Word is out this evening that Coach Rodriguez met with all nine assistant coaches and gave them a simple message: “You’re fired.”

This is a little disappointing as I, like I think many Wolverine fans, had hoped that he would retain a few of the coaches to keep some continuity, especially in recruiting. I was hopeful that RB coach Fred Jackson and quarterbacks coach Scott Loeffler would be retained. Probably won’t happen.

This said, in his introduction press conference this week Coach Rodriguez made an effort to stress that some of the coaches might be “rehired” as part of this process, and he used that term. The Detroit News indicated that D-line coach Steve Stripling might be a candidate for rejoining Rodriguez’s staff. We’ll see if anyone else gets back on the staff. A little disappointing but you’ve got to let this guy do his thing.

UPDATE 12/21, 10am: The majority of folks calling WTKA are upset about this. My take: I don’t think this is a done deal. Again, he specifically said in his press conference that some coaches would be “re-hired”.

UPDATE 12/21, 2pm: Ok, everyone chill. I was correct in that this wasn’t final: word is out that Fred Jackson will be retained. We’ll see how else soon.

13 Comments

  1. I will not shed a tear for Debord.

  2. This has got to leave a bad taste in your mouth. Where’s all that tradition Michigan is known for, to include it’s coaches? I hate to see the Wolverines turn into Mountaineers. I have a feeling Rodriguez will wear out his welcome within the first season.

    On a side note. I take a look at your site everyday. I was born and raised a Buckeye in eastern Ohio. Many years removed from Ohio, I rely on the web for my information. Ironically, my 9 yr old loves the Wolverines, and dreams of playing for Michigan one day. I guess I should start teaching him the spread offense, huh!?!?!?!

    Keep up the good work.

    Jamie
    Gettysburg, PA

  3. Initially I thought this was a good hire. I became concerned during the press conference when he stated the spread offense is “all I know”. It is a fun offense to watch, but after seeing how Oregon and W. Virginia’s seasons ended, (hurt QB’s) I’m really feeling uneasy about the whole thing. Then firing everyone in less than a week?! I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

  4. Relax, guys. I bet $5 that Monday he will announce his new assistant coaching staff, including a couple current UM assistants.
    Also, he is smart enough and flexible enough to keep this team winning. Offense will be no problem.
    The most important coach he hires will be his defense coordinator.

  5. Leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but at the end of the day, it will be about the Ws. I know he’s got to put together a staff that he feels comfortable with – and, more importantly, one that knows his system and is loyal to him. And a clean break is essential for getting the players to buy into the new system – can’t have players in coach [insert favorite Carr assistant]’s corner. It could be polarizing to the team if you had some old and some new coaches.

    On the other hand, firing the whole staff probably ticks off a bunch of players and that might have a polarizing effect as well, albeit more likely a short-term effect. (The coaches are all under contract for another year so they should still get paid.) And there were some damn strong coaches on Coach Carr’s staff (Loeffler, although I’m not sure he’d be the optimal guy to coach a spread QB, Campbell and Jackson come to mind). But I’m sure Coach Rod will be bringing some star staffers with him.

    The move also gives the impression that he doesn’t care much for the tradition at Michigan, but that’s nothing a few runs at the national title can’t fix.

    My biggest concern is that he just blew up an entire recruiting network – one that’s really been cultivated for almost 40 years with all the ties back to Bo. That’s not going to be easy to re-build and that block M only goes so far. Ask Coach Callahan – yes, I know he didn’t have much college experience but he came in and tried to make wholesale changes to the system and failed miserably and now Nebraska is trying to get back to its roots. Yes, Coach Rod seems to be a good recruiter, but has he really had to go out and compete nationally for talent against the likes of OSU, ND, USC, TEX, etc? Hopefully, we won’t see a drop, and in my book Terrelle Pryor is an essential first catch. I think if we land him, this thing will turn out like the Fab 5 – a freight train of great recruits (hopefully with a few championships). If not, it may not be a failure, but we’re going to need an exceptional spread QB out of the gates to win big and often because Coach Rod isn’t going to get much slack from the fans.

    I’m really looking forward to the bowl game now – coaches always say that one of the biggest benefits of playing in a bowl game is the added – and intense – practices that help you prepare for next season. If we see Coach Carr mix in some spread option plays, that’s a good sign that at all’s well – internally, at least – at Michigan.

  6. mvictors

    Lew, hope this won’t put a damper on the cocktail party.

  7. Damn, Lew time to start your own blog with that long winded comment. ;)

    Face it the current regime is tired. Guy wants to win games and revamp the program not appease people. I like that. The fact he is not tied to the “Bo” legacy he doesnt feel the need to make compromises that could hurt his chances of winning. Look at Alabama’s slow decline in years past trying to maintain ties to Bear Bryant’s legacy with their coaching hires. Look at UF’s success in going outside to pick the best coach available.

    Rodriquez did pretty well recruiting and otherwise at WV, now he has better program and brand to sell to recruits. Who the hell wants to go to West Virgina?

    Oh, and if we beat Ohio State next year no one who will care who the assistant coaches are because Rodriguez will get all the credit.

  8. mvictors

    Well, as speculated everyone jumped the gun. Rodriguez just re-hired Fred Jackson. Time for that cold shower

  9. Oh another thing. Does the so called “Bo Legacy” still exist? he retired like 17 years ago? At best retaining assistants now is an effort to retain ties to the “Carr Legacy” which is probably something we want a change from since that legacy been so-so at best last few years. Just because they coached for a coach who coached for Bo doesn’t really tie them that strongly to Bo.

  10. Dudes, I’m just grumpy because we didn’t get Sarkisian. But who said anything about the Bo Legacy? My main point was that if he did fire the whole staff, it would have made recruiting tougher for him. Wins do an awful lot for tradition – we’re on the same page, Greek. But if one game away from playing for the national title last year is your definition of so-so, how’s Coach Rod going to surpass that? This whole firing scare just proves how short of a leash the fans are going to give him.

  11. one game from National Championship to losing 4 in a row. That is so-so. Carr basically folded by leaving this year.

    BTW, I was in school when Bo retired (17 years ago) so it just dawned on me that I am an old MF.

  12. 4 losses in a row is a convenient theory for Carr-bashers, but I don’t buy it. Wins and losses don’t carry over.

  13. Short time reader, first time poster.
    Interesting take on the Rich Rod hiring from The OSU Fan perspective on the freep.com. Not sure the etiquette for posting on this site, but here’s the link

    I concur with Sir Lew that WL’s don’t translate from one season to another. You’re dealing with different rosters. There’s gotta be some give room from Michigan Fans…Tressel went 7-5 his first year at The OSU. But he beat the blue, and that’s all that mattered.

    Theory: The Winged Helmet recruits better than assistants do.