Was the chance at revenge part of Rich Rodriguez‘s decision to take the job at Arizona?
Not entirely — that would be downright dumb — but it appears that a chance to play, and defeat, Michigan was at least the cherry on top of Rodriguez’s move to Tuscon.
The Detroit Free Press cites a speech given by J.T. Curtis, head coach of John Curtis High School in River Ridge, La., to Tulane boosters Monday.
”My understanding is, in talking to coach Rich Rodriguez, and I was involved in that just a little bit, is that it was a much closer decision than people realize between Tulane and Arizona,” Curtis said. “I know that might not sound right to you but I think Tulane did all they could do to give him an opportunity to come there and a chance to coach, and I think his expression to me was that he felt like he had a better chance to win the national championship at Arizona if he recruited properly.
”And they promised him they’d put Michigan on the schedule in three years,” Curtis said. “I’m telling you, it was a big deal.”
In his introductory press conference, Rodriguez continued to take what sounded like subtle shots at Michigan, indicating he thought “five years meant five years.” Rodriguez has stated numerous times he felt the Wolverines were on the cusp of turning the corner after a rough first three years, but was never given the chance to finish the job.
He may never admit it publicly, but it wouldn’t be surprising at all for Rodriguez to want a shot at his former employer.