Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Coach Rodriguez takes the reigns tomorrow

Tomorrow, Coach Rich Rodriguez officially takes over as the Head Coach of the Michigan Football team. During the press conference on December 17, 2007 during which he was introduced as the 18th head coach in Michigan Football history, Coach Rodriguez said the following in his opening comments:

"And I'm studying, I know a little bit about the tradition. I'm studying it, following it, will know it very well in a short period of time, and I'm also excited about following a legend. I followed a legend at West Virginia University in Don Nehlen, which many of you know, who I played for, has great respect and pride in this great university, and I'm following another one in Lloyd Carr. And everybody knows about the legend of Bo Schembechler; I actually got his book last night from the mayor of Toledo, who is a big U-M fan, so I'm going to read that on the way home."

I don't know how much Coach Rodriguez got through the book but if nothing else I hope he read this chapter about Coach Schembechler's first days as the Michigan Football Coach. This chapter is entitled "Setting the tone" and Bo stated his entire focus was to beat Ohio State (the defending National Champions). As a review of the chapter reveals, Bo set the tone for the team from the very first team meeting in January, 1969. Now- 39 years later- Coach Rodriguez will be repeating history. Even if he did not have time to digest the entire book yet or all of Michigan's many traditions, Coach Rodriguez would be wise to follow Bo's lesson and set the tone for the team right from the first team meeting that will be taking place next week. Go Blue!

*Note: Photo of Coach Rodriguez on sidelines during Capital One Bowl by REINHOLD MATAY/AP Photo

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