Monday, December 15, 2014

Why Wolverine Football Fell from Grace

In talking about, Michigan football, let’s take a look at the past three football coaches as well as the five athletic directors since 1995. Perhaps this will help provide some understanding about the current state of affairs for Michigan football.
Let’s start with Lloyd Carr, the coach from 1995 through 2007 with a 122-41 won- loss record. Under Coach Carr, a few facts include: 1] His teams had an overall, 12-0 record in 1997; 11-2 in 2006; and three 10 victories in 1998, 1999, 2002 and 2003. 2] His teams made 4 Rose Bowl appearances and appeared in a bowl game every season. 3] His team had Heisman winner Charles Woodson and was a Rose Bowl winner going undefeated. 4] His teams won or shared in five Big Ten conference titles. 5] His team was declared the national champion by the Associated Press in 1997. 6] He was an assistant coach under Gary Moeller at the University of Illinois; he was a defensive secondary coach and a defensive coordinator from 1987 through 1994 under Coach Bo Schembechler and Coach Gary Moeller; and was an assistant head coach from 1990 to 1994.  Joe Roberson, Thomas Goss and William Martin [2000-2010] were athletic directors while Coach Carr coached.
In 2008 Coach Rich Rodriquez was hired by A.D. William Martin. Rich Rod’s record was 15 wins-22 losses [winning 3, 5 and 7 games while losing 9, 7 and 6 games]. In 2010. Dave Brandon became the new A.D. and fired Rich Rod and hired Brady Hoke. Brady Hoke’s record was: 11-2 in 2011; 8-5 in 2012; 7-6 in 2013 and 5-7 in 2014.
It seems obvious that Michigan’s football program from Bo Schembechler, Gary Moeller to Lloyd Carr was outstanding. And one can make a case that Rich Rodriquez’s first three years were not good according to wins and losses. And within a year of Dave Brandon’s hiring, he fired Rich Rod and hired Brady Hoke. Why Rich Rod didn’t do well at the University Michigan but is doing magnificently at the University of Arizona is a mystery. Perhaps, just perhaps, that it had something to do with A.D. Dave Brandon. So, just maybe Dave Brandon wasn’t the right A.D (limited experience).
When Dave Brandon resigned, Coach Brady Hoke had no one in his corner, especially the new acting A.D. Jimmy Hackett. It was under Jimmy Hackett’s rule, that Brady Hoke was fired. What may further complicate matters is that President Mark S. Schlissel within two weeks of the Brandon’s resignation, reportedly expressed his concern about the graduation rates of Michigan football players. He thought that admitting students who were not academically qualified, was problematic. The president then issued an apology to Coach Hoke and the program by stating that under Hoke, the graduation rate improved.
Maybe athletic director Joe Roberson got it right when he hired Lloyd Carr. Maybe it was obvious that Coach Carr learned from the best- Coach Bo Schembechler and Coach Gary Moeller. How could Joe Roberson go wrong?
Even though Jimmy Hackett A.D. has a search team, I’m concerned about him getting it right. I do not want to put all the blame and Dave Brandon. However, for the last seven years, there have been inconsistencies and losing seasons unheard of in the Michigan tradition. Since 2000, Michigan has had 3 A.D.’s and 3 coaches. That fact in and of itself is more than likely one of the reasons for Michigan’s decline on the football field. With the new President appointing a new athletic director suggests more potential problems for the football program. I would be very pleased if proved wrong.

Go Blue!

No comments:

Post a Comment