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...