Sunday, December 30, 2007

Capital One Bowl

Coach Carr and his staff are prepared to go out in style as they have the Wolverines ready to take on Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators. Michigan Seniors (including notably Chad Henne and Mike Hart) have never won a bowl game during their careers and they desperately want to get a win so they do not leave college with an "O-fer" bowl record. The Wolverines will have to set aside the distractions of the impending coaching change and play to win against the heavily favored Gators. You can learn everything you need to know about the matchup at's Capital One Bowl preview page. Go Blue!


Sunday, December 16, 2007

The (tenuous) Michigan connection

Everything comes back to Bo Schembechler. It always does. Michigan Head Coach Bo Schembechler had Don Nehlen as an assistant coach on the Wolverines staff from 1977-1979. Following this three-year stint under Bo, Nehlen became the Head Coach for the West Virginia Mountaineers where he served for the next 21 years (1980-2000). Nehlen became to WVU Football what Bo Schembechler is to Michigan Football. Nehlen was greatly influenced by his three years on Bo's staff and Coach Nehlen molded his Mountaineer program to mirror the Michigan way of doing things. During Coach Nehlen's tenure, Rich Rodriguez played defensive back from 1982-1984. Thus, Coach Rod has a connection (however tenuous), to the Michigan Football tradition. Go Blue!


Meet your new Head Coach Rich Rodriguez

On Dec. 17, 2007, Rich Rodriguez was announced as the 18th head coach in University of Michigan football history, and just the 11th in the 106 years since Fielding H. Yost made his debut in 1901.
Rodriguez comes to Michigan after spending seven years as head coach at his alma mater, West Virginia University, where he led the Mountaineers to a 60-26 record, four Big East titles and six consecutive bowl game bids. In 2005, he was named to the American Football Coaches Association Board of Trustees.
Following a 10-2 (5-2 Big East) season in 2007 in which his team won the Big East title and a Bowl Championship Series berth, he was named the AFCA Region I Co-Coach of the Year, sharing the honor with Boston College's Jeff Jagodzinski. It was Rodriguez's second such honor after being recognized by the AFCA in 2003. He is also a finalist for the 2007 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, which honors the college football coaches who best exemplify responsibility and excellence on and off the field. Rodriguez was the 2003 and 2005 Big East Coach of the Year.
Under Rodriguez's guidance, WVU has claimed four of the last five Big East championships and recorded three consecutive seasons (2005-07) of double-digit victories for the first time in school history. The Mountaineers recorded at least eight wins in each of the last six seasons, and since 2002 have accumulated a record of 57-16, winning 78.1 percent of their games.
In 2006, the Mountaineers finished 10th in the national polls at 11-2 behind a pair of All-Americans and the Big East Player of the Year. In 2004 and 2005, Rodriguez's teams claimed conference titles, as the 2005 squad went on to record WVU's first BCS victory, a 38-35 upset over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.
After a 1-4 start in 2003, the Mountaineers rattled off seven straight wins, posted a 6-1 mark in conference play to tie Miami for the Big East title, and earned a second straight bowl berth. In 2002, Rodriguez engineered the greatest turnaround in Big East history, taking his 2001 team from a 1-6 record in league play to 6-1 the following year. West Virginia finished second in the nation in rushing in 2002 (283 yards per game) and ranked fourth nationally in turnover margin.
Prior to accepting the West Virginia job on Nov. 26, 2000, Rodriguez served as offensive coordinator and associate head coach for Tommy Bowden at Clemson in 1999 (6-6) and 2000 (9-3). He spent the previous two years as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Bowden at Tulane, where he helped lead the Green Wave to 7-4 and 12-0 marks, culminating with a victory at the Liberty Bowl.
Rodriguez began his collegiate head coaching career at the NAIA/Division II level at Salem (1988) and Glenville State College (1990-96). At Glenville State, he won or shared four consecutive West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles and was named the WVIAC Coach of the Year in 1993 and '94. He was the 1993 NAIA Coach of the Year after leading his team to a national runner-up finish. Rodriguez, who also served as Glenville's athletic director in 1995-96, was inducted into the Glenville Hall of Fame in 2003.
A member of West Virginia's 1981-84 teams, Rodriguez was a three-year letterwinner (1982-84) as a defensive back for coach Don Nehlen, who served as an assistant coach at U-M for Bo Schembechler from 1977-79. The Mountaineers posted a 26-10 record in those three years and made three bowl appearances: the 1982 Gator Bowl (lost to Florida State, 31-12); the 1983 Hall of Fame Bowl (defeated Kentucky, 20-16); and the 1984 Bluebonnet Bowl (defeated TCU, 31-14).
A native of Grant Town, W.Va., in Marion County, Rodriguez grew up just five miles from the birthplace of U-M legendary coach Fielding Yost (Fairview, W.Va.). He is a 1981 graduate of North Marion High School, where he was a four-sport letterman and an all-state honoree in football and basketball, leading the Huskies to the 1980 Class AAA state football championship. Rodriguez and his wife, Rita, have two children, Raquel and Rhett. Go Blue!
Rodriguez's Head Coaching Record:

Glenville State
Glenville State
Glenville State
Glenville State
10-3, WVIAC champion
Glenville State
8-3, WVIAC champion
Glenville State
8-2, WVIAC champion
Glenville State
6-4, WVIAC champion
West Virginia
3-8, 1-6
West Virginia
9-4, 6-1
Continental Tire/L, 22-48 (Virginia)
West Virginia
8-5, 6-1 Big East champion
Gator Bowl/L, 7-41 (Maryland)
West Virginia
8-4, 4-2 Big East champion
Gator Bowl/L, 18-30 (Florida State)
West Virginia
11-1, 6-0 Big East champion
Sugar Bowl/W, 38-35 (Georgia)
West Virginia
11-2, 5-2
Gator Bowl/W, 38-35 (Georgia Tech)
West Virginia
10-2, 5-2 Big East champion
Fiesta Bowl (Oklahoma)
NAIA/Division II (8 seasons): 45-36-2Division I (7 seasons): 60-26TOTAL (15 seasons): 105-62-2
RODRIGUEZ AT A GLANCE Birthdate: May 24, 1963 High School: North Marion (W.Va.) High School ('81) College: West Virginia (B.S., '86) Wife: Rita Children: Rhett, Raquel


An offer he couldn't refuse: Rich Rodriguez is now a Michigan Man

It appears that West Virginia Head Coach Rich Rodriguez is the new Michigan Head Coach. A news conference is scheduled to take place on the Michigan campus at 9:00 a.m. on Monday. Go Blue!

*Note: Photo of Coach Rodriguez by AP Photo/Jeff Gentner


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Offensive Line Coach Andy Moeller arrested following suspected OWI accident

Assistant Coach Andy Moeller was arrested Saturday, December 8, 2007, following a car collision. Police suspected that Moeller was Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) while involved in the car crash but Moeller refused to submit to the Preliminary Breath Test (P.B.T.) offered by the police. Moeller was then placed under arrest and taken to the University of Michigan Hospital where his blood was drawn (presumably after a search warrant was obtained) and the blood draw results are currently pending. Moeller is currently in his eighth year on the Michigan staff. He has coached the offensive line for the past six seasons after having spent his first two years coaching the tight ends/tackles. Also, he played four years for Michigan from 1983-86 and is the son of former Wolverine head coach Gary Moeller. Go Blue!

UPDATE: Andy Moeller resolved the civil infraction case of Refusing a P.B.T. by paying a $185 fine at the Ann Arbor District Court.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Back in, Back out

It appeared for a brief moment earlier today that Les Miles might once again be in the coaching candidate search. However, as quickly as he was back in it, he was back out of it. The Detroit Free Press ran an article today which revealed that Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman had personally contacted Les Miles by telephone on Friday, December 7, 2007. It was widely assumed that the discussion between the two of them included some talk of Miles coming to coach the Wolverines next season. However, Miles issued a statement on the LSU athletic dept. website today stating the following:

I had a conversation with Michigan last week that covered a wide range of topics. I was doing nothing more than helping them with their search for a football coach, just as any loyal alumnus might do. It was nothing more than that.
“I’m not a candidate for that job and I will not be a candidate for the job. I was only assisting them in their search for a coach. I have a great job at a wonderful place, a place that my family calls home. It’s time that Michigan goes on with their search for a football coach. I’ll say it again, I’m going to be the coach at LSU next season.

It appears, once again, that the idea of Les Miles coaching Michigan will not come to fruition. The dream (or nightmare, depending on your viewpoint) of having either Ron English or Brady Hoke coach the Wolverines next year is stronger than ever at this point. Go Blue!


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Is Brady Hoke pointing towards a return to Michigan?

Ball State Head Coach Brady Hoke could be in line to become the 18th Head Football Coach in Michigan Football history. Hoke, a former asst. coach under Lloyd Carr, has been Head Coach of the Ball State University Cardinals since December 18, 2002. In his five years at the helm, Hoke has re-built the program of his alma mater. As a player, Hoke was a four-year letter winner at Ball State from 1977-1980 and was team captain his senior season. As a coach, Hoke led the Cardinals to a 7-5 record this season and a berth in the International Bowl against Rutgers University on January 5, 2008 in Toronto, Canada. Overall, Hoke is 22-36 in his five (5) seasons as Head Coach of the Cardinals. For a closer look at Hoke and his Ball State Cardinals, you can check out the 2007 Football Media Guide (.pdf). [Hoke's profile is on page 20.]

Hoke was on the Michigan staff from 1995-2002. He joined the team in 1995 (Coach Carr's first year as Head Coach) and served as the Defensive Ends Coach for two seasons. He was then promoted to Defensive Line Coach which he did from 1997-2001. In 2002, Hoke added the title of Associate Head Coach to his duties as Defensive Line Coach. Now after being gone for five (5) seasons, Hoke may be asked to return as Head Coach of the Wolverines. Go Blue!

*Note: Photo of Brady Hoke by Danny Moloshok/The Michigan Daily


Friday, December 07, 2007

Does anybody want this job?

Rutgers University Head Coach Greg Schiano withdrew his name from consideration on Friday, December 7, 2007 after having met with Michigan A.D. Bill Martin for five (5) hours earlier in the week. Although an offer was not officially made, the job was reportedly Schiano's if he wanted it. He didn't.

Michigan's coaching search is now in total disarray. Les Miles and Greg Schiano have now both withdrawn their names from consideration. Iowa's Kirk Ferentz keeps getting mentioned and then rejected. Michigan appears, for some unknown reason, unwilling to consider the University of Cincinnati's Brian Kelly. So far, Michigan has interviewed their own Offensive Coordinator Mike DeBord and their own Defensive Coordinator Ron English. Michigan has also "made contact" with former Michigan asst. coach (and current Ball State Head Coach) Brady Hoke. What an incredibly successful coaching search. I think it is about time Bill Martin talk to Coach Carr about coming back for one more year. Go Blue!


Saturday, December 01, 2007

Coaching search: let me out, I'm getting dizzy

The search has just begun. On Wednesday, Michigan was granted permission to speak with LSU Coach Les Miles after the SEC Championship game to be played today. Earlier today, ESPN Gameday co-host Kirk Herbstreit announced that Les Miles WOULD be the next Michigan Head Coach. Just hours later, LSU conducted a hastily called press conference where Les Miles stated he is staying at LSU and will not take the Michigan job. Michigan's coaching "search" seems to be in disarray at this point. Athletic Director Bill Martin needs to get a handle on this situation quickly. He has already interviewed Offensive Coordinator Mike DeBord and Defensive Coordinator Ron English for the position. No word yet on whether my favorite, Brian Kelly, has been scheduled for an interview. Go Blue!

*Note: Photo of Les Miles by CHRIS GRAYTHEN/Getty Images