(Insert “water’s wet, sky’s blue” at your leisure)
A 15-22 overall record, an embarrassing 6-18 mark in Big Ten play, the first major violations in the football program’s history and disgruntled fans and alumni alike were the wreckage left in the wake of the Rich Rodriguez era at Michigan.
Even to those wearing the deepest hue of maize-and-blue-colored glasses, the RichRod experiment was an abject failure that could’ve set the program back several years.
At a Rotary Club function in Flint, Mich., Friday, UM president Mary Sue Coleman allowed as much, with mlive.com writing that “Coleman admitted… that the university made the wrong choice bringing in Rich Rodriguez as head football coach.” As noted by AnnArbor.com, it was the first time Coleman, who along with then-athletic director Bill Martin hired Rodriguez to take over for Lloyd Carr in 2008, had publicly made such an admission.
The criticism of Carr and his conservative offensive approach, Coleman said, led the university to do a 180-degree philosophical turn from the previous regime.
“We though, OK, well let’s go hire the guy who invented the spread offense,” Coleman, presumably facetiously, told the crowd before rhyming her way to the conclusion that “[h]e was a hot, young coach with a different approach.”
Despite his West Virginia roots, RichRod was never “the Michigan man” most had come to expect as head of the storied program. RichRod’s successor, Brady Hoke, on the other hand? He eats, sleeps and breathes that moniker.
“He has more of the kind of Midwestern ethos,” Coleman said of Hoke.
And he has more of that winning ethos to which Michigan has become accustomed, producing in his first year with the Wolverines the program’s first 11-win season since 2006.
Rodriguez, meanwhile, has landed on his coaching feet, with Coleman saying she is “very happy” for Rodriguez and his new gig at Arizona. We’re quite certain that many a Michigan fan would concur, that they are very happy RichRod’s in Arizona as well.