our athletic teams, our student-athletes, and the dedicated leaders and staff of our Athletic Department to thoughtfully and deliberately consider the right way forward.
Thank you again for taking the time to write. I hope that you continue to support our student-athletes, our athletic traditions, and our great university as passionately as you always have.
I have never seen this kind of activism at mgoblog, but may be it's time for it. Could we create a petition demanding that Brandon have no part in the choosing of a new coach? I think it should say something to the effect that it is his bad decision-making and micromanagement that has led to this impasse, and a group of thoughtful, trusted alums and employees should be chosen to carry it out. There is too much bad blood now attached to his name for the community to trust any process he is at the head of. Is there something like a survey monkey to do this with? Who can set it up?
Meantime, if you find this idea persuasive, please post something like a "yea" with your comment.
I am sure we can come up with more
Just wrapping up right now, but MT is absolutely trashing UM and how they treated him. Also, did defend Rich Rodriguez, but is hoping Hoke gets the same treatment (based on big games).
Anyone else hear it? Thoughts?