OT: All signs seem to indicate RR will get Casteel

Submitted by JJB2 on January 4th, 2012 at 6:39 PM

For those of you who don't want to read about RR anymore, please skip this thread before it turns into a "not our coach" bitch session.


Probably after the game tonight Casteel will make his move to join RR in Arizona.  The fact that he hasn't named one, yet, seems to be an obvious sign that RR was willing to wait until after WV plays tonight.

I also was on a flight with a WVU sports management grad student who said the athletic dept. believes Casteel is gone, as well.  

If true, could be a great get for RR.  Hope it works out. 

RR's first Pac 12 game next year will be against Oregon - rough way to start.



EDIT: sorry, I put this into the wrong section.  please move into Mgoboard.



January 6th, 2012 at 2:34 PM ^

 Frankly, I hope RR does exceedingly well @ AZ.  I hope he builds a power in the Pac12 South and recruits the hell out of AZ, TX, NV, AND CA!! 

  I would love to have him do so well he has USC screaming that he is taking all their recruits!  Then they won’t be the only strong program there and get EVERY 5*/4* in CA, especially southern CA.

  Plus, I just like the guy, what can I say.

coastal blue

January 4th, 2012 at 7:26 PM ^

Casteel and Gibson has had defenses that perform at a similiar rate to Greg Mattison's defenses in college. 

Not getting Casteel was the single biggest factor in RR failing at Michigan. It would have solidified his staff from the start. 

So he has learned. 

snarling wolverine

January 4th, 2012 at 9:15 PM ^

Gibson was on our 2008-10 defenses, and they certainly didn't perform like a Mattison D.  Pitt's secondary got worse when he came there, too.  The evidence suggests he's simply a bad secondary coach.  I don't think a good DC can completely mask that.

I'm not sold on Casteel.  I don't think he's had to face that many top-notch offenses in the Big East.   Scott Shafer (the guy we shipped out after one season) went to another Big East school (Syracuse) and promptly turned them into a top 20 defense.  That doesn't make Shafer another Mattison.


January 5th, 2012 at 1:48 AM ^

Our secondary looked absolutely terrible the last two games of the season yet I don't see anyone on here criticizing Mallory.

Knocking position coaches is dumb. You have no idea what goes on behind closed doors and how effective they are at their jobs. Head coaches and coordinators are different stories.

Mr. Yost

January 4th, 2012 at 9:23 PM ^

They added more free weights and traditional plate lifting materials, changed some of the "messages" on the walls and it's a blend of what Michigan used to do pre-Barwis and what they did with Barwis.

They also added sleds and old school power training materials.


January 4th, 2012 at 9:24 PM ^

Dude, a state of the art weight room is not a benefit to Rich Rodriguez - it is an investment for the University of Michigan that is, and will continue to pay dividends in player development and recruiting. We had a bunch of old equipment sitting around that did not satisfy the requirements for the new, much-lauded, strength and conditioning staff. And that's not to mention that a coaching contract is OVER TIME, whereas the $1 million upgrade is a ONE TIME investment.

For fuck's sake, of ALL the decisions RR made, complaining about this one is just plain ignorant.

Why can people on this board just LET IT GO!?


January 4th, 2012 at 9:50 PM ^

Calm down.  It's a fair point, and even John Bacon (who is hardly anti-RR) makes it.

If the budget was tight, maybe we didn't need to spend $1M right then on weight room updates.  Maybe we could have spent like $700K on the weight room and used the other $300K to seal the deal with Casteel.  Or maybe RR could have insisted on getting both.  He chose to focus on Barwis and let the chips fall where they may on defense.  We saw how that turned out.

Having a good DC is a good investment, too.  Even if Barwis got our defensive players in good shape, the terrible coaching made it all for naught. 


January 4th, 2012 at 11:26 PM ^

There is a difference between being unwilling and unable to pay for something. Michigan had the resources to do both, but elected not to out of misguided arrogance. These are all counterfactuals that have no relevance to the main issue, which is that it is not RR's fault that the AD was unwilling to give any of his assistants contracts; for Casteel, unlike the others, this was the dealbreaker.

Remember: the strength staff spends MORE time with the players than the football staff does. RR said that Barwis is a key component of his entire football program. All you have to do is listen to RR talk about Barwis, and Barwis about RR to understand that they share a vision of what a football program should be like.

He did not believe Casteel was as important to the program as a whole. Maybe in hindsight he would change things, but my argument, and the one Bacon made, is that this was a choice that he should not have been forced to make in the first place. Suggestions like skimming of 300k for a weight room upgrade, or asking him to pay Casteel out of his own pocket don't address any of the key problems: no contract for Casteel, and a meager pay raise.



January 4th, 2012 at 8:02 PM ^

The difference between the offers was $10k.  That's all.  As I said elsewhere it wouldn't have taken much to pull Castell here.   

RR didn't need to lower his own salary, nor should he have.   Michigan with its vast resources could have easily offered more money to Casteel but they wouldn't match WVU's simple offer of $10k extra and a contract.  What's Michigan's endowment, multibillions?

Dave Brandon said himself Michigan needs to pony up the money for coaches instead of  paying middle-to-low end salaries; something Michigan was doing for years due to the loyalty/frugality of previous coaching staffs.



January 4th, 2012 at 9:30 PM ^

It wasn't just about money though.  According to Bacon's book none of RRs assistance at M had contracts.  Casteel staying at WVU offered him more money, job security in the form of a 2 year contract, and allowed him to keep his family in WV where they were comfortable.  All of this happened due to the fact that WVU decided to hire Bill Stewart from RRs previous staff.

So, yes M definitely needed to start forking over more cash for assistants but some contracts would have helped.


January 4th, 2012 at 7:40 PM ^

Actually, Bacon says that Rodriguez didn't push the issue enough and didn't seem to regard luring Casteel as a top priority. He was absolutely adamant that Michigan do whatever it took to bring Barwis, but didn't seem to insist upon Casteel. If he really wanted Casteel, he could have talked Martin into making it happen.  

The fact that he's held open the DC position on his staff pending the end of Casteel's season probably indicates that he has at least realized how important Casteel was to his success at WVU. What he doesn't seem to have learned is that a good coach should be able to focus on what he knows and hire top assistants to handle what he doesn't know. Casteel isn't the only great DC Rodriguez could have lured to Arizona, he's just apparently the only great DC he felt he could work with. 


January 4th, 2012 at 8:10 PM ^

Actually Bacon's book on page 88 says Casteel had a Michigan cell phone and was ready to come here until WVU made a counteroffer.

Michigan could have easily matched WVU's offer of only $10k more.  But they didn't.   That's not up to RR, ultimately that was up to Bill Martin.



January 4th, 2012 at 8:46 PM ^

I know, but what I'm saying is that Rodriguez could have insisted upon bringing Casteel with him. He did that with Barwis. Rodriguez had plenty of leverage in his dealings with Michigan; if he really wanted to, he could have persuaded Martin to pony up and beat WVU's counteroffer to Casteel. If Rodriguez had told Martin, "This guy was crucial to what we built at WVU, I need him here in Ann Arbor. Please do whatever it takes to get him," do you think Martin would have said no? Rodriguez didn't push the issue the way he did for Barwis. Bacon himself has made this point in radio interviews. The fact that Rodriguez has held the DC position on his staff open for over one month after he was hired at Arizona just so Casteel could finish his season indicates that he has come to realize just how critical Casteel was to his success at WVU.  


January 4th, 2012 at 7:23 PM ^

Truth.   I finally got  Bacon's book and while I'm only 2/3 through it, it's pretty obvious that had RR had Casteel here, things would have been very, very different.


snarling wolverine

January 4th, 2012 at 8:09 PM ^

I don't think it's obvious.  Just because one of Rodriguez's closest friends said that in the book doesn't mean it's definitely true.  I think Casteel has morphed into this kind of white whale to Rodriguez's Captain Ahab after the fact as a way to justify Rodriguez's failures.  Heck, the book itself makes it clear that landing Casteel wasn't even that high of a priority for RR at the time.  




January 4th, 2012 at 8:46 PM ^

Reading it left me with a few distinct impressions.

One, that I really wished RR would have worked out at Michigan, and that he's a great coach (not excusing the reasons he failed). He's going to find the top as he did everywhere else he's been.

Two, I genuinely feel like a friend of his. It's amazing how spending two days reliving the last three years through his eyes has endeared him to me.

Third, it made me wish one of our at bats with Les Miles had connected. That we chose to take the walk when the pitcher was intentionally gifting under hand lobs irks me.

And fourth, I really needed to read the book on Hoke and his first season. The story that is this year and our future is the perfect follow up to a real, poignantly beautiful, but heart-breaking tragedy.


January 5th, 2012 at 9:44 AM ^

There's a good sample size now of Rodriguez first years (Glenville State, WVU, Michigan)  where one can conclude that Arizona's first year will probably be pretty tough.  That said, I think he will be successful at 'Zona as I see the AD and fanbase being more patient than what was present at Michigan.

Drew Sharp

January 4th, 2012 at 7:19 PM ^

I believe Brian put all of these threads to rest with a post a couple weeks ago. The only time i want to hear his name is when Zona plays a b1g team in five years. Otherwise...forget it.


January 4th, 2012 at 7:19 PM ^


Casteel believes he is typecast as a coach with deep roots to West Virginia and the WVU program and would be difficult to pry away from Morgantown. Casteel feels this perception has kept him from being considered for jobs he would otherwise be a candidate. His rationale for making a lateral move to Arizona is to break the stereotype and show his willingness to move on from West Virginia.


He thinks he's not getting offered because schools don't think he'll accept? If they really wanted him wouldn't they toss a tentative offer out to gauge his interest? It doesn't ring true--it soundls like something dreamed up to avoild discussion of the more relevant issues, like his relationship with Torgerson.


January 6th, 2012 at 2:26 PM ^

No, IMO it is a strong lateral move and maybe improvement for a couple of reasons (especially in Casteel’s case):

1)      Going from a newcomer in Big12 (Which itself may or may not survive) to a very strong Pac12 conference.

2)      If AZ defense turns around and becomes a strength he will get all the credit as his head coach (RR) has the “No Defense” label already.

3)      Some concerns of animosity with present coach, yet he has shown he works well with RR.

              4)      Will have demonstrated he can come out of WVU apron strings if he feels that is a deterrent to recent bypass on a head coach positions.