CC- Why was Rich Rodriguez hired and how that affects our perception.

Submitted by skunk bear on December 1st, 2010 at 4:30 PM

[Ed-M: Bumped to diary 'cause it's a diary, basically, then un-bumped due to WAIT YOU WERE SRSLY?]

After reading countless posts about whether Rich Rodriguez should continue to be our football coach, it seems clear that a large percentage of the MGoCommunity believe that Rodriguez was hired to drag an antiquated football program, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century.

If you believe this, then how could your reaction to the possibility of Rodriguez being fired, be anything other than: "No, you have to give him enough time to complete the transition"?.

But, is that why Rodriguez was hired? Let's review  (and please, if you followed the last coaching hire more closely than I did, or if you have inside information, correct me where I am wrong).

1) Lloyd Carr became ill. This illness drained Lloyd of energy and made Lloyd condider retiring. But, Lloyd is a battler and loved coaching Michigan football. So Lloyd stayed on. But Lloyd, who never believed in over-working players in the first place, because football should be fun, could no longer provide the attention to detail that the team needed.

Lloyd was also very loyal to his assistant coaches, some of whom became complacent. So, the program began to slide. However, Athletic Director Bill Martin loved Lloyd, in part because Martin was never a "football guy", but mostly because Lloyd was a low-maintenance coach. There was however, growing discontentment with Lloyd as coach in the Michigan football community.

Then came what we now call "The Horror" Then the Oregon blowout. Under pressure, no longer young or well, Lloyd (one way or another) retires.

2) Bill Martin expects Michigan to have its pick of top coaches and wants another low-maintenance coach, a ready for primetime coach. Martin wants someone who has already established himself as a successful head coach.

If Michigan is to go outside the present staff, Lloyd's pick is Kirk Ferentz of Iowa.Ferentz is well-respected, smart and accomplished and has assembled a fine staff. Ferentz is offered the job. Ferentz turns it down.

One coach that Lloyd Carr did not want was the favorite choice of Michigan fans, Les MIles. Miles had coached here at Michigan, with Carr, but had quickly left after Lloyd became head coach.

But, Bill Martin wants a successful, popular coach. A backchannel contact is made to Les Miles to become the next Michigan coach. What happens next is less clear, but apparently an opponent of the Miles hire leaks the news to Desmond Howard, our former Heisman trophy winner, who now works for ESPN. Kirk Herbstreit, the former OSU quarterback, also works for ESPN, gets wind of the story from Desmond and breaks the story on live national television.

Miles is about to coach LSU in the SEC title game. A victory could send two-loss LSU to the national championship game. Miles is now under enormous pressure. LSU wants to know: "Is this true?" LSU's players want to know. Miles frantically tries to contact Bill Martin. Miles wants to know: "Do I have the job?" But, Bill Martin, unaware of the leak, is literally out to sea. Martin, an avid sailor, has gone out on his boat and done so without a phone. Miles quickly agrees to a contract extension with LSU and coaches them to victory and the national championship.

Michigan is looking foolish, the Michigan brand-name is taking a hit.

Greg Schiano is a temporarily hot coach at the moment. Schiano has coached Rutgers from (b)oblivion to respectability. Anybody who could do that has to be a good coach. Michigan needs a coach. Martin offers Schiano. Schiano accepts, reluctantly. Then Schiano talks to his team and decides to stay at Rutgers. Martin is getting desperate. Martin offers Schiano again. But, still the answer is no.

Then, unexpectedly, Michigan is contacted by the agent for one of the hottest young coaches around. Rich Rodriguez has led West Viginia to three straight top ten finishes. Rodriguez is well-enough thought of to have been offered the Alabama job the year before. It's like a cold glass of water to a thirsty man. Martin and university president Coleman meet Rodriguez for a five hour meeting in Toledo, Ohio. Rich Rodriguez becomes the next Michigan coach.

 

3) My point for the MGoCommunity to consider: RR was not brought in to revolutionize Michigan football, but as an act of desperation without fully realizing what would be entailed in adjusting to Rodriguez as coach.

Those who wanted such a revolution, do not want to give it up.

Those who didn't are just appalled at the way we are playing.

And so you have a divided fanbase.

PS: This is just my second time starting a thread. My first was a meta post that got sent to some obscure place (Bolivia?) Any constructive criticism is welcome. TY

Edit: No ill intent of any kind is intended by this post. My sources for this is that I followed the coaching search as closely as I could. TV , radio , newspapers, online, and Micigan sports blogs and forums including this one. I am writing from memory. I am open to any corrections.

Dec 2- All right, at the implicit suggestion of an ex-mod, and after careful thought, I've decided to edit out the unnecessary parts that have offended some MGoBloggers. I hope this doesn't make the commentary seem too out of place. Please keep in mind that what remains is my understanding of events and that I seek correction from those more knowledgeable.

Comments

SFBlue

December 1st, 2010 at 4:40 PM ^

No, no, no. This is quite a bit of revisionist history. Lloyd wanted out. M's search floundered. RR was highly regarded, previously, and unsuccessfully, courted by Bama. He was the best candidate available. Period. His resume speaks for itself. To call him a desperation hire is flat out sophistry.

And to speculate about Lloyd's health? Crass.

CWoodson

December 1st, 2010 at 4:47 PM ^

Seriously, is any of this true at all?  I've heard very different versions of almost every single thing you discussed, Miles absolutely did not hook up with Lloyd's wife (you've got the rumor wrong), and the speculation here is classless at best.

This is crappy fan-fiction.

Mitch Cumstein

December 1st, 2010 at 4:54 PM ^

"Miles absolutely did not hook up with Lloyd's wife"

 

I've keep hearing Miles did some terrible thing while he was an assistant coach, but never have really heard a specific rumor.  This was the first I've heard, and it makes sense that no one talks about it.  What is the right rumor that you refer to?

CWoodson

December 1st, 2010 at 5:21 PM ^

I've heard that he hooked up with another coach's wife, it came with a name, I've forgotten who - but it was not Lloyd.

It makes no sense within the frame of this ridiculous "theory" of course, that somehow has been pos-banged despite being completely idiotic and baseless.  The guy got with Lloyd's wife, but Lloyd hates him because he spread a rumor about him being sick???  OK.

This is a very small step up from the amusement park thread, the OP ADMITS that this comes from "memory" of non-authoritative sources from 3 years ago and no insider info, it conflicts with far more competent accounts of all of this, and people act like he's adding to the board?  Wow.

yahwrite

December 1st, 2010 at 4:43 PM ^

You're saying Lloyd may have Parkinson's and Miles may have had an affair with Lloyd's wife.

Link?

BTW the cow in your avatar has a really long tail. Or is that a dairy cat?

Webber's Pimp

December 1st, 2010 at 4:43 PM ^

I thought I'd seen and read it all.  Ferentz and Schiano turning down Michigan, Miles having an affair with LLoyd's wife, Parkinsons, avid sailors, cell phones left behind. I'm surprised you didn't throw in a murder, some white powder (cocaine), and a homosexual relationship into this narrative. Jeeeez! Where the hell do you get all of this stuff from??

Wolverine96

December 1st, 2010 at 4:55 PM ^

Coke & Hookers aside, there is a lot of personal animosityy between Lloyd and Les.  Les is very tight with Bill McCartney, following him to Colorado when he to the job there.  Lloyd's 2nd wife is McCartney's ex.  So there is an issue there.  Plus it is rumored that Les did in fact have an affair with another coaches wife.  Moeller's not Carr's. [This was told to me by a former Michigan player who is tight with Jerry Hanlon.]  Add in the negative recruiting and you can understand why Lloyd and others would not bless this hire. 

Now I am very sure the Parkinson's rumor was debunked a while back. 

profitgoblue

December 1st, 2010 at 4:47 PM ^

Please be advised that you have violated the Prohibition on Coaching Change Opinions Act of 2010 (hereafter, the "Act"), profligated by Profitgoblue on November 30, 2010.  In particular, you have violated Article 2(d) of the Act which states, in part:  "Thou shalt not, under any circumstances, post a personal opinion with respect to whether or not Rich Rodriguez will be fired.."

Please be further advised that, pursuant to Article 3 of the Act, the minimum fine for this violation is the loss of one (1) MGoPoint, with the maximum to be determined by the MGoCommunity.

Please be further advised that, pursuant to Article 5 of the Act, if you dispute the application of the Act to your thread/post, you have twenty-four (24) hours to "file" a formal written appeal by replying to this post.  All appeals will be considered on their merits as soon as practical, unless deemed to be frivolous by Profitgoblue in his sole discretion.

jhackney

December 1st, 2010 at 5:10 PM ^

Since we here at MGoblog agree on MAD (Mutually Assured DIStruction), I will refrain from nuking you in to Bolivian. If this post were a swing on some one in the coaching realm, I would have chosen a non-nuclear attack. Since it is a civil E-pinion under a CC heading thread you are safe as long as it stays on your side of the CC demilitarized zone. Congrats comrade, you have saved innocent lives and bloodshed.

yostlovesme

December 1st, 2010 at 4:44 PM ^

Y was this not plausible, yet I couldnt stop reading.  Still have no idea how u can say RR was desparation.  Granted no chance he takes the job if WVU beats Pitt in the backyard brawl as they would have been playing for the NC, but he still had one of the best resumes out there. 

jmblue

December 1st, 2010 at 4:54 PM ^

For the record, the old rumor was that Miles slept with Moeller's wife, not Lloyd's.  (A follow-up rumor holds that this is what drove Mo to drink that fateful night.) 

jmblue

December 1st, 2010 at 5:13 PM ^

Well, I don't think there's any photographic evidence.  ;)

It's a pretty well-known rumor around the program.  That's not to say it's definitely true, but it's been around a long time.  It may be the reason for Miles's old nickname, "Loose Morals."

Dark Blue

December 1st, 2010 at 5:03 PM ^

 

But
 
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RR having us in the right direction was not the point of the OP.  The reply that was negged took it into the realm of THE ACT.

new

But
 
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RR having us in the right direction was not the point of the OP.  The reply that was negged took it into the realm of THE ACT.

new

But
 
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Joined: Nov 16 2009
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RR having us in the right direction was not the point of the OP.  The reply that was negged took it into the realm of THE ACT.

 

 

Actually, I heard Miles hooked up with the...
 
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... wait for it... wait for it... Ball Boy! 

new

Actually, I heard Miles hooked up with the...
 
User is online Online
 
Joined: Jul 9 2008
MGoPoints: -2
 
 

... wait for it... wait for it... Ball Boy! 

new

Actually, I heard Miles hooked up with the...
 
User is online Online
 
Joined: Jul 9 2008
MGoPoints: -2
 
 

... wait for it... wait for it... Ball Boy!

 

Two triple posts within 3 minutes of each other, well done fellas

Undefeated dre…

December 1st, 2010 at 5:25 PM ^

that Bill Martin was a great businessman but not the best evaluator of coaching fit (see Cheryl Burnett) and got the AD job in part because the previous AD (Goss) was so gaddawful and anything would be better than him and while he did a great job with the financials and the facilities he was botching the coaching search and then he basically lucked into having one of the hottest coaching candidates possible fall into his lap and then did nothing to help that coaching candidate smooth any feathers that would be ruffled either at WVU or U-M because Martin's not a top-notch people person then well, I agree.

Augger

December 1st, 2010 at 5:34 PM ^

Ferentz was recommended strongly to Martin from various people, but Martin didn't feel he was a big enough name at the time...he was never called...

Aug

Voltron Blue

December 1st, 2010 at 6:01 PM ^

...request) that have not already been noted above:

- Lloyd did not retire under pressure following 2 losses to begin the 2007 season.  Lloyd expressed an interest in retiring after the 2006 season and was talked into coaching one more year by Bill Martin.  It certainly seems plausible that the fact that Lloyd's heart was not 100% into the job (due to his desire to have retired) played a part in the Horror taking place.

- The search committee put together by Martin to suggest a candidate suggested Les Miles .  However...Martin/Carr ignored the advice, and a deal was never struck.  

- This is my own opinion, but I'm sure Martin wanted the best coach for Michigan, period, not the "lowest maintenance".  And Rich wasn't a "desperation" hire, but had a stellar resume...enough to have been offered the Alabama job the year prior PLUS an additional conference championship / BCS bowl bid in that subsequent year. 

But I'm, in Brian's terms, "just a guy"....none of this is based on a direct source, just passing on my understanding of "Michigan lore".

Blue Bill

December 1st, 2010 at 6:25 PM ^

Regardless of why Rodriguez was hired (whether it was explicitly to revolutionize the program, out of desperation, or simply because he was considered a damn good coach), the fact remains that he was hired with the knowledge that it would in fact result in a revamping of the program. 

I was not among those who thought Michigan needed to be "dragged into the 21st century," and in fact I was never a big fan of the various spread offense incarnations.  I was not big on the Rodriguez hire when it happened.  But when it happened, I understoond that such a drastic shift in philosophy would require a painful readjustment period.  Again, this remains true regardless of whether or not such a shift in philosophy was the reason for the hire; desired or not, the shift was there, and indeed this understanding was a reason some opposed the hire in the first place.

This is also irrelevant because at this point that shift is essentially complete.  Regardless of whether or not he was brought in specifically to revamp our offense into something flashy and cutting edge, the fact is he has pretty much already done that.  If that transition was the whole story, we probably would have challenged for a conference title this year and the posts prohibited on this forum by PGB would simply not be happening.  As it happens, however, while the offense has emerged from a painful transition as something good and potentially phenomenal, the other two phases of the game have undergone an historic and incomprehensible collapse.  A defensive/special teams transition was not really anticipated, and probably unnecessary; the depths to which they have sunk, even allowing for all the excuses (legitimate or not), is simply unacceptible.  And I say that as someone who has supported Rodriguez since he was hired, even though I didn't like the hire, because I was "all in."

EDIT: And I also say this as someone who is not opposed to keeping Rodriguez on.  What he's done with the offense is amazing, and it's not unthinkable to assume the defense will get to at least a level of "good enough" as they continue to grow and gain experience.  I'm just rebutting the idea that the "wanted/didn't want a revolution" split is the reason for the divided fanbase at this current juncture, aside from those who simply didn't want Rodriguez to begin with and won't like him no matter what.

CRex

December 1st, 2010 at 6:20 PM ^

A lot of the opening post is rumors/info.  The affair rumor, the illness rumor, etc.  I've heard the affair rumors that Miles slept with Moeller's wife, which led to Moeller's drunken punching of a cop.  I've heard he slept with other coaches wives.  It has a thousand different flavors.  

Those things aside though, I think the program was set up for pain starting in the early 2000s.  A number of coaches under Carr started getting hired away by small schools at that point.  Our response was to do things like rehire DeBord, etc.  

Martin never made a play to pay those assistants and keep them here.  Never made a play to set up a head coach in waiting gig.  Closest we ever came was Ron English had that one good year and we talked about maybe promoting him until App State put an end to that.  

In 2006 when Carr first wanted to retire Martin had to ask him to stay on.  Two years later despite Bo, Moeller and Carr all having good coaching trees our options for hiring someone were: Miles (off an internal tree), Ferentz, and running around like a chicken with our head cut off.  

Imagine if you will for a moment in 2008 if RR isn't feuding with WVU and looking for a way out.  Who do we hire?  

I really think Martin takes a lot of blame for this.  He had a 2 year warning Lloyd was looking to retire (due to age, sickness, whatever) and he still screwed it up.  He also did nothing to keep branches of the coaching tree at Michigan so we could promote from within.