In honor of Jim Hackett, today let's stay brand specific. What's your favorite Ford of all time? For the purposes of this thread we'll include Lincolns, Mercuries, certain Mazdas, Volvos, Jags and Astons. Ever own one? Never own one but have one that you admire from afar? Have a favorite vintage? We can do threads for other favorite companies in the future, but here's to Hackett and the Blue Oval
Angelique Chengelis has a nice piece on Hackett's relationship with Harbaugh. It's mostly (high quality and well-written) fluff, but two quotes jump out regarding the reffing at The Game:
“I was so proud of him before the game, and I was even more proud of him after the game,” Hackett said. “I felt he was the kind of man I know him to be. He speaks his mind. I went back and watched the whole interview after the game, and if you watch the whole interview, the stream of when he speaks about being bitterly disappointed is in the flow of questions about how do you feel. This is a man who can’t lie.
He continues to say
“No threat of a fine or a detention where they’re treating an adult with a technique like they would treat him in high school. If he had been disrespectful or vile that’s different, but he was speaking his mind about how he felt. During the heat of the game, can you imagine the comment he got from an official? He competes authentically like no one I’ve ever been around. It just reinforces why we’re lucky to have him because of his authenticity and being a step ahead in the art of being a coach. We have fully realized the value that was promised.”
The complete article is here, and well worth your time:
As Warde Manuel is set to carry the torch as the new Michigan AD, I believe Jim Hackett deserves one last hurrah. Thank you Jim for all that you've done, leading Michigan Athletics out of the darkest of times and restoring hope and optimism!!
Seriously, give this man a statue!!
We all need to be reminded again on Gameday why we are so excited for this season. Without this man, there would be no Jim Harbaugh at Michigan. The anticipation for this season is unlike any other. I'm so damn happy that we don't have Brady Hoke on the sidelines. Thank you Jim Hackett for bringing Harbaugh home!
This is a new era for Michigan Football! It starts tonight!
From Angelique at the Detroit News. The former AD who shall not be named has saved the AD quite a bit of money by getting a job tending to a giraffe.
Michigan interim athletic director Jim Hackett said what he told the UM Regents in May would be a nearly $8 million budget deficit will be significantly lower than expected.
Jim (has been) up in his room (in Chicago) writing practice plans. He never stops. I don't think he sleeps."
Over the past week during a vacation I re-read "Bo's Lasting Lessons" I hadn't read it in probably 5+ years. If you haven't read it I think I wouldn't be alone in reccomending it. If you have read it, but like me its been years I hope this will encourage you to pick it back up.
I was struck by how certain names that are very relevant today were picked out of a distinguished crowd by Bo almost a decade ago. Below are a couple short clips that stood out:
"Today Brad bates is the athletic director at Miami of Ohio- and they love him, there, too. They love him! He's done a marvelous job, and I'm sure you'l be hearing his name wherever a big job opens up. I would not be surprised if he becomes Michiagan's athletic director down the road. If he doesn't, it'll be our loss."
"Years later, Jimmy told me he leared a lot from that meeting, that you can have a tremendous impact as a leader just by taking a little time. Your people have to know that their value to you and your organization is not determined just by what they do, but by who they are. I cant make it any clearer than that."
"Jim ended up being twice as good, in my book, as the Golden Arm- Harbaugh was the Big Ten MVP his senior year, beating the other guy by a mile- and Jim's teammates liked him. Maybe Harbaugh didn't have half the arm of the Golden Boy, but he had twice the brains and ten times the heart. Give me those specs, anyday."
(Jerry's words in response to a question from Jim Harbaugh "what kind of team will we have next year') "Jim, come back in twenty years, and I'll tell you. Only then will we know how you and your classmates turned out. Did you get good jobs? Are you hardworking and honest? Were you good husbands and fathers? Did you contribute to your community? Did you make the world a better place?"
I couldn't believe how well this book held up in the quick changing sports landscape. It shows how much character Bo saw in these individuals and how much they learned and valued their time at Michigan. (I know cool story bro).
The look of a man who knows something you don't
One of the worst things about freedom of speech is spin. The media is so focused on a game of "gotcha" that anyone with a remotely public profile has to be careful about how honest they are. It has created a world where back-door dealings are the ONLY way to conduct any business that is even remotely interesting to the public. You can say anything in the world, and get in trouble.
So I have decided to start a regular feature here on MGoBlog called "If They Could Say It." The idea is that I will say what I believe the public figures would say--through their voices--if they could be honest without penalty. It will be irregular during the off-season, but closer to weekly during the season.
I am not a reporter. I don't have sources. I will base these statement purely off of what happens and my interpretation of personalities and events. I will use supporting information, statistics, and quotes, but the ultimate result is just my guess at what these people would say, if they could say it.
The first episode is a belated look back at the CC...
Seems like a good place to start
During a coaching search, nobody tells the whole truth. Nick Saban repeatedly denied he was interested in the Alabama job just days before he took it. But what's clear in this case is that Michigan never seemed to get serious about a Plan B, because they knew they didn't need one. I believe Hackett was working with Harbaugh's back channel by the time he took the podium to give his now famous "swim lanes" speech.
Furthermore, Harbaugh did NOT take the contract he certainly could have gotten. While his pay is high, he could have gotten Nick Saban money. He turned that down, and I think he would say, "Because I don't want to be the highest paid coach in college football until I've proven I'm the best coach in college football." But this is more evidence that Harbaugh wasn't spending December trying to get himself a deal, but rather negotiating the details of the deal.
"Although we never really needed a back-up, we had several candidates in line, including Doug Marrone. But we also had a guy whom we knew would accept the job if it was offered to him: Dan Mullen."
Jim Hackett is intelligent, organized, and methodical. Even though he knew before he even started the search that he was likely to get Harbaugh, he was working on back-up plans. The Cutcliffe call controversy is some evidence that Michigan was, in fact, asking who might be interested in being a candidate. But having a short list would not have been good enough for Hackett, who knew there was a chance, however small, that he might not get Harbaugh when December 30th finally arrived. With a search lasting that long, he would have needed a surefire candidate ready to take the job if offered, and I believe that was Dan Mullen. Why? While Marrone and likely several other NFL types might have been called first, they would have had to accept the job immediately--a sticky situation if you're in the playoffs or if you just want some time to kick the tires at Michigan. Mullen has a proven track record, knows the area, and would have created some immediate buzz as the Bo to Urban's Woody. Brian agrees.