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April 21, 2009 - Image 16

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-04-21

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4

6B - Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

changing of the guard

Bo goesout on
his own terms

I

After 13 winning
seasons at 'U',
legendary coach
Lloyd Carr retires
Nov. 27, 2007 - As the hour
approached 10 a.m., a Lexus SUV
pulled up near the Junge Cham-
pions Center. Michigan football
coach Lloyd Carr exited the vehi-
cle and walked toward the build-
ing, where hundreds of reporters
and friends of the Michigan foot-
ball program were eagerly wait-
ing..
Carr didn't come alone, though.
He brought one of the worst-kept
secrets in recent memory with
him.
Carr was about to announce
his retirement after 13 years as
Michigan's head coach and 28
years coaching in the program.
"I wanted to be able to walk
out of here knowing that to the
very last minute, I did soy job to
the best of my ability," Carr said.
"And I know I'll be able to do
that."
After thanking more than a
handful of people he worked
with at Michigan, Carr got one
specific point across before open-
ing the floor for questions from

the media.
"My timing is based on one
thing - what's best for Michi-
gan and what's best for Michigan
football," said Carr, who will stay
on as an associate athletic direc-
tor for Michigan. "There are no
other motives."
Carr spoke about the reasons
behind his decision ("It was time,
it was the right time"), advice for
a successor ("You've got to be
able to take a punch and know
that all those punches are worth
it") and what the emotions were
like at the team fmeeting Sunday
when he told his players and staff
he was leaving.
"(Sunday) was one of the most
emotional days of my life," Carr
said. "I cried more tears than I
knew t had."
Before looking to the future,
Athletic Director Bill Martin
took to the podium.
He made sure to let everyone
know how much Carr's past ser-
vice at Michigan was appreci-
ated.
"I think Lloyd is going to be
hard to replace," Martin said.
"You could probably get coaches
in here that.could equal his win-
loss percentage, but will they
represent this institution in all
the ways that Lloyd does?"
-SCOTT BELL

Lengthy search for
football coach ends
in West Virginia
Dec. 11, 2007 - Fielding H.
Yost, the patriarch of Michigan
football, was a native West Vir-
ginian. Now, for the first time
since Yost stepped down in 1926,
the Wolverine program is back
to its roots, with a born and bred
Mountaineer at the helm.
West Virginia head coach Rich
Rodriguez, who grew up just five
miles from Yost's hometown, was
, introduced as Michigan's 18th
head football coach at a press
conference this morning.
The announcement conclud-
ed a four-week search in which
Michigan Athletic Director Bill
Martin was constantly vilified
as a number of high-profile can-
didates, most notably LSU's Les
Miles, publicly turned down the
chance to coach the Wolverines.
But Martin acted quickly in
hiring Rodriguez.
"Itwas avery difficult decision
to leave a place where I grew up,"
Rodriguez said. "It was going to
take a very special opportunity
and a very special place and I
think that's what this is."
Along with a history of win-

ning in his seven years at the
helm in West Virginia, Rodri-
guez brings the spread offense
he is credited with creating.
"If you want to know our
system or philosophy, if you've
watched us over the years, that's
w at you'll see," Rodriguez said.
"We're going to do what we've
done. That's the only thing we
know. I know we have the abil-
ity to adapt our schemes to our
personnel."
Rodriguez didn't offer many
specifics on the makeup of his
coaching staff, saying only it
would include some members
of his West Virginia staff, some
current Michigan coaches and-
perhaps some outside hires.
But his first task will be on the
recruiting end.
One high school senior who
was considering West Virginia
but said yesterday he would now
consider Michigan is Terrelle
Pryor. Pryor, a Pennsylvania
native, is the nation's top pros-
pect according to Rivals.com.
The coaching staff, recruit-
ing and contract terms will be
the topics of conversation in the
weeks to come. But today the
focus was on the new direction
of a storied program and the new
coach from a familiar place.
-NATE SANDALS

T hose who stay will be
champions.
That was Bo Schem-
bechler's cry to his players when
he took over as
head coach of A
the Wolverines
in 1969.
With discipli-
narian tactics,
Schembechler
whittled down a
squad that start- SCOTT
ed with about BELL
140 players to 75
before the 1969
season even started.
Why?"Because Bo coached on his
terms.
He could have been the nice guy,
gotten everyone to like him and set-
tled for a few decent seasons.
Instead, he was the bad guy -
when he needed to be. He earned
everyone's respect and settled for
nothingless than excellence.
After 13 Big Ten titles, 10 Rose
Bowl appearances and the rejuvena-
tion of a rivalry with Ohio State, I'd
say his way was probably the right
way.
Still not convinced? Every player
who entered Bo's system and stayed
for four years left with a Big Ten
Championship ring on his finger.
Bo kept his word: Those who
stayed really did become champions.
On and off the field, Bo was Bo,
and he always. demanded to do
things on his terms.
On Friday, Bo did exactly that:
went out on his terms.
Even though Schembechler had
been separated from the football
program by title for 17 years, Michi-
gan football remained in his blood.
On Thursday, Bo's physician
wanted to meet with him about
slowing down. What did Schem-
bechler do instead?
He addressed the Michigan foot-
ball team, just two days before the
biggest game of the players' lives.
Why wouldn't he? Bo was Bo - he
always did things his way.
Last Monday, he came to the
Junge Champioe "'Center for the
Michigan-Ohio State press confer-
ence.
An atheletic .dennrtmient renresn-

tative offered him a stool to sit on for
his press conference. Bo rebuffed
him, saying, "I don't need this."
And of course, he was right. He
didn't need it - Bo was Bo.
After he addressed the media
at the podium, Bo headed for the
door, but a smaller group of report-
ers gathered around him before.he
could leave. I took this as my chance
to speak with a legend.
So there Bo was, standing in front
of me. He had his car keys in hand
(of course Bo drove, himself to the
press conference) and kept sharing
memories of Michigan-Ohio State
matchups of the past.
He told all kinds of tales and sto-
ries and appeased the journalists
around him. Like the timehehad his
water shut off at the hotel in Colum-
bus the night before The Game. Or
about the game in Columbus where
he was convinced - and still was on
thedayofthe press conference - that
a field goal ruled no good was actu-
ally good. Or about how much he
respected Woody Hayes and cher-
ished-what the two went through to
make this rivalry what itistoday.
There I sat, just awestruck, look-
ing right at the reason why Michi-
gan football is Michigan football. It
was something that will stick with
me for the rest of my life.
As The Game approaches today,
it would be foolish not to put things
into context.
All week long, the only thing
people on campus, and hell, football
fans all over the United States, were
talking about was the game taking
place on Nov. 17.
But yesterday, talk of The Game
came to a complete halt. Discussion
shifted to The Coach.
To the man who was the reason
today's game is The Game.
He was a champion in every
sense of the word. On the field, off
the field, he was the personification
of a Michigan Man.
fo was Bo.
He stayed as long as he could, and
he left on his terms. Now it's time
for him to grab a seat next to Woody
fdr'tbfday's'game.
He wouldn't have wanted it any
other way.
-Novemher t 182006

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PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY: RODRIGO GAYA/Daily (left) & JEREMY CHO/Daly (right>)
Former coachloyd Carr is carried off the field after Michigan s41-35 win in the 2008 Capital One Bowl. Coach RichRodriguez looks on against Wisconsin in his first near.

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