this thread won't end well.
Lloyd Carr at Camp Michigania
Just got back from our annual week up at Camp Michigania.
For those of you who don't know, Camp Michigania is the U of M Alumni Association's family camp...located on the beautiful shores of Walloon Lake.
We've been going since our kids were very young...and, even though they are now both tweens, it remains our favorite week of the year. I'd recommend it to any MGoParents!
At any rate, the faculty forums are one of the highlights of each session. The faculty forums feature presentations by U of M professors...followed the next morning by an informal conversation with the previous evening's speaker.
I was very excited when I found out that one of the featured faculty members during our week was going to be Lloyd Carr.
He covered a lot of ground during his presentations...and during the Q & A that followed.
Mike Hart was singled out as a player who exceeded expectations and played with a tremendous amount of heart. Tom Brady received multiple mentions as being both tough and and an incredible leader.
Coach Carr obviously greatly admired Bo and shared many of Bo's leadership philosophies with us. Bo clearly eschewed a "win at all costs" approach in favor of doing things "the right way." Bo felt that a Michigan Man always does things the right way and doesn't break the rules.
Coach Carr indicated that the best-performing players have a mental toughness and a love of the game. This accounts for the differing level of success among players with similar measurables...and for some players outperforming expectations and others failing to live up to them.
An interesting tidbit: Coach Carr's contract gave him final say over which ball was used, uniforms, etc. I'm guessing that the whole "uniformz" meme would not have arisen had Coach Hoke been given this same power.
Many of the expected questions were asked and discussed...cheating in recruiting, SEC dominance, influence of $$ on the game, conference size/alignment, Kordell, MSU 2001, the Horror, RichRod, Manziel, 1997, why he retired when he did, etc. This post would get too long if I shared all of this comments...and I also feel as thought there's a little bit of a "what's said at Michigania stays at Michigania" expectation that should be honored. This wasn't an on-the-record press or media event.
I will say that he answered the RichRod questions vaguely/carefully...and that the question re: the Horror was about how he handled the post-game lockerroom rather than what happened during the game. He expressed great pride in how that team recovered to play well during the remainder of 2007. He said, though, that he felt that the 1994 team never totally recovered from Kordell's hail mary.
A great story re: Charles Woodson. Coach Carr had a policy in place that you didn't play in a game if you didn't practice on Tuesday and Wednesday. On the Tuesday before The Game in 1996, Woodson showed up to practice in street clothes and did not participate. Coach Carr told Woodson to show up in his office the next morning at 8AM. At the meeting, Woodson indicated he was hurt and wasn't going to be able to practice that day either. Coach Carr reminded him of the policy, and Woodson indicated he understood it. Knowing that he couldn't make an exception for Woodson, but also knowing that Woodson was key to our success, he did what we all would've done. He called Woodson's mother. Needless to say, Woodson showed up for practice on Wednesday...and played in The Game.
EDIT: A few addtional items...
Tom Brady very seriously considered transferring when he was stuck at third on the depth chart. Everyone in the room gasped a bit at the thought.
The 1997 championship team was invited to the White House. When Coach Carr asked Bo (a staunch Republican) if he wanted to attend, Bo said "no, and you shouldn't go either!"
Bo gathered his assistants to discuss the possibility of going to Texas A & M. He asked all of them their thoughts, and many advised him to take the opportunity. One of them highlighted the additional income for Bo and ability to take care of his family. Bo's response was something along the lines of..."But you're not the one who's going to have to stand up in front of the 120 men that you recruited and tell them that you're leaving them."
A sign that hung in the locker room during Coach Carr's tenure..."Blame no one. Expect nothing. Do something."
I hesitated to post this, but I'm hoping that many of the MGoBloggers will enjoy it...and that those who may have negative feelings will refrain from posting and keep their thoughts to themselves.
Bottom line is that Coach Carr is a HOF coach who brought us a national championship and five Big Ten titles...and was involved with the program for 25+ years. It was an honor to hear him speak, be able to ask him some questions, and have him take a picture with my son.
This is a great post. I would have loved to have been there. No matter where you stand on the final years of his program, he is a Michigan Man through and through. That means 'doing things the right way', not for personal or pfofesional expediancy. A fabulous teacher and molder of men. Thank you.
You dont know what his behavior was, you are just taking one dude's word for it. Turning Carr's lack of making a statement or comment on the whole RR debacle into some admittence of guilt is a foolish approach, and is unnecceptable as some form of guilt in the eyes of the law, and an inappropriate presumption in academic research.
Some of us respect the man enough to give him some benefit of the doubt. And there is plenty, plenty of doubt about what happened, way more than the "very possibly playing politics" that you state. Yet, you could even recognize the smidgen doubt in your "very possibly" statement, and give some benefit of that to Carr.
Riiiiight. There was scuttlebutt about Carr, but none about RR. Sure, if that makes your perspective-taking easier. It was well-known that RR didnt exactly go out of his way to build good relationships when he first got here. It's quite easy to ignore the one side of the story, it makes making up one's mind that much easier. But actual life is always more complicated. Also, if you think the University woudl have allowed Carr to speak, you dont know much about an institution like UM. I am not saying he would have, but probably will never know.
My tone? I feel like I am arguing with a 17 year old. Aside from such immature remarks, you said yourself that Carr worked for the University, but then you compare his silence to the talking others did who didnt work for the University, except for Brandon commenting on the Freep, which has nothing to do with our topic of conversation (i.e., the support Carr gave RR, the role RR played in that). If you can't keep on topic, or refrain from childish remarks, please move on. Or you can get your last word in, and I will move on.
There was a huge contingent of for and anti RR posters, and you were one of the stronger in the anti RR camp, so I think you approach things when it comes to these topics. The poster you are arguing with has said hardly anything controversial.
As a coach, I think Lloyd represented the university as well as anyone could on or off the field. I may have disagreed with a few prevent defenses or maybe going conservative too early, but he gave my michigan fandom plenty of reasons to cheer, and I don't think I'd ever question how he handled his team and the university during his tenure.
I do agree with the poster, however, that he was an ineffective AAD. The Michigan program was in turmoil and needed a strong voice to calm the seas, and believe he had the power to do so. I think, in the end, it just wasn't the right position and time for him. He never liked the press, so expecting him to be a mouthpiece for the university seems almost comical. He also had a respect to try to distance himself as the head coach, which is a hard balancing act I don't know how to handle. It also is only a small part overall in RRs failure at michigan. If you read three and out, there was a lot of blame to go around, and if he was meant to be here, he'd still be here.
Now, by saying this, I don't think it says anything truly bad about the man that is bad. Many people have gone into positions that they were not meant for, which do not detract from the job they once did or who they are. I don't think Bo's failures at the tigers overpowers what he did as a coach, AD, or as a man. I also don't think that Bill Martins failure in the coaching search should override all the good he did in stabilizing the financial wellness of michigan and providing the upgrades to facilities.
In the end Michigan was very lucky to have Carr as a coach and I'd love to meet him someday (my wife has a picture with him)
When he's arguing with BRCE is kinda funny. (I mean, we all realize he's really BRCE, right?)
And your disappointment with his job as AAD is strange, when you consider there was an AD above him who should have done all the things you think Lloyd should have. His job as AAD was to schmooze with donors and such. Something I'm sure he did very well. How many other AADs hold press conferences? And if you can't remember it happening under Martin, you'll probably never see it under Brandon.
but he could easily be just as biased or more than who I am replying to.
I don't think my dissapointment is unwarranted. We needed a strong voice to come forward for the flailing program. Martin was not going to be that person, and I did expect Carr to come out at some point to do so. I don't want to downplay his schmoozing with donors, as the picture my wife got with him is because he was at an event she was working at (side note: she has since switched careers and is contently working on his wing at Mott. Trust me I respect Carr far beyond being a coach at Michigan).
I don't agree with everything that Dave Brandon has done, but when he came in, he was a strong voice for the program. He showed support for RR, at least pubicly, (and I believe did give him a chance on the field) and I think handled the practice gate about as well as anyone could have (as well as brought in Hoke obviously).
I think the football program and athletic department failed for many reasons, and I just don't think that pointing out flaws during that time is incorrect. I don't like the stickers Bo used during his tenure. I think I can disagree with that part of his legacy without tarnishing what he did overall and how he did it.
Haha, now it all makes sense. I thought the guy seemed uncomfortably familiar. Thanks for the heads up.
Over/under on posts before thread is locked-
Is because we all want more info. I want to hear more about what Carr said, though I respect the OP in his stance. Nothing here is too controversial. Would just like to hear more about things. Carr is a champion of coach speak, so nothing is ever going to be too out there. But still, interesting stuff by the OP.
Which would be a major disservice to this awesome post.
Hahahaha, calling Woodson's mom. That's freaking great.
That story is told by Lloyd and Charles in the BTN Big Ten Icons special on Woodson. Good stuff.
Had a chance to have Greg Mattison (~94- or 5?) and Ron English ('02 or 3?) as the Faculty Forum speakers over our years at Michigania. And Gary Lewis, the MMB director, for one year as well. Those were pretty good variations from the usual Physics or English professors.
I'll never forget the week with English. I made the mistake of doing the Greased Watermelon contest during the Water Carnival. For the uninitiated, the Greased Watermelon is a contest where a watermelon coated in Crisco is dumped at the midpoint between two docks in about waist-deep water, and a bunch of incredibly stupid people run from each dock to try to toss it over the opposite dock. Most years, the thing ends up cracked in half. It's pretty physical, to say the least. I was in South Camp, English was in North, so we were on opposite teams.
About halfway through the thing, I end up with the watermelon at the midpoint. I start running with it. All of the sudden, someone picks me up out of the water, flings me over their back like a pro wrestler, and the watermelon goes flying. I collect myself, turn around, and Ron English is standing there staring me down.
I love that Woodson story. I always chuckle when I hear it.
Would be a better place if all it took to straighten any kid out was to call his mom and/or dad. Love that. Nice move coach.
of Camp Michigania, it was a little more "rustic" in my day. 13 year veteran of the annual trip up North that finally stopped when I went off to college. Great busy week of activities and friendships. I've been back to visit and take a look around a couple times over the years. Just makes me feel good to see the place again.
Although I was too young to attend, Bill McCartney was one of the speakers in the 80's before he left for Colorado. Along with some other guys who's names escape me. Football coaches always seemed to be regulars
Compared to our family's early years, when you had to walk down the road to the shower house and the awards ceremony was held on the hill where the Ed Center is now, Camp is pretty much a five-star resort these days. It's beautiful and definitely an improvement, but definitely a far cry from the rustic experience we all put up with in those days.
There are few better things than a day at Camp Michigania.
we've been kicking around the idea of going for a couple of years now... you all have definitely tipped the scale. see everyone there next summer, and many thanks to the OP for the great LC story.
I will show up sooner or later-----it will be there in 2030 I can comfortably assume when I will presumably have children of my own.
This is not threadworthy!!! Who is this guy Loyd Car anyway?
But seriously, thanks for this post.
Great post. That is all.
Outstanding contribution, 1989 UM GRAD.
WANT MOAARRR DETAILS!
appreciate you sharing these fun details!
The University did not pay $400K to Carr to do almost nothing. That money was in his coaching contract, to be paid after he stopped coaching. The university got great value for whatever he was paid.
The sign struck a chord with me. Any time things aren't going well, or there is some injustice(often something I have no control over) my wife tells me to "Do something".
Carr brought us a National Championship, he owned Ohio State for the first half of his career(Until they started giving out cars, cash, and tats). In my mind his worst offense was suggesting that Bill Martin hire Rodriguez in the first place. But nobody knew what an unprecedent disaster RR's tenure was going to be.
I remember when they announced Rodriguez's hiring at Beilein's first OSU game(sad as that season was, Michigan beat a fairly good team that night) the crowd was electric. We were so excited to be getting a new innovative coach. We all know how that turned out.
I suppose he could be blamed for not developing an assistant to take over. That is a fair criticism. But looking back at all the memories of Carr's career here...He brought us Mike Hart, and Charles Woodson. Braylon Edwards and Tom Brady. He won a national championship on a team with exactly one superstar. (Brian Griese, Chris Howard, and Tai Streets all went on to play in the NFL, but they remain somewhat anonamous). Bo will remain the greatest Michigan coach for all time. He brought Michigan back from years of mediocrity. But if you're looking for a runner up...You could do worse than Lloyd Carr.
Alums (both parents) and their kids spend a week at the camp (do the families have their own rooms)? Or is it just for kids, but there is something on drop off/ pick up day?
When I was at UM, I heard people reference it, but never fully understood what the camp was. Thanks!
Approximately 400 people attend each one-week session, of which there are 11.
Mostly families. A few older couples who've been going for 40+ years. Many groups made up of three generations.
Most cabins have three "suites," with each "suite" accommodating one family. The "suite" consists of a master bedroom, a bathroom, and a room with two bunk beds for the kids. Each cabin has a living room/common area.
The accommodations are much like sleep-away camp...but a bit nicer.
There are organized activities for the kids in between meals...much like a day camp. So, you have breakfast, drop your kids off, and then go do what you want until lunch...and then the cycle repeats after lunch and before dinner.
Many adults choose to sit in a chair and let their mind wander. Others take advantage of the myriad of activities...boating, swimming, riflery, arts & crafts, tennis, rock polishing, high ropes, horse back riding, etc.
We've been going with the same two families for eight years; all of our kids are around the same ages. Others use it as a family trip...with grandparents, their adult kids, and the grandkids.
Food is good and tremendously plentiful.
I'd recommend Camp Michigania to anyone...especially those with younger children.
The "Michigan" element is not overbearing, so it's fine if you've "intermarried" a non-Wolverine. As long as there's one member of the AAUM in your family/group, you are qualified to go.
That's a great summary, but I will add a few personal comments on Michigania. Our kids grew up going with us to Michigania every summer. It is an amazing experience for kids. They get to spend a family vacation with a lot of independence, making new friends and spending the day doing all sorts of great activities guided by an exceptional staff of college age counselors. There is a rhythm to the week, with the same events occuring on the same days every year. Traditions are big. It is pretty cool to see the teens at camp singing with the younger kids while waiting for the wizard to ride by on the unicorn.
It is also a great week for adults. I spend most of my time there sailing. They have a large fleet of sailboats in all different sizes and the boating staff are always among the best there. I also learned to shoot trap and skeet there, which I really enjoy. Riding, the high ropes course, archery, tennis, ceramics, and arts and crafts are all pretty popular activites for adults. Evenings are spent at the faculty forums (4 nights) or hanging out with friends and family. Some campers party pretty seriously, and there are lots of folks who want to talk about Michigan sports. I agree that the Michigan elemant is not overbearing, but you will stand and sing The Victors several times during the week. I highly recommend Camp Michigania for alums with children.
Thanks for sharing, specifically the Lloyd stuff. I had the opportunity to hear him speak at a corporate event a few years ago and it was awesome. He was paid for the apperance (very well, I'm sure) but he was a dynamic speaker and graciously made time for everyone's individual questions, photo requests, etc. I don't know what did / didn't really happen with the whole coaching search, transition and RR regime but I'm still a big fan of Carr.
representative during his coaching career. I have nothing but respect for him. However, I do think he made things worse than necessary during the RichRod period, and my personal opinion is, and its based on the Freep investigation leading to program penalties, that he enabled that controversy to occur.
Now, I don't condemn him, because his career achievements, his communtiy work and steadfast love of the university all go without saying. I respect what he's done for the school and is still doing. He's a great teacher and spokesman. And he is now on the NCAA infractions committee, which is sort of ironic.
My belief is that he felt he should have named his successor and felt shortchanged the way the process worked. And rather than have no say at all, he recommended RR, the spread offense guru, while knowing the roster he would inherit wasn't set up to accommodate his style of play at Michigan. He then recommended that some of his returning players not stick around based on the changes he knew RR would make.
Now, Lloyd was always criticized for running a boring pro-style offense in spite of the great players who developed under him while running it. His final game against Florida was sort of an in your face response to some of that criticism. The truth is, Michigan fans wanted a sexier offensive style and RR's offense promised that. But Lloyd knew what the roster situation was and how it would be oil and water the way it was constructed, and RR would struggle.
It's interesting that we have two John Bacon books that basically chronicle the beginning and the end of Lloyd Carr's career at Michigan. And you can find a lot more insight about the coach, who is a terrific motivator and teacher, in other sources. I think Lloyd wanted the same transition at Michigan 28 years earlier, as a high school coach of the year and then an assistant at Eastern Michigan before Gary Moeller recommended Bo hire him. He was making less in his college job than he did while coaching high school ball when he joined Bo's staff.
Of course, Lloyd's entry as head coach is almost as cataclysmic as the announcement of his successor. But the difference was, it was an internal choice, and he didn't get the chance to name his own guy, and after being the only Michigan coach to lead his team to an undefeated season and national championshp, I think he felt he'd earned that right. It's hard to know because Lloyd has never said what motivated his recommendation of RR and why he seemingly worked against his interests, and thus the program's. But the evidence is that he did while giving the appearance of his support.
First of all, I don't think he wanted Les Miles to coach here, for whatever reason. And he saw RR's advancement as a way to provide input in a hiring without final say.
I think there was subterfuge involved in the handling of inside information regarding record-keeping within the program that led directly to RR being implicated in the Freep probe. Again, as much as I hate to believe it, I think Lloyd played a subtle role in this. That investigation grew out of contacts with certain Lloyd holdovers in the program and information that had come up in regent meetings only weeks before the story broke.
Now, if the coach never explains his point of view on these matters, then anyone is free to speculate about his choices and apparent motives during that period. This was clearly the worst period in program history since the Bo era began in 1969. And these events didn't just happen on their own. To what extent Lloyd was involved, who knows. But I believe he did play a role, even if I can only speculate on what motivated him.
You probably need to go back and read last season's HTTV for why a lot of that timeline doesn't work, or even makes any sense.
in the past - Lloyd Carr in effect got his guy (Hoke) in, by bringing RIch in and setting him up to be the interim fall guy. Lloyd Carr certainly seems well read enough to undertake such a political path to an end, HOWEVER, I cannot believe he would actually be capable of doing this: especially to his players.
I still think the watershed moment was Rich firing Lloyd's entire staff, and the way it was done. Rich totally lost Lloyd's support (and the support from a lot of the insiders) when he did that. Some actively worked to unseat Rodriguez, some passively effected the same by not publically supporting Rich. I believe Lloyd was in the latter group.