I'd put my vote in the undervalued department.
Gary Moeller. Undervalued? Easily forgotten? Overrated?
I knew you'd be the first reply, and I have to agree.
He should get credit for introducing the radical concept of the forward pass in situations other than 3rd and long (not communist football, mind you). I credit him with the roughly 20 years of great QB's and WR's from Michigan that this style attracted. I thought he had some of the most talented Michigan teams of my lifetime as well.
We won 63-13 but we could've hung 70 or 80 on them that day. I remember we had some running back named Buff or Huff in there during the 4th quarter. We knew a kid on the Minny team and we saw his dad after the game. He said that was "an old fashioned butt whippin".
Talented? My gosh they were ridiculously talented. I would have loved to see them play the '97 team.
By the mid-to-late 80s, you saw Bo teams utilizing more of a pro-style offense (which I believe coincided with Gary's emergence as OC) as we recruited the likes of Jim Harbaugh, Demetrious Brown, and Elvis Grbac, but Moeller did take it to the next level. The chain of great Michigan QBs started with Bo, but Moeller cemented it in place. Todd Collins, Scot Loeffler, Scott Dreisbach....all Moeller guys. Griese was a Moeller guy too, but he walked on, so I guess you can't give Gary too much credit for recruiting him.
Griese was recruited as a preferred walk on.
And Loeffler didn't play hardly at all, and never was top 3 on the depth chart because he was injured very early in his career.
Reminds me of the Sheridan story and I still think he's going to be a good coach somewhere.
As somebody down below wrote, Moeller actually ran a no-huddle offense at M for a few seasons, before capitulating and going back to a more conventional style. I distinctly remember watching one Moeller game after he'd rolled out the no-huddle, and hearing the announcer say, "Gary Moeller will win a national championship with this offense." Unfortunately for him, his successor got to win that championship (though with a relatively pedestrian offense that year).
He was a man who did things.
I am guessing Moeller wasn't very good at self-promotion and "handling" bosses, boosters, etc behind the scenes. I also think he got totally screwed in the restaurant incident. Michigan didn't have to fire him for it. It sounded more like a case of trustees or admins looking for a reason and having one dumped in their lap.
Also, he is the only Lions coach with a winning record since Joe Schmidt. The sample was small, but that has to count for something.
According to Bo, Moeller was fired for the restaurant incident while Bo was on vacation and he had no say in it. Bo tried to get him his job back, but too little too late.
Moeller and Bo were both before my time, but if Moeller getting fired kept Bo up at night for years, then I'd agree that he was undervalued.
I hadn't heard that about Bo. Moeller was head coach exactly during my time in college and it was an interesting thing to experience, a head coach getting fired. There were a lot of outstanding times in the Big House during my undergrad years (Kordell Stewart notwithstanding) and, because of them, Moeller is definitely underrated in my book.
Although you have to go into the way-back machine, before cell phones... internet... wi-fi. According to several buddies in the Athletic Dept at the time of the "incident", Bo was on vacation and actually on a boat (ala Bill Martin). When he arrived back on shore, he heard the news and immediately called Moeller and left a strong message telling him to keep his mouth shut and not to say or sign anything related to the University and coaching. Bo indicated that he would take a red-eye back and he and Moeller would figure this out - this was "nothing to resign or lose your job over.". By the time Bo got back into Ann Arbor, Moeller had already submitted his resignation to Roberson, who had told him to either resign or look at being fired which would leave a scar on Moeller, but more importantly to Moeller, on the football program.
Moeller was an excellent coach for Michigan and would have been a wonderful head coach for many years. He was innovative, passionate, smart and willing to support his team and the University. He was jovial but burned hot if his team was disrespected.
You also had to be living in Ann Arbor at the time. I think Moeller would have survived, if not for the emergence of the audio tape from the police car. I don't remember the exact timing, but it was about 3-5 days between the initial reports of him "getting beligerant in a restaurant" and the WJR playing the actual audio of the "do you know who I am" and "you can't do this to ME" drunken rampages. At that point, I don't believe anyone could've saved his job. Now, if he had won the National Championship the year before...
On paper and in retrospect, it is sort of crazy to think of firing a coach over one drunken incident. But it was the audio tape of what sounded like a wild scene (lasting all of about two minutes) that caused a wild storm of U-M administrators thinking that they had to do something. I'd add -- a bunch of U-M administrators who apparently felt insecure enough in their jobs that they could not stand up on their own and invest some of their own credibility for a really good football coach.
I don't know of anybody who doesn't really, really like Gary. I've had the chance to talk to him a number of times; he's just a great guy.
So yes; Moeller was undervalued, under-appreciated and his decades-long service under Bo Schembechler was terminated in less than a week, for something that would get a one-game suspension for an MSU player.
One other thing; as far as I am aware, Gary Moeller has been particularly loyal to Rich Rodriguez, and has been generous with his time, and friendly to, the new coaching staff. Gary goes to almost all the games, home and away.
He's been around a lot over the last 5 years or so. Used to see him on the sidelines all the time and at other kinds of things from about 2005-6 on.
Also, best head of hair of any Michigan coach (non-GERG category)?
In the old pressbox, Gary had his own seat in the box that had been Bo's. And he virtually never missed a game. Not even a down. And he was not there to entertain guests of the University or schmooze with donors. He was there, watching the play, like an Assistant Coach would from the pressbox.
Lloyd never sat with him; Lloyd never sat in the same place, mostly. Lloyd moved around, spent a lot of time with Mary Sue Coleman and some of the Regents, some time with Bill Martin, and wasn't even there all the time as far as I could see.
There's no mystery in this, for the most part. Lloyd had a position, as Senior Associate Athletic Director, that Moeller didn't have. Football games are monster fundraising events (and that is a HUGE part of the rationale behind the Stadium renovation). And if Lloyd was working on that (I have no doubt that he was), that's probably what he was supposed to be doing.
has been at every home game this year... he is always in the alro steel suite... during the state game he forgot where the mens room was and i had to point it out to him, he gave me a punch in the shoulder and said thanks...
I said, "Coach, you'll finally be able to watch our coaches work on the sidelines!" He laughed, and said yeah and that he was actually looking forward to seeing the game from that sideline. He thought the weird thing was that his whole life had been built around watching games and game films from the West sideline. It was like switching from right-handed to left-handed...
alro steet suite is on the west side... its the 3rd biggest suite behind mary sue's and dave brandons...
When I saw Gary last, it was at the pre-season Economic Club meeting at the Junge Center, when Brandon did the narrowcast interview with Brandstatter. We later had lunch in the Club level on the East. And to be honest, in the fuller conversation, and I asked him generically about watching the games from suites. Gary said he wasn't sure at that time what he was going to do; he said he had been invited to be in a suite (didn't mention Alro) and that's when I remarked about watching from the opposite side of the field, and we had the conversation as noted above.
I'm sure you're right; although my recollection from two tours of the East Concourse is that either Alro or the Glicks have a box on the East, too. (Or am I just imagining their name on one of the suite signs? Not sure.)
There's also a dimension to the story involving Bo calling a (i will keep him) nameless Athletic Department official, that person not being home, Bo leaving a message with his child to call Bo back. Kid forgets, call never gets returned. Situation gets worse.
The full story of what really happened in the Gary Moeller fiasco is one of those things that will be laid out in a book someday, and we'll see just how badly he got screwed. Nice guy who had one ugly incident, gets labeled an alcoholic (which, by all accounts, he was not), the media runs with the story (audio gets run every hour), Michigan handles it wrong, Moeller handles it wrong, his lawyers handle it wrong...
Just terrible all the way around.
Though I will also say there were a lot of people who were getting a little uncomfortable with the tenor of Moeller's program at the time. There had been some off-the-field incidents, arrests, roughly paralleling the things going on in the basketball program at the time... And weren't too displeased to see him go. Not to mention the "no more 8-4!" crowd.
When Bo told Moeller that he was going to retire, he tried to plead with Bo to stay on and just hand over more duties to the staff and take it easy. I think he loved Bo.
I just think it speaks to how highly Bo thought of him, that among all the future coaches on that staff and former ex-assistants (ie. McCartney at Colorado), he wanted Moeller to coach the team.
Maybe Duderstadt (sp?) wasn't a fan of Bo or something, but I think Moeller showed how much he cared by stepping down and not dragging the team in the mud and also getting Bo in the middle of it.
because I just finished reading Lasting Lessons yesterday. Bo and Mo loved each other (no homo) and it comes out in the book. Paraphrasing, Bo said something to the effect of "Normally I don't like running up the score, but after what Illinois did to Mo, I gladly put up 70 on them the following year."
Bo also talks about how Moeller refused to come back to reunion dinners after his firing because he was ashamed of what happened. Bo begged all his alums to convince Moeller to start attending because he was part of the Michigan family until finally in 2004 (IIRC) he did.
Bo = Loyalty.
If you really want to know how much Bo thought of him, look at what Bo did to Illinois the year after they fired Moeller. Explains why Illinois has such an amazingly lame chip on their shoulder about Michigan. What was it, 70 unanswered points?
Was one of those who always felt sports should be reigned in, back to Ivy levels or worse. He wanted a football program that was under his thumb. So Roberson was his hatchet man. Problem for him was he didn't consult the Regents before making such a big decision. Not a coincidence that he wasn't around much longer either. Worst President in my school bound awareness lifetime.
I, for one, was crushed when Mo was fired. Carr represented the program well and capably picked up the pieces in the chaos of Mo's firing. But I was excited to have Mo as our coach. And in retrospect, I definitely don't see his firing as completely justified.
I was also excited to have Mo coaching the Lions. It's fitting that the only Lions coach with a winning record since 1972 was fired by Matt Millen and replaced with a coaching unknown who would go on to make a game decision to kick the ball to the other team to start sudden death overtime.
Anyway...Mo will always be one of my favorites.
I'm with you on Moeller, I think he got a bad rap and a bum deal but he didn't drag the program down in trying to fight for his job.
Now onto the Lions. That whole incident soured me to Millen. I mean it seemed like he was dangling Moeller on a pole while he was looking for a suitable replacement (in his mind). "Well maybe we'll keep you" and "Maybe we wont", who knows. I hate that kind of stuff mainly because Millen knew exactly what he was going to do....and that was clean house. Given that he took a team that had every reason to quit (head coach resigns....best running back in the NFL ever quits) and got them to within a field goal of the playoffs, I think he deserved a shot with the Lions. But hey, Millen was the football expert and how did that work out for him?
Because they dragged it out past the point where all the positions on other staffs were mostly filled, so he couldn't just go and get a coordinator job someplace else. And Mullen knew this. Dick move. So glad the Lions might have people with brains actually running them now.
I seriously think Moeller deserved a shot at head coach on the Lions. I can only imagine what he would have done with an entire season where he could put his imprint. But hey, I'm not Matt Millen and nor would I want to be. It just seemed like Millen wasn't sure he could get the coach he wanted so he kept Moeller around so that he could say, "I guess I'll keep you". Moeller being the good team player stuck around although part of me wants to say that he should have seen the writing on the wall and bolted. But before Millen tried to see if he could create a team created with all wide receivers, he soured me to him. And as he ran the team into the ground, it only got worse. People may say he's a great guy and what not but great guys don't do crap like that to people that bailed the team out of a tough spot. But maybe alot of that falls on Mr. Ford and not Mr. Millen.
I have a buckeye friend (one) that told me that Coach Moeller scared the hell out of tOSU nation. Look what he did with the Lions when he took over mid season. The guy can flat out coach football. Would have been interesting to see what he could have done long term in Ann Arbor.
He goes to lots of OSU football alumni events. Gary was a mean linebacker. They like mean linebackers in Columbus.
He's also the only Lions head coach since 1972 to end his tenure with a winning record.
Being too young to remember much of Bo, Mo was coach during my first real experiences with UM football. Loved that guy. He was not at all afraid to keep the pedal to the metal until things were way out of hand. Unfortunately he took that trait with him to the restaurant that one night.
I started following UM football during Mo's era too. I remember feeling dong punched when he was let go. I also remember going "Lloyd Carr?! Lloyd Carr?!?!" Looking back, it's funny seeing how things turned out.
I don't know if this was an option, but Moeller has been largely overforgotten. I enjoyed his years as head coach.
Drinking like a Moeller is the standard for all true blue Michigan Men.
a cross between Jim Tressell & Bob Stoops.
Moeller could recruit and coach, and modernized the Michigan program to the point that when Lloyd came in, it was a machine that kept running consistantly (8-10 wins/yr) provided you didn't throw a wrench into it. Not the most charismatic guy and lost his share of games he should have won, but overall a successful coach who probably would have had a shot or two at national championships-- not sure if he actually would have won any, but would have gotten close. Kept the old guard alumni happy. Had a good repore with the media.
My fondest memory will be the 1992 undefeated season. 3 ties in one year was just unfathomable. Add in the opinion that Cooper basically played for the tie at the end of The Game that year just to piss off Moeller and prevent us from moving up in the polls (we had a shot to move back into the Top 3 before the bowl season, and some would argue our ass kicking of Washington (who was #2 to the Gino Toretta led Miami Hurricanes as late as Week 8 in the season) in the Rose Bowl would have garned some #1 votes-- not enough to win the national championship, but some #1 votes nonetheless). Stupid bowl Coalition. 5th consecutive Big Ten championship, Tyrone Wheatley and Elvis Grbac at their best, and an OL that boasted 3 10-yr+ NFLers, and of course, Ninef Agakhan.
Ninef was awesome! I loved how the commentators would always mention that he was born in Baghdad, Iraq whenever he made a play.
Undervalued. If Herman Moore,( I think it was Herman Moore), catches that pass, the Lions make the playoffs, and the Moeller Steamroller is still roaming the sidelines in Honolulu blue and silver. Millen might never have been hired, Barry Sanders doesn't retire, and the Lions win a couple of Super Bowls because Moeller decides to draft Tom Brady.
alternate universes are a bitch. Millen probably gets hired by the Reskins, and thing sdon't change for them much in the past 15 years while the Lions begin their 10 yr run as NFC North champions.
Are there hoverboards involved in this magical alternate future?
He was already retired. I was at that season finale where Herman dropped that pass. Crazy you mention that because I brought that up with a friend last week. I said that drop may have led to the next 10 years of FAIL.
But I never thought of a Moeller/Brady connection. Wow, that's a good one
Wow. The cruel twists of fate.
I loved how Moeller used to refer to the Lion's players as "our kids" in post game press conferences. Never heard a pro coach do that.
I remember thinking that they played with a lot of energy after he took over. The man could coach.
Maybe his style wouldn't have worked in New York. I don't know. But I think he was the perfect coach here. This town would have embraced him. That Lions team wasn't the greatest by any stretch, but they played hard and found ways to win. And I know the Giants fans wanted no part of them in the playoffs so they were glad they didn't make it.
I guess he couldn't stop calling people kids after raising Fred Savage for five years :)
Against the Bears in 2000. It was my 18 birthday. Fuck you Paul Edinger!
that was an exciting time in Michigan football and unfortunately it was too short. I love Lloyd and he did great things for the program but watching Wheatley run in the Moeller system...man...that's the reason I wore number 6 for much of my football career. Still my favorite Michigan RB of all time.
I was on the support staff for 4 of the years Mo was there (Student Manager), including in every practice, many meetings, and on the field for every game, standing next to him in many cases. Here's my take:
- A great human being, and you can't say that about all college coaches (Greg Mattison, not so much).
- He could recruit like an absolute motha'... He did it for the last few years of Bo's tenure (Desmond, Grbac, Everitt, Elliott, Alexander, Toomer, Hayes, Irons, Wheatley, etc.) and through his years he continued to do it, with a great staff of recruiters like Miles, Cameron, and Fred Jackson.
- Don't forget he was a great position coach - DC for Bo and ILB coach with slow undersized guys like Steve Morrison, Erick Anderson, and others to his credit.
- He had a great staff - but he also did a great job of delegating. When he was the head coach, Lloyd was his DC, and Cam Cameron and to a lesser degree Les Miles were his offensive minds. And very innovative - Some forget we ran the no-huddle offense for much of the 1990-1992 seasons, the Sam Wyche version that Cam learned while an assistant under Wyche.
The not so good -
- Even in the no-huddle, he was still responsible for relaying the plays in from the sidelines, that Cam was calling... So in some respect he didn't delegate this detail that he should have. As a consequence he would often disagree with the call coming from Cam, and they'd get in an argument on the headset before he relayed it in. We had more wasted timeouts and delay of game penalties than any no-huddle team should have.
- He was not media savvy, in fact he rarely completed a sentence without running on into another topic. This was largely before the current hypermedia environement we have now with ESPN 1,2,3,U, etc, Foxsports, etc.... so he mostly got away with it.
- The way it went down at the excalibur club was absolutely astounding to me; he always preached to the players that they had to do things cleaner than other students, that the media attention made them special and as such they had to behave special, that there were always people looking to take them down, that they had to do things "the Michigan way" at all times. On all our road trips, the coaches would often have dinner in the hotel restaurant/bar and most of them would have a beer or cocktail, but NEVER Coach Moeller. His demise was so out of character because it went against anything he ever preached, and with this one exception he was always a man who did what he said, and said what he meant. I still believe that if we didn't have those 4 loss seasons he would've worked his way out of it.
So on balance I believe he was a great coach, a very good adminstrator, and a pretty lousy media/alumni relations guy. I still think he could've had a long successful career and might have won that 1997 championship.
But of course I am biased...
When I interned at a radio station back then we talked about Moeller and one of the things brought up was that Mattison, not Moeller was the reason for Trevor Pryce and some of the defensive guys leaving. I took it that my source was pretty trusted and accepted it as fact. Plus Mattison bolting for ND kinda cemented his legacy in my mind.
prized recruit Grant Irons followed him to S. Bend.
Ironically, who managed with Mattison...
Oh, and your analysis sounds spot on to me.
After he was gone, because of the things he did.... he had a great hand on our success in the late 90's, and that indirectly carried us into the next decade.
For some reason, I always got the feeling that Carr was never totally comfortable as a head coach. He did a great job for most of his tenure, but I feel like he would have been content to be a career coordinator if the Excalibur incident hadn't happened.
This has always been my sense as well. Like, Carr loved Michigan so much that, when called upon, he was willing to take over the program, because that's what Michigan needed, not necessarily because that's what his own personal dream had been. I think Carr would have loved to be a career DC for Moeller, and I think that would have been great for our program had it worked out.
Still, it's hard to complain too much about Carr's body of work either. He maybe should have retired a year earlier, but then again, many said that about Bo, too.
You're completely wrong about Lloyd Carr's ambition being simply to stay at Michigan, and preferring the background.
Carr was considered for the HC job at Notre Dame. He allowed himself to be considered, before removing his name.
Carr also interviewed for the Wisconsin HC job that went to Barry Alvarez.
And, I don't know how many other HC offers came Lloyd's way. So that's that. Again, nothing against you, or Lloyd. The history is written. I admired and defended the tenure of Coach Carr from beginning to end.
Carr was considered for the HC job at ND? I find that awfully hard to believe. The ND job came open in 1981 and 1986. Both times, Carr was an anonymous position coach. There is no way ND would have considered him. Carr did not become a coordinator until 1987, when Lou Holtz was in his second season there.
I've never heard anything about him interviewing at Wisconsin, either. I heard once that EMU wanted him sometime in the '80s, but that was it.
Even if Carr at one time harbored dreams of leaving Michigan for another job, by 1995 I think he'd ruled that out. He was 50 years old, serving as DC for a man only four years older than himself. By then he was not following a career trajectory that would normally lead to a major-level HC position.
Lou Holtz offered Carr a job as a Notre Dame assistant, with the promise that he'd make Carr a DC, and that, when Carr was ready, Holtz would get Carr a HC job.
As for Wisconsin, Carr interviewed there, officially, in 1989.
Natural Enemies: Major College Football's Oldest, Fiercest Rivalry-Michigan vs. Notre Dame
I remember that Carr mentioned being offered the defensive coordinator job at Notre Dame during his speech at Bo's memorial (the context was that he was talking about how he told Bo about the offer, and that Bo flat out told him to turn it down because he was a Michigan Man and could never take a job at Notre Dame).
They wanted to talk to Carr, but Bo didn't want to coach avaunt him, so he pulled the "stay at Michigan" thing. I don't think it was a hard sell.
I thought he was a good coach, and he was one of Bo's boys. Just made some bad decisions. Lilpenny is correct though, he could of been the double for the dad on Wonder Years
I had forgotten about Kevin Arnold's older sister. thank you for reminding me.
Olivia D'abo. British actress. Pretty unforgettable.
Wait, wasn't Olivia D'ablo actually Winnie Cooper? Kevin's older sister is the blonde in the photo. Or was Danica McKeller Winnie Cooper? I realize I can google this, but that takes the fun out of it.
Well, at least the first time. Olivia was younger sister to Bond Girl Maryam.
Danica grew up nice if you've seen here on shows like Big Bang Theory or How I Met Your Mother.
Im 40 years old so I remember quite well the Moeller years. I do think he was both undervalued and overrated...if thats possible. I do know this. When I'm watching football with my Michigan friends who constantly want to down RR and lift up what LC did, I ALWAYS mention that the 1997 NC team was built largely on Moellers recruits. I think he was very good at some things and obviously lacked in others. I agree. If he had better and more constistent seasons, he may still be there. Who knows.
When I'm watching football with my Michigan friends who constantly want to down RR and lift up what LC did, I ALWAYS mention that the 1997 NC team was built largely on Moellers recruits.
That's true, but you could make the argument that Moeller's 1990, '91, & '92 teams were built mostly from Bo's recruits. The '93 and '94 teams were mostly his recruits and lost 8 games in those two years. I'm not sure the correlation was fair, but it was getting made.
The other thing I remember back then was Gary would bring in big time talent, but he saw a lot of attrition year-to-year, which was uncommon for Michigan back then. That coupled with the losing and there was a definate sense that the luster on the program had dulled a bit.
But many of the recruits from '90 - '92 were, in fact, his recruits as much as they were Bo's - and they fit his system since it was mostly the same system. He was one of the main recruiters for high-profile recruits, expecially in Ohio and the Chicago area. And yes Lloyd's guys were mostly Mo's, but the same holds true - Lloyd was a main recruiter for Mo.
The difference is that Rodriguez truly had nothing at all to do with any of his players recruitment, and the offensive system change was so dramatic that you knew you were going to lose guys who didn't fit the system. Now, on the defensive side of the ball, there's no excuse. And there was plenty of talent left over from Lloyd on the defense, but Shaffer and Robinson squandered it.
Not sure I agree with the attition comment. There were a few - Jon Ritchie transferred back "home" to Stanford - he was a hippy to begin with. Eric Boykin was a head case and didn't really fit the system. And there were a few incidental guys with discipline problems, but I wouldn't call it " a lot of attrition" unless I'm forgetting a few of them.
Back when "recruiting coordinator" was a separate position, we had a good one who liked to get guys from all around the country, thus higher rankings, but they weren't as bought into the Michigan ideal as those from around here, or that grew up as fans, so there was a bit more problems/attrition. But it was an epidemic.
But injuries, transfers (Thanks Mattison), and just bad luck made those years frustrating. Yes beating OSU 28-0 in 1993 was sweet. Yes winning those bowl games convincingly rocked. But when you look at those two years, we beat the teams we were supposed to beat (Minnesota, Purdue, NW, etc). All those streaks existing back to the 50s and 60s were still alive and kicking.
And the other thing is we had just entered a new era of college football with lower scholarship numbers and kids looking at others schools to play football. So you wouldn't stockpile Michael Taylor, Elvis Grbac and Todd Collins on the same roster. You wouldn't have Ed Davis, Jesse Johnson, Tyrone Wheatley and Ricky Powers on the same team. They would go elsewhere and get that playing time because they weren't walking on at Michigan.
I guess my thinking is that his mindset, especially offensively would have still translated well in the late 90s and this century of college football. And I think there would have been no clamoring for RichRod (who I do like a lot) to shake things up.
Since Carr was the defensive coordinator under Moeller, I'm guessing Carr had a little something to do with getting some of the defensive players to UM. Your statement makes it sound like Carr came from outside the program when he was hired as HC.
In fairness, Carr was on Moeller's staff and played a huge role in recruiting/molding the seniors on that team (particularly on defense) even if he wasn't the head coach in '93 and '94.
And Carr was a great recruiter himself for most of his tenure; Rivals and the other recruiting services didn't exist in the 90's, but if they did, they would probably rank our '98 class #1 or #2.
Tom Lemming has been doing recruiting stuff since the late 70's. There were newsletters, magazines, and other publications would talk to them for their rankings. It's been around a looonnnggg time.
And I didn't know much about his tenure (except as a casual adolescent college football fan who thought Desmond was the shit) until I was called upon to GSI a class on the topic. From that perspective, learning about the Moeller experience exclusively on paper, it would seem "undervalued" would be the only applicable of the three answers given. This is especially the case considering that many of my students — who, though they were literally babies during his tenure, had been lifelong UM fans — didn't know much about him either. He has a relatively unenviable spot, historically speaking, but still it would seem that someone with his track record as a coordinator and head coach, he'd be more widely recognized.
4th and 1, throw it to Desmond in the end zone. The man had balls. I went to Michigan from 1990-1994, he's the only coach I knew and we all loved the offensive innovation and the domination over Ohio State. He would have had Lloyd's career, if not better, without the unfortunate incident.
For the record that was an audible that Grbac called. We ran the no-huddle and Elvis had great lattitude as to what he could call.
That's true, but giving your quarterback the freedom to audible in that situation is pretty ballsy too. I'll never forget that game....that was the greatest game I witnessed during my college years.
I've always wondered what would have happened at Michigan if the incident hadn't happened...As someone else noted, he was the coach who brought passing to Michigan football. It would have been very interesting to see how he adapted as the game changed over the years.
That was the [admitted] interference on Desmond by Eddie Brown.
You wont see it on this post since I'm replying, but you can edit your own posts if no one has replied to them
To the left of the "Reply" button you should see a little blue "Edit" if you click that you can change your original text as long as no one has replied to your comment already
(not trying to be snarky, just helpful)
You're not in the App.
"we likely would have taken another coach from the rib of OSU again, maybe Tressel."
I never thought about that, but the way you say it, it's possible. Everything else being equal, I would probably say no. Moeller would likely have had the same success against Cooper that Lloyd had. Cooper was fired in Winter 2000. That would mean Moeller would have been in his 11th season as Michigan head coach and would have been 59 years old.. still good coaching age. I think more likely is that if he retired from Michigan in 2003 like when he got out of NFL coaching for good, you're looking at for the 2004 season either a HC Les Miles who would have finished his 3rd yr as Ok St's HC, a HC Cam Cameron (who would have been brought back to the Michigan family after his Indiana failure much like Bo brought Moeller back after Illinois), or a transition to a caretaker Lloyd Carr admin as new offensive coordinator Jim Harbaugh was brought in as a coach-in-waiting...
I was at that Colorado Kordell bomb game, and I could not believe he only sent three rushers after him, giving him the time to chuck that ball.
Or to quote one of my long-time U-M fan friends, "If only Ty Law hadn't gone for the intercept!" [sic]
Are still feeling the aftershocks of Moellers firing. Lloyd was a good coach. Moeller was a great coach. Bo spent 20 years building Michigans reputation up after our fall. He handed the team over to the guy he knew was going to lead Michigan down the same path or onto greater heights.
Lloyd was in the right place at the right time & did a good job but never took us to the next level. Yes we won a National Championship in 1997, but tell me I am wrong in thinking we didn't have the talent to do that on more than one occasion? Moeller was that guy, its too bad his time ended like it did.
But I honestly believe that if Moeller is coaching that 1999 team, we're playing in the Sugar Bowl for the national title. Look at what he did with Grbac and Collins. That 1999 team mirrored the 1992 team so much that it's scary. All the talent at the skill positions.
I just think he would've stuck with Brady in the MSU game. That Brady/Henson deal made no sense. It's like we stopped saying we do things the right way here and caved in to the talented kid who hadn't taken a college class yet. And even if we lose, I think we blow the doors off Illinois to the point that their spirit is completely broken.
Yes definitely. Never feel like he gets mentioned or the respect he deserves. Have had this conversation with my friends on a few ocassions.
Also, his stint with the Lions in my opinion is only more evidence. He got that team to win. It was just unreal the difference when he was coaching and when he wasn't. Couldn't believe they didn't keep him on.
That 1990 season - MSU trip of Desmond, hangover loss against Iowa cost them
91 was a damn good season but FSU just overwhelmed them but the first half of that game was one of the most exciting first halfs I have ever seen.
I think Michigan fumbled 6 times against Ill in 92, Elvis gets hurt on a QB sneak against osu and they tie both games
93 Ricky Powers fumbles lost 2 games (Illinois the who the hell is Johhny Johnson game and the next week against Wisc.) That Illinois game was similar to the NW shootout years later substitue Powers for AT
94 Hail Marry just killed them, PSU had a team for the ages. Injuries killed them that year, Wheatley was barely healthy for the majority of the year after he decided to come back for his Sr year.
I thought sure as hell Cameron was going to be the next coach and really was disappointed with who they hired I couldn't believe it.
The same thing that Brady and Griese said about Loefler is what Collins and Grbac said about Cam. Maybe they thought he was too young or something, I don't know.
I will never forget Carr's speech on ESPN after the Moeller incident.
Can somebody explain this season to me? I'm too young to remember it. Should we have won some of those ties? Was the team to conservative, or did we sneak out of some games M should have lost?
It's been a while so my memory isn't that great. OSU - Grbac got hurt and Collins played a lot of that game. ND - UM had the ball at the end of the game and sat on it instead of trying to get down field for a FG attempt. Illinois - don't remember.
Lou Holtz played for the tie, not Michigan.
Here's a review of the 3 ties from 1992:
*AGAINST NOTRE DAME: We were ahead 17-7 in the 4th quarter. Then we fumbled the ball away to set up an Irish field goal. On ND's next drive, they moved inside the 10. On 3rd and goal, Ty Law was called for a phantom pass interference which gave ND a new set of downs and gift TD. A common BS type call that saved ND's ass. We got the ball in the final minutes and drove to the ND 30. Then, for reasons still unknown, Grbac dropped back and threw an interception. There wasn't a Michigan receiver anywhere close. I still don't know who he was even trying to throw to. We shouldn't have even thrown the ball. Just do a couple more running plays and kick the game winning field goal. Game ended 17-17.
*AGAINST ILLINOIS: We flew down the field easily on our first drive which ended in a 40 yard TD pass on the screen to Tryone Wheatley. From then on, we continued to move the ball at will but fumbled it away on every drive until halftime. Twice we were going in for scores from inside the 10 and lost fumbles in the endzone. We had nearly 380 yards of offense in the first half but because of all the turnovers, we only held a 7-6 halftime lead. The teams' confidence was shaken at that point. In the second half, the fumbles stopped but Illinois was given new life because of all our mistakes. It was a back and forth battle the rest of the way. We trailed 22-19 in the final minute and were facing a 4th down inside the Illinois 30. Moeller decided to have Peter Elezovic kick the field goal since a tie would give us the Rose Bowl trip. This game would have been another blowout if we could have just held on to the ball. Game ended 22-22.
*AGAINST OHIO STATE: In the first quarter, Grbac ran in for a TD and was injured. I forget what his injury was. To make matters worse, we missed the extra point. Todd Collins came in and played well but playing the rest of the way without our senior QB was, I believe, the big difference in this game. Kirk Herbstreit then becomes a hero for bringing OSU back to tie us after we were up 13-3. If Grbac never got hurt, this game would have been over much earlier. But in the end, this tie game was a blessing because it saved John Cooper's job. Game ended 13-13.
and a tie was still better than a loss, so teams didnt fall on their swords late.
Is there a definitive link for story behind this? I'm searching but coming up with more and more offhanded references.
I had literally never heard this until now. Now I'm curious ...
The rumor is that Les Miles slept with Moeller's wife, which Moeller found out about, which obviously caused problems in his marriage, which made him start drinking, which led to the Excalibur incident, which is why Lloyd Carr hates Miles, which is why Bill Martin made only a half-assed attempt to talk to Miles during the coaching search.
The theory is bolstered by the fact that Moeller called his wife a c*** while the cops were trying to arrest him, according to the police report (though he never mentioned Miles during his tirade). Also, Miles left for Oklahoma State when Carr became coach after supposedly being told by Carr that he was no longer welcome at Michigan.
I never heard this before. If it is even close to being true, Miles is a bigger dirtball than I already believed him to be.
What sort of alternate universe are you living in? LC has as many national championships as Steve Spurrier does, and was a hair away from playing in another one. Both of which place him ahead of Bo Schembechler in that respect.
Does this mean that Bo never took us to the next level?
Carr's teams won outright or shared six Big Ten Titles. Fritz Crisler's teams won exactly one. Are you going to say that Crisler never took us to the next level?
There's 1 sentence for you.
Wasn't this when the tiff with Les Miles occured also which led to him not being strongly considered to replace Lloyd?
for a longer time than he did. It's really unfortunate what happened how things turned out. I really believe if he was the coach for a longer time - he would have become one of Michigan's best coaches
Man, I remember the good old days, when Michigan Men grew on trees.
I put "overrated" it in there because I didn't want to sound like I was slanted towards calling him a Greek god or something. I thought he was a really good coach and could have coached Michigan well into this century. But I knew he wasn't perfect. So I wanted to see who or how someone could call him overrated or what issues they'd have with him. Maybe I had more rosey picture of him that was reality. So that's why I put it there.
But I think the man deserves his day in the sun.
It's a common misconception that Moeller was fired. But he actually resigned after refusing to accept Joe Roberson's offer of a one year's leave of absence to "sort out his problems."
Bo heard about Moeller's arrest at first over the radio while he was packing to leave for a fishing trip in Mexico. After several failed attempts to reach Moeller by phone, Bo left a voice-mail telling Mo where he could be reached and to call him any time. He ended the message by saying, "Don't do anything until you talk to me." Moeller never returned his calls. Once Bo was down in Mexico, he got a copy of the USA today covering the Moeller drama and Roberson was quoted as saying the incident wouldn't cost Gary his job. At that point, Bo stopped worrying about the issue and forgot about it. But once he got back to Ann Arbor, he found out Moeller had resigned. By then, there was nothing he could do.
Things might have been very different had Bo not been on vacation at the time. Even our rival coaches (George Perles at MSU and John Cooper at OSU) thought Moeller got a raw deal and went on record saying so.
Thank you for starting this thread. I was actually kind of thinking about Moeller's tenure at Michigan the other day and wondering what would have been if he had been able to keep his job. Moeller's teams were the first Michigan teams that I really have memories of. The 1991 ND game in particular was amazing. I still remember exactly where I was when Desmond got tripped against MSU. I loved watching Elvis Garbac and Todd Collins. Those Michigan teams were really stocked with a lot of talent. I am not sure how long Moeller would have been at Michigan or how he would have adapted, but it is still nice to look back at his teams and be able to remember some of the great games.
Lloyd had been around the program, and actually was tighter with McCartney as the in. He actually was with West Virginia a few months and didn't come to Michigan with Moeller directly.
And Roberson was just an administrator. He wasn't doing anything the President wasn't telling him to do.
I would like to throw something out there that I haven't seen said.
I was pretty young at the time, but one of my earlier memories of Coach Mo was either 1992 or 1993. Coach Moeller and the other coaches were on the sidelines of the game and the camera kept zooming in on shots of their watch faces with the number 5 on the glass of the face signifying 5 consecutive Big Ten champions. I don't remember if it was '92 and they were going for number 5, or if it was '93 and they were showing that they wanted to defend the 5 championships.
And Coach Moeller was the coach for the last 3 of those 5 straight. Haven't seen anything like that since Moeller's been gone, and like many have mentioned, those years gave us some awesome memories.
If Gary Moeller had been able to keep himself out of trouble, there may never have been a Lloyd as head coach. I'm too young to remember anything but the tail end of the Bo era, and while Moeller had a couple mediocre years, he always took care of business against OSU. He is way undervalued and it's not even close.
Bo always had high praise for his former assistants, but he may have considered Moeller the greatest of all. He served as both his defensive coordinator (on the great '85 defense, no less) and offensive coordinator ('87-'89). It was an easy decision for Bo to name Mo as his successor.
Mo was a very innovative offensive coach. He introduced the no-huddle to Michigan, and was so effective with his mass, situational substitutions that the Big Ten had to create a "too many men in the huddle" penalty because defenses couldn't keep up. And of course, he recruited the bulk of the 1997 national title team (including Mr. Woodson). He holds a fine place in our football history.
What I remember best was how Mo would get really fired up during the game, especially screaming at the refs when he didn't like a call... he'd freak out even more than Bo. Sometimes it seemed like he was so busy screaming that he'd forget that he needed to do something else, like send in the plays.
Mo was the best coach the Lions ever had. I remember thinking the day they didn't retain him that it was a huge mistake. The Lions are still bad.
Some classic games from the Moeller years...
In case anyone cares, that's me holding Coach Moeller's cords in the 1994 videos.
High, tight coil level.
Flexibility in maintaining your cord slack.
Good closing speed to arrive at Coach Moeller's side before he starts bellowing for you.
Can't wait for Brian's full UFR breakdown to see where you grade out.
I was a freshman in '73 when we went undefeated and tied OSU 10-10. Bo was a great regular season coach but was dreadful in bowl games. As a result almost every year ended with a loss and a sour taste. My feelings were that there was a lot of relief when Bo retired and Mo was given a chance.
Does any one else believe, as I do, that there was zero tolerance for Mo's ugly behavior as a result of Woody's punching the Clemson player? It only takes one incident if it is bad enough.
As someone born in the late 80's, I didn't know much about Moeller. I've been a fan of UM my whole life but didn't really start paying close attention until my junior year (04) of high school school and by that point there wasn't much talk of Moeller. All I knew about his "firing" was from my dad telling me that the coach of the Lions had been the coach at Michigan and had been fired for some type of public drunkeness incident. Thank you to everyone that added something to this thread because I really learned a lot of stuff that I had no idea about. At the same time, I hate all of you for informing me of how awesome of a coach Moeller was and how much success he could have had.