The Wikifeudia over Rich Rodriguez’s original hometown may have ended as I noticed this morning that his current entry has changed his birthplace to Chicago, IL from Grant Town, WV.  

Readers of this site may recall a couple posts last year on this mess, prompted by author John U. Bacon’s piece in Michigan today on the Wolverine head coach:

Rodriguez’s grandfather left Spain for the coal mines of West Virginia. Looking for a better life, the family moved to Chicago, where Rich was born.

Still, Wikipedia page administrators refused to change the birthplace, despite Bacon later confirming his source: Rodriguez’s mother (who might know). 

In defense of the Wikinerds there are several sources out there that either state Grant Town as his birthplace, or blurring things a bit, indicating that Rodriguez is “a native of” Grant Town.  I’m guessing Rodriguez a) doesn’t consider himself a Chicagoan, as he grew up in West Virginia, and b) probably preferred to highlight the Grant Town roots on early bios as he was coaching in the South and especially in Morgantown.  All that said, his current bio still says he’s “a native of Grant Town.”

I’m not exactly sure when the change was made, but I believe the final straw may have been the 2009 Spring media guide which confirms the Chicago birthplace in Coach Rod’s bio.


  1. El Caballo de Sangre

    I hear there’s an affidavit from his grandmother that says he was born in Mombasa, Kenya. I demand to see his birth certificate (and I mean the real one, not some bullshit Certificate of Live Birth). Ha.

    Anyway, I guess I understand the Wikinerdiness, but Jebus what a silly “controversy”, even as trumped-up ones go.

    I was born in Houston (to people who were high-school sweethearts in a small NW OH town and had gone to college together in Columbus) because my Dad was getting his Ph.D. from Rice. Then about a year and a half later we moved to Long Island because he did post-doc work at SUNY Stony Brook. Then we moved to Columbus about a year and a half after that because he got a professor job at OSU. Then they got divorced, and six years after arriving in Columbus my Mom married another guy from the same small NW OH town she and my Dad grew up in, and we moved there (where I’d already been visiting my grandparents all the time anyway). Then I went to college, and then to D.C. for a couple years, and landed (for good, I think) back in Columbus 16 years ago.

    So – where am I from? When I’m asked, I say Columbus and Oak Harbor (that’s the name of the small NW OH town). Sometimes I joke that I’m a native Texan (don’t mess with me!), but that’s as silly as calling Rodriguez a Chicagoan. He is entirely correct to call himself “a native of Grant Town”.

    • El C. The controversy was less about where Rodriguez claimed to be from, and more about people challenging John U. Bacon’s claim (if you want to call it that, he spoke to the guy’s mom!) that Rodriguez was born in Chicago. Then, after the evidence seemed to be strong the RR was born in IL, the Wikipedia folks (see my others posts) refusing to change it pending some better source, erupting in some heavy debate on Wikipedia. I didn’t see a lot of people coming after RR and suggesting he was hiding something. My brother was born in New Jersey just before my parents moved to Michigan. I don’t think he considers himself from the garden state, although he kind of likes Bruce and Bon Jovi.