At a golf outing in Glenville, W.V., on Saturday to commemorate his Glenville State coaching days, Rich Rodriguez talked to reporters about his abbreviated stay at Michigan.
Rodriguez didn’t go out of his way create controversy with his remarks, but when he was asked about his UM ouster, he wasn’t shy about lobbing more than subtle hints about his former employer.
“There wasn’t anything in the job that surprised me. When I first got the job, after about two months on the job I figured out there was going to be more work to do than I thought. But there wasn’t anything that we didn’t think we could handle. We thought we went through it slowly and surely until it got to the point where it could take off.
“But it didn’t happen.”
“.. I knew after my first spring it was going to take more than three years, and I told them that.
“Maybe they forgot.”
When asked about his future in coaching, Rodriguez clearly indicated why his demise was assured at Michigan - by what he didn’t say.
“I’m not going to say that I’m sure I’ll get back into coaching, but I know I want to. I just hope to get the right opportunity. Somewhere where everyone is pulling in the same direction.
“I told a good friend of mine who is an A.D. at another school, some people think ‘this job is better than that job’ and they really don’t know that what’s really important is you have everybody pulling in the same direction. The boosters, the athletic department, the administration, the coaches and the players.
“If you have that, you have a chance to have success.
“We had that at Glenville (State) and we had that at West Virginia.
“That’s, to me, what I’m looking for.”
So who said Stop to Richrod’s Go (Blue)?
The general consensus is that one of the keys to Rodriguez’s departure was the non-support of Lloyd Carr from the very start.
Carr didn’t dissuade that way of thinking when asked last week, “do you think the integrity of Michigan football was at all hurt by Rich Rodriguez?”
Carr’s response: “I can’t answer that. I think it was a disappointment for everybody.”
Carr’s remark was in the context of minor NCAA sanctions placed on the Michigan program while under Rodriguez.
Sanctions that are a shadow of what UM interstate rival Ohio State will soon be facing.