A couple weeks ago I looked back at Lou Holtz’s attempts to woo Michigan coach Lloyd Carr to South Bend and join his Irish staff. In late 1989 Carr had interviewed for the Wisconsin head coaching job which was eventually given to Notre Dame defensive coordinator Barry Alvarez. It was Alvarez’s departure that prompted Holtz to seek out Carr.
Did you know that legendary General Bo considered an offer to take the reins at Madison back in the 60s? Indeed. Here’s an excerpt from John U. Bacon’s wonderful Bo’s Lasting Lessons, where Bo recounts what happened in Chapter Three titled ‘Wait for the Right Opportunity’:
After we won our conference title in my third and fourth seasons at Miami–1965 & 1966–Wisconsin called. From the outside, it seemed like a pretty good job. Wisconsin’s a good school in a great league. It was about ten o’clock on a Sunday when I walk into this meeting room to face twenty guys sitting around–and some board member falls asleep, right there in front of me! Now what does that tell you?
They also had a student on the committee, and this kid asks me how I would handle Clem Turner, a Cincinnati kid, who was always in trouble. Well, how the heck do I know how I would handle Clem Turner? I’ve never met him! And that’s exactly what I told that kid. But I’m thinking, Who the hell’s running this show?
The whole thing lasted maybe forty minutes, and the second I was out that door I walked to the nearest pay phone and called Ivy Williamson, the Wisconsin athletic director, and told him to withdraw my name from consideration.
Bo goes onto say that Wisconsin was after Bob Knight for their hoops coaching position. Schembechler told his pal Knight that he was unimpressed and “If I was in your shoes, I wouldn’t go to Wisconsin.”