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Michigan Needs to Make Decision on Coach Rodriguez

12.06.10

With the threats of decommitments coming from three- and four-star student-athletes and the sweetened deal extended by Stanford to coveted coach Jim Harbaugh, it remains to be seen what good Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon is looking to get by delaying his decision until after the Gator Bowl in Florida against Mississippi State.

I hoped that Brandon would learn from the gaffes of his predecessor when Bill Martin tried to woo Michigan man Les Miles away from LSU only to have that end in embarrassment, so that now when it comes time to assess the current UM head coach, Rich Rodriguez, he’d be able to handle it with more grace and tact.  Perhaps, this time actually getting the coach he was seeking.

But, that’s assuming that Brandon wants the oft-speculated Harbaugh.  He’s a Michigan man, has had great success at a school lacking a long tradition of winning in football, and seems poised to make a leap to another institution (perhaps the NFL, perhaps UM?).  And even after the embarrassing banquet last week where Rodriguez nearly cried while Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up” playing over the loudspeakers, Brandon has stated that he won’t make a decision on the coach’s fate until the season is over.

By then, though, the decision may have been made for him, with Harbaugh signing off on an extended contract and no other candidates being mentioned.  And if that’s the way that things go, Brandon would be way better served – and so would the entire football program, for that matter – if he’d just stand behind RichRod for one more year, giving those top recruits the confidence that the coach who convinced them to come be a Wolverine would still be the one coaching them on the sidelines during their first year with the team.

Then again: I’m not an athletic director for a major university.  What do I know about hiring a new coach while still employing an embattled coach while in the first year on the job?  I’m sure he’s not just sitting around waiting to see how we do against Miss. State — even if that’s the image he wants to portray — so, hopefully this is all just part of his strategy.  I just can’t imagine that he’s truly teetering between keeping or firing RichRod based on the Gator Bowl.

And if he is… well, we have more problems than may people already think.

Image courtesy of BrokenRhino’s Flickr Photostream.

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3 comments

  1. I hate when college or pro teams go into panic mode and fire every new coach they get if the results don’t immediately change. People, especially fans, need to remember that it take YEARS to develop an effective program. It takes even longer when your in “rebuild” mode (See Detroit Pistons). Give Rich Rod one more year and re-evaluate.


    • My thoughts, exactly, Mike. It’d be one thing if RichRod had inherited a solid (if young) team and was keeping the same personnel to run a similar offense. But this was roughly a ground-up reform — and the first year is pretty much a mulligan, which means this is only his 2nd year truly running his system. Need some patience and I think we’ll be happily rewarded.


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