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Sunday, January 02, 2011

Rich Rodriguez: Great coach, not the right coach

Dan Hawkins is a great football coach.  He got his head coaching start at tiny Willamette University and, from 1993-1997, he never had a losing season, going 40-11-1 during his tenure.  His final team went 13-1 and made it to the NAIA championship game.

From there Hawkins moved to Division 1-A at Boise State where he was promoted from assistant head coach to head coach when Dirk Koetter left for ASU.  In five seasons at the helm in Boise, he went 53-11, won four WAC titles, never finished worse than second in the conference and was named WAC Coach of the Year three times.

Then he went to Colorado.  Yet in five years in Boulder, Hawkins went 19-39 and never had a single winning season before being canned last fall.

 Dan Hawkins is still a great coach.  But he wasn't the right coach for CU.

Judging by his resume, Rich Rodriguez is also a great head football coach.  He went 43-28 at tiny Glenville State before going 60-26 in seven seasons at West Virginia.  In his last three seasons in Morgantown, he went 32-5 and led the Mountaineers to two BCS bowl games.

Then he came to Michigan.  But judging by his results, Rich Rodriguez isn't the right coach for Michigan.  And after the latest belly flop in the Gator Bowl, it's time to for both parties to realize it's not going to work out.

No more excuses, no more promise, no more "will be."  When you're making in the neighborhood of $2.5M a year, it's about execution, performance and "We won!"  Roriguez's stellar resume got him the job at Michigan, his poor results leave Dave Brandon no choice but to make a change.

Some will say that Rich Rod was doomed to fail at Michigan because he wasn't a "Michigan Man" in the eyes of some fans.  That he never would have their support.

Well I call bullshit on that one. 

U of M fans don't give a rat's corn hole if Rodriguez is from Mars if he was winning.  But turn the winningest program in the history of the game into an embarrassment and Rich Rod could be from Bo's attic and people would be clamoring for change.

So while I agree with the vast majority of Michigan fans that Jim Harbaugh would be a great choice and great fit, I don't think it has to be Harbaugh or bust.  I don't believe it has to be an obvious "home run" name.  In fact, I'm not opposed to taking a chance on an "unknown" from a smaller school as Ohio State did with Tressel...and Michigan did with "Bo who?" back in '69.

But I do know it can't be Rich Rodriguez anymore.  He's a great coach, but just not the right coach for Michigan.

Sometimes things are just a bad fit

ED. NOTE:  You'd think I wouldn't have to write a post like this.  It seems obvious.  But even in the wake of the Gator Bowl fiasco, if you've glanced around various Michigan message boards you'll notice there are still hold outs who don't think it should be over for Rich Rod at Michigan.  Folks who genuinely believe he deserves a 4th year in A2.

Then again, there were allegedly Japanese hiding in the jungles of the south Pacific to continue the fight 10 years after WWII ended as well.  So I'm sure the Rich Rod Kool-Aid crowd will be out there in the far reaches of cyberspace continuing to fire away for quite some time.


wingedhelmet said...

All I can say is that; I agree that it was not the right fit;

Like Coach Rod, I find that music helps me in times like this, so here whats on my IPOD today..

To the tune of the Beverly Hillbilles Theme song;

start the music.......

Come and listen to a story about a man named Rich

A former Mountaineer, who made Justin cry like a little b*tch

Then one day he was watchin’ Lloyd Retire

And his brain thought why I would be a fantastic hire!

Wins that is, B10 Champs, NC’s

Well the first thing you know ol’ Rich’s a Wolverine

WVU Alums said move away from here!

Said the New Bigger House is the Place you Ought to Be

So they loaded up the shredder and moved to the University

Michigan that is,
Tradition and NFL Quarterbacks

The WVU Flash!

Well now its time to say good-bye to Rich and all his Staff,

and tOSU would like to thank him for all his many gaffes

You’re all invited back to Rich’s next locality

To have a heapin helpin of their defensive dysfunctionality


Well I know I feel better. You were right Coach - a little music is just the thing.

whetstonebuck said...

So bad...but funny.

TitleIX said...

LOL winged!! +2

wrt coaching....
just look at the comments in the post game presser from the players about not executing or coming to play football.
Look at RR's incoherent sentence formation and excuse about young kids who aren't ready.....

It's ALL about the coaching.
I agree with Yost, RR and crew must go.
Whoever comes next can't do any worse.....
How about Coach English just up the road at Eastern.....
I am just sayin.....

Bigasshammm said...

Wait. Isn't this all Lloyd carrs fault?

Andrew said...

I like English..that would be good..i tried not to bag on RR but man....it really is alot bullshit...losing sucks, wvu suing, practice..(you mean practice..i am the league MVP..practice..AI) no I mean losing scholarships....

Catie said...


Seriously, when is the tOSU house of cards going to fall?

PS, ESPN is reporting that Harbaugh is not returning to Stanford.

Catie said...

(that would be ESPN insider, so no link, sorry)

Also, English would be great as a DC, but not a head coach. JMHO.

Steve said...

The TV graphic yesterday on how the offense has progressed and defense went into the crapper tells me keep RichRod and release Gerg. I'd like to see and another year of Denard.



surrounded in columbus said...

Ron English?

Brady Hoke?

Makes me wonder what Mike DeBord is up to these days.

If Brandon doesn't have Harbaugh signed up & he cuts R2 loose anyway? Don't be surprised in a few years when they're selling "Returning to Glory Since 2003" tee shirts.

wingedhelmet said...

Reports are that the Clemson OC has been fired. Perfect spot for Rich Rod.

Ramona said...

This post was more than a little condescending. So, anyone who doesn't agree with your take is cluelessly hiding in the woods drinking Koolaide?

surrounded in columbus said...

Well, the UCONN & Pitt jobs are both open now.
Mike Leach is still available...

Which has a better ring? HC Mike Leach? Or HC Brady Hoke?

Try saying either out loud & see how it feels.

And personally, I like kool aid.

Catie said...

Harbaugh's brother was reported as saying that Jim has a tough decision to make, but that he is going with his heart..............

whetstonebuck said...

RR to Pitt just for the giggles.

Leach and Harbaugh anywhere but AA.

Unless, of course, JT retires and Meyer takes the helm. Then, no worries.

Feelin' Blue said...

Dan Hawkins is not a good coach. He allowed an awful Kansas team to stage a ridiculous comeback because, up by 30-something points, he insisted on continuing to pass.

I am a RR fan, and even when I was defending him, my position was that he wasn't the best hire at the time. It was more like, the change was too drastic, but he's a good coach, give him a chance, and he'll build something--something different, but probably successful. He just wasn't the right fit.

I've said that given our luck, we'll fire him only to see him be very successful somewhere else. Now it makes sense though. Perhaps he'll win a national championship somewhere else, but it just won't happen here. He's not the right guy, and it's really too bad.

James said...

Ramona asked: "This post was more than a little condescending. So, anyone who doesn't agree with your take is cluelessly hiding in the woods drinking Koolaide?"

Yes. Anyone who wants another 12 months of dark clouds hanging over our program (which is what retaining RR would bring) is either losing his/her grip on sanity or is a fan of a rival school.