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Michigan prez concedes an “oops!” on RichRod hire

Mary Sue Coleman, Rich Rodriguez AP

(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 writing that “Coleman admitted… that the university made the wrong choice bringing in Rich Rodriguez as head football coach.”  As noted by, 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.

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34 Responses to “Michigan prez concedes an “oops!” on RichRod hire”
  1. wvucolumbus says: May 13, 2012 6:37 PM

    1. RichRod DID invent the spread while coaching at a small NAIA school in central WV (Glenville State). She wasn’t being facetious. The QB (Jed Drenning) and WR (Chris George) set the all-time yardage records for all divisions at the time (I believe).

    2. He was an AWFUL fit at Michigan. His recruiting roots are the Gulf states (from his time at Clemson/Tulane). That was a reactionary move that never would’ve been made had he not been the head coach of the largest gag job in WVU football history. Reason? He would’ve been in the title game against Ohio State and Michigan likely wouldn’t have waited for RR. (It’s interesting if Les Miles would’ve taken the job….we’ll never know).

  2. John Taylor says: May 13, 2012 6:50 PM

    @wvucolumbus: RichRod didn’t invent the spread offense as that’s been around in some form since at least the 1950s. He is credited for inventing the zone read, though.

  3. coolhorn says: May 13, 2012 6:54 PM

    I remember the old San Francisco 49ers’s of the late fifties being one of the first teams to put their quarterback full time in the shotgun position…they played a very early version of a spread offense before JFK became President.

    Reference Rich Rod…yep, not Michigan’s finest moment in hiring him, but admitting it now is kinda like closing the barn door after the cow’s already out. The funny thing is, Rodriguez will probably be much more successful at ‘Zona…the PAC being a much more wide-open conference offensively.

  4. mountaineer50415 says: May 13, 2012 7:08 PM

    Considering the fact that people go to college from 4-5 years, 3 years is not long enough to implement a completly different offense. He should have slowing put in the running game, if he was going into that form of play. However, how can a team expect to do well when they sneak a coach out in the middle of the night? He is such a big liar that I do not believe he will do well anywhere. Michigan was an enabler.
    I am glad he is gone. Hope he never returns to WV for any reason. Not welcome, as far as I am concerned. I also hope it takes a few more years for Michigan to get back to the big time. People calling the Mountaineer’s names does not make what Michigan and RichRod did right. Do not think that Arkensas will do as well as they could have by taking the coach they took eather. It always seems to work out that what goes around comes around.

  5. indywvu says: May 13, 2012 7:26 PM

    Yeah, they made a mistake. So did he, he should have stayed with us. He was going to be a legend for our (his and my) alma mater.

    It’s a shame he’s left, but we look in capable hands until HCDH leaves for another job. I would love to have Coach Rod back if/when that happens.

    I was angry at first and for awhile. Not that he left, but how he left. However, I’ve gotten the hell over it. So sad that so many other Mountaineer “fans” haven’t.

    Best of luck at Arizona, Coach Rod. Oh, and Michigan, you sabotaged him from day one. F*** you.

  6. thehawg says: May 13, 2012 8:19 PM

    He did recruit Dennard Robinson, I believe he would have turned it around given more time, look what Brady Hoke was able to do with his recruits.

  7. thegamecocker says: May 13, 2012 10:14 PM


    The folks at WVU who continue to despise Rodriguez are justified. He had no reason leaving WVU! He was an icon in that state and could have lead them to a Nat’l Champ game. But he became greedy. He deserves all the animosity that comes his way! What aggravates me is your comment that you would take him back! What the hell is wrong with you! Rodriguez is a pariah! A greedy bastard. I’m happy he failed at UM but I also agree they went after him. So screw them too.
    But YOU should never wish he would return! He can’t be trusted!

  8. packhawk04 says: May 13, 2012 10:36 PM

    “Look what hoke was able to do with his recruits”

    Now, lets compare it to how richrod did with his recruits. Richrod’s michigan teams scored a ton of points, but usually gave up more. Get a coaching staff that gives two squirts of piss about defense, and you have a BCS bowl victory.

  9. rexbeatsoff2feet says: May 13, 2012 10:39 PM

    I follow Michigan more than anyone should and the funny thing about RR compared to Hoke is in the type of players they recruit. RR recruit- 5’9 165 Hoke recruit- 6’5 280.

  10. indywvu says: May 13, 2012 10:42 PM

    He had no reason to leave WVU? Did I read that?

    I don’t know what you make. Say it’s $40k a year. You wouldn’t leave for another job paying $60k a year? Oh, maybe you’d stay. What about the fact you work in a 6×6 cubicle and you’re now being offered that 50% payraise AND an office with a view? He wanted better facilities, better for his coaching staff and better for his players. That’s the same thing as the upgrade from a cubicle to an office. But, maybe you’d like to stay in your cubicle for 50% less. I know I wouldn’t.

    Was he loyal? Nope. Loyalty only goes so far. It’s a two way street. He didn’t get the things he wanted to make a better PROGRAM. He’s not a dumb man. He knows that WVU, because of location, reputation and other things, would have to at LEAST be on par facilities wise to compete with other big time schools for championships year in and year out. When he couldn’t get it (thanks to the asshats Garrison and Pastilong), he went to a place that put out money and WANTED to win.

    Should he have stayed? Yes.

    Was I angry for 12-18 months about the WAY he left? Yes.

    Does WVU and their fanbase have an inferiority complex? Yes.

    Step back, release yourself from both your emotions and the Kool-Aid and you will see that he made the best decision, at the time, for his family, his coaching staff and himself.

    You can say what you want now about the result. Hindsight is always 20/20. You’ve never made a poor choice in your life? If not, congratulations. You’re the one person in the history of mankind that didn’t.

    Look at the death threats, property damage, etc that happened once he announced he was leaving. WVU fans are some of the most idiotic fans out there.

    He can’t be trusted? What head coach can? Name me one person that would coach at WVU that wouldn’t take a prestigious job like Michigan, Notre Dame or Alabama if offered. Yeah, what I thought. If he had three 3-9 seasons, how LOYAL would the administration be? Could they be TRUSTED to live up to their part of the contract and just let it expire instead of firing him? Yeah, what I thought.

    At the end of the day, IT’S JUST A DAMN GAME! GET OVER IT!

    Good luck, Coach Rod. I will be watching over the next few seasons.

  11. linedrivehit says: May 13, 2012 10:46 PM

    I say Thank Goodness he turned Alabama down and we got Nick! Roll Tide! (Go ahead and start hitting the ‘thumbs down’ button that will show your undying jealously of where Nick has Alabama’s program right now.)

  12. indywvu says: May 13, 2012 10:57 PM

    Well, there’s a fan of one of the fan bases even more ridiculous and obnoxious than WVU’s…

  13. thegamecocker says: May 13, 2012 11:18 PM


    If WVU would have beaten Pitt, they would have been in the NC game! You’re a MORON! Thank goodness true WVU fans have more morals than you!
    He should NEVER step foot in that state again! And Michigan should NEVER have fired Lloyd Carr! But you are nothing more than a two-bit tramp who would sell your school to the highest bidder. Rodriguez was winning at WVU; he had a recruiting edge in Florida and the Southeast; he had a fan base that was one of the best in the country. He was making millions of dollars, loved by everyone in the state of WVa. and you write how justified he was in leaving! You’re out of your mind. “Good luck, Coach Rod. I will watching over the next few sasons.” Yea you’ll be watching alright….most likely from the “RUBBER ROOM” you probably occupy now! Ya prostitute!!!! Now get lost.

  14. thefiesty1 says: May 14, 2012 12:04 AM

    His problem at UM was hiring that “read and react – too late” DC Greg Robinson. RR’s offense was ok – they just had NO defense.

  15. indywvu says: May 14, 2012 7:54 AM

    Really? Not a true WVU fan? Kinda hard not to be when you grow up in Morgantown, graduate from MHS and are an alumnus of the University.

    I guess you are right, though. I’m not a FAN, I’m an alumnus. Big difference.

    Not to mention my closet of 75 or so t-shirts, polos and hoodies or the 150+ hats…and the tens of thousands of dollars I have spent on other WVU stuff.

    Please, tell me again how I’m not a fan.

  16. mountaineer50415 says: May 14, 2012 8:00 AM

    I was not upset that he left. I feel they got what they asked for. I am, however, very angry that he was such a joke and left in the middle of the night. He said he was not leaving, and then he packed up and left.
    If that wasn’t bad enough he got on a national TV show and talked about us going to the Big 12 as being the same thing. We did not say we were staying. We did not leave in the middle of the night. We played all our games last year, including our bowl game. He left before the bowl game just because we lost to Pitt. At least that is what he said. I believe he would have done that even if we had won. He would not have stayed and coached the NC. I thank God for that. We would have lost with him.
    I am all for forgiveness. This is the Grace age. Even God asks us to confess our sins. He does not just let us do what ever we feel like and then listen to us as we say he should forgive. How stupid that would be.
    Rich Rod does not want our forgiveness. He wanted us to cry over his leaving. Well, how did that work for you? I am glad he is gone, never want him back, and hope that the man we have now stays forever. However, if he does not I sure do hope he is honest and gives us a notice. After all we gave coach Stewart a notice. We gave the Big East a notice.
    I am happy for Alabama that he did not go there also.
    A game is when I play checkers. When people depend on something for their life work it ceases to be a game. This is a business. When I hired employees I looked for honesty. Michigan did not and they got what they asked for. I do not feel inferior to anyone. A state does not make a human. A state is where people live. Coach Saban is from WV. I have never heard anyone say he is inferior. Also so is Dr. Lou. He may be Catholic first but he is a mountaineer also.
    Sorry Arkansas, I did not mean to misspell your name.

  17. takingbovadasmoney says: May 14, 2012 8:27 AM

    Richrod’s offense wasn’t the problem at Michigan. They scored more than enough. The godawful defense was the problem. Also, I believe Carr resigned and wasn’t fired.
    Someone needs to tell the Michigan Prez to keep quiet. First she dissed the fab five and now Richrod. Pretty soon people will be calling her an arrogant ass….

  18. thegamecocker says: May 14, 2012 9:44 AM


    The Fab Five deserved to be criticized, particularly Chris Webber! He took money while at UM and he embarrassed the himself as well as the school. He never graduated from UM and represents the worst of college athletes. He called time-out when the team had none and did NOTHING in the NBA. When I see him on TV, I immediately turn the channel. He is UM’s version of Auburn’s Cam Newton! Another lying cheat. As far as her comments re Rodriguez, he deserves what he gets…..then some! At least you have the good sense of not EVER want Rodriguez back. That’s sound judgement.

  19. mountaineer50415 says: May 14, 2012 10:40 AM

    It’s isn’t just RichRod. My stand is if you hire a thief, he will steal from you. If you hire a lier, he will lie to you. Check people out before you hire them. Knowing how to take an offense in a certain direction is not all there is to a coach. I believe Arkansas can atest to that. No one is perfect so do the best you can. You can not do what he did and expect to be taken back to do it again to the same people. Now that would make us stupid.
    If he does well in Arizona, you can bet he will lie to them also. The truth is not in him. Good luck, you do need it.

  20. thegamecocker says: May 14, 2012 11:00 AM


    I couldn’t agree more with you! A tiger never changes its stripes. Rich Rod is a liar and cheat. Now convince @indywvu of your position because he would take Rodriguez back! Is that crazy or what! And he claims to be a devout WVU alumnus and avid fan. I believe that but his judgement is flawed.

  21. indywvu says: May 14, 2012 11:05 AM

    My judgement is not flawed, I just actually know there is a great big world outside of West Virginia and I also don’t drink the insane Kool-Aid.

    Accuse him of whatever you want. Almost any coach would have left. Given the chance, so will HCDH. I know he went about it incorrectly, and I’m sure he learned from that. But again, anybody would have made that move. Once I calmed down and came back to the real world, I understood.

    Also, I notice you completely ignored my questions about whether you would leave your job more pay and better facilities. Probably because you know I’m right.

    Never let facts get in the way of a good story, right?

  22. thegamecocker says: May 14, 2012 11:16 AM


    I learned a lesson a long time ago. I once left a high-profile company for another high-profile company. I received a 25% increase in total compensation. A year later, I was terribly unhappy and the division I was with closed shop. I was on a very strong career path and happy at my first job but jumped at the increase. I made a terrible error in judgement by doing that. Since then, I was able to continue my career at another organization where I had many opps to leave for higher compensation. But I stayed put and ultimately did very well. And I was very happy. Money isn’t everything. I’m surprised that you have not learned that yet. If you are young, then consider what happened to me; if you are a seasoned work veteran, than you will always take the risk of moving for more money.

  23. mountaineer50415 says: May 14, 2012 11:48 AM

    indywva has no character and thus does not expect others to have it. Going after more money does not mean sneak out in the middle of the night. Like I said, the state does not dictate a persons character. It comes from within. We all make mistakes. We are not all habitual liars.

  24. mtheparrothead says: May 14, 2012 8:22 PM

    Has anyone been to wv? Of course rich rod would leave that hell hole. And Michigan is already back and stronger than wvu can hope to be over the next 10 years.

  25. mountaineer50415 says: May 15, 2012 7:54 AM

    I am sure that any one who calls themselves a parrothead, sees, hears and knows all!!!!
    Do not believe we mountaineers have to say how we are doing. Both Michigan and WV played the ACC in the Bowl games. WV played Clemson, the team that beat Va Tech not once but twice. Michigan played Va Tech. We beat Clemson 70 to 33. It was 63 to 20 before we slowed down. After that we got 7 points and they got 13. Now lets compare that to what Michigan did. They won by 3 points in OT. Wow.
    Now I understand how Michigan is better than WV. NOT!!!!!! I know everyone would love to live in the hell hole of Detroit. I think I will take “all most heaven W.V.’ any day of the week. You can have dark and dreary Michigan.
    If you do not think that WV is one of the most beautiful states in the country then you have never been there.

  26. thegamecocker says: May 15, 2012 9:37 AM


    You’re an idiot! That state is one of the most beautiful I have ever been to. The Appalachian Mountains are beautiful, the lakes and rivers are clean, there is great golf courses there and MOST importantly, the PEOPLE are some of the friendliest you will ever meet. Michigan football is on the way BACK; UM wants NO PART of this coming years West Va. team. They could be in the NC hunt, they are that good! I’m a South Carolina and Rutgers fan and I have absolute respect for WVU. Not sure my Gamecocks want to tangle with them this coming season…and we are a very strong team! BTW, have you EVER been to the South in general or West Virginia in particular? I was raised in NJ and live here now with Family. There is a Northeast bias against the South and you appear to have that affliction. The irony is that many Northerners RETIRE to the South, particularly the Carolinas’. They are the same people with that Northeast bias. And when I ask if you’ve ever been in the South, I don’t mean driving on I-95 or I-85. UM’s a great school and Ann Arbor a wonderful college town. But it’s very cold in the winter.

  27. mtheparrothead says: May 15, 2012 9:44 AM

    Game cocker,

    I actually have lived in the south for the last 8 years thank you (Jacksonville). And having grown up in Michigan and frequented wv numerous times I can say there’s no comparison. Wv mountains are great sure. But the variety of Michigan it comes nowhere close to.

  28. thegamecocker says: May 15, 2012 10:12 AM


    You see, when you make a statement like you did in your first post: “Has anyone been to wv? Of course rich rod would leave that hell hole”, you’re going to receive back the same tonality which you initiated. I see you have changed that tone substantially by stating West Va. mountains are great. And you are certainly entitled to opine how wonderful the variety of Michigan is. I have no doubt you are correct about that since you have been there. I hope you are enjoying the Jacksonville area after 8 years of residence. To compare and contrast, I hope you have been to the “World’s largest cocktail party” game. Have a nice day.

  29. mountaineer50415 says: May 15, 2012 12:36 PM

    Florida is not a southern state. It is located in the south and that is the only comparison. I live in Florida and we jokeingly call it “Yankee land beyond the South” I met my husband here. He was from New Jersey, I am from WV. Many of my friends are from Ohio, WV, Michigan New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and many many more northern states. Very few people were actually born here. My son is from Florida. Not many people are though. Most people who are from here actually put it on their license plates as they are very rare.
    WV seperated from the South a long time ago. It is considered a northern state. You can not compare Florida with the beauty of southern states like N. and S. Carolina. You can however, compare WV with Michigan. WV wins hands down for beauty and friendly people. The only part of Michigan that is beautiful is Michigan around the Great Lakes. Lake Superior, Huron and Erie to be exact. If you are not on a lake, beauty is not a discriptive word for Michigan.

  30. mtheparrothead says: May 15, 2012 12:46 PM


    Visit Jacksonville and tell me it’s not the south. And seeing as the entire state of Michigan is surrounded by the great lakes. And as there’s over 26k lakes in the state, I’d say that pretty much defines the entire state. Looking up sleeping bear sand dunes, traverse city, copper harbor, mackinaw island, torch lake, Higgins lake, and please find me anything even remotely comparable.

  31. mtheparrothead says: May 15, 2012 12:48 PM

    Game cocker,

    If we can’t use the Internet for sweeping generalizations, why good is it? And yes other than having to deal with fla/ga fans, the cocktail party is great.

  32. mountaineer50415 says: May 15, 2012 1:18 PM

    In WV it is beautiful just to look at the mountains. No need for Lakes. However, there is a lot of water in WV also. If the only thing you have is water, you may as well live in Florida where you have three sides on the water. The water here does not compare to the mountains of WV. If that is important take a look at Black Water Falls. However, if all you want are the Great Lakes Michigan is for you.Forget the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, Florida also has hundreds of lakes. Most states do. What else you got!!! Oh yell, auto factories.

  33. mountaineer50415 says: May 15, 2012 1:26 PM

    Jacksonville and Pensacola are called little Georgia and little Alabama. However, further south you will find more New Yorkers. I have lived both places. Still cannot compare with South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. They are true southern beauties. Florida is a nice State but it is not a southern beauty and never will be.

  34. k9quila says: May 15, 2012 8:42 PM

    Someone, please read a good analysis of the richrod era, “Three and Out: Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines in the Crucible of College Football”
    then understand how the Michigan fans and RichRod were shortchanged.

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