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September 16, 2009 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-09-16

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I

8A - Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Michigan Daily - michigandailvcom

English returns to the Big House, this time as opponent

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Former Michigan
defensive coordinator
is now head coach at
Eastern Michigan
By MICHAEL EISENSTEIN
Daily Sports Editor
He may be two years removed
from the minds of Wolverine
fans, but he works 10. minutes
down Washtenaw Ave. First-year
Eastern Michigan football coach
Ron English was responsible for
recruiting the two oldest classes of
Michigan's current defense.
That may make this upcoming
weekend a bit awkward.
"It will be weird because (Eng-
lish) actually recruited me, and
he's the reason Im here rightnow,"
junior safety Troy Woolfolk said.
The voice he will hear from the
other sideline this weekend will
be the same screaming he heard
as a freshman on English's stellar
Michigan defense in 2007.
"(I want to) show him that he
recruited me for a reason, so I'm
going to try and go hard against
him," Woolfolk said.
English worked under former
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr for
five seasons before Wolverine
coach Rich Rodriguez came to
Ann Arbor.
With Michigan, English
coached the secondary for three
years before taking over as the
defensive coordinator for his final
two. In his first year calling plays,
English's defense was the best in

the country against the rush and as you would expect. He spent
No.10 overall, leading Michigan to a couple of years at a neat place,
the Rose Bowl. and you're going to make a lot of
Inhissecondseason,the defense friends. He's been fortunate. He
was ranked just 24th in the coun- got a head coaching job, and I'm
try but was still very solid, par- sure he's going to make the most
ticularly against the pass. But then of it."
Carr, who eventually recommend- Rodriguez is clearly skirt-
ed Eastern Michigan hire English, ing around English's past in Ann
retired. Arbor, and English doesn't seem to
"I interviewed all the coaches," keep in touch with the players he
Rodriguez said Monday, reflecting brought to Michigan.
back his transition to Ann Arbor. "I try to, but see, I have phone
"I interviewed the entire staff at problems and I break my phone
all the time," Woolfolk said. "So
when I do that, the number's never
saved
t will be weird "I'll try to get his number some-
time."
because (English) WhatWoolfolk remembers most
about his old coach, who became
just the fifth African-American
recruitedn e." head coach in college football
when the Eagles hired him, is
the same fiery nature that the Big
House used to see every Saturday
two seasons ago.
Schembechler Hall. It took a few "He was very intense," Wool-
hours, but they were gracious folk said. "He was one coach -
enough to wait." because I get screamed at by a lot
Rodriguez ended up rehiring of coaches - he was the one coach
just one - running backs coach that, like, would scream at you and
Fred Jackson. He "talked briefly" you would really fear him at the
with English and thought he had end of the day, so you wanted to
done an "outstanding job as defen- do well. He's a good coach and I
sive coordinator." But Rodriguez respect him."
decided to hire Stanford's Scott NOTES: You can vote for fresh-
Shafer, instead. Afterward, Louis- man quarterback Tate Forcier for
ville hired English to be its defen- AT&T All-America Player of the
sive coordinator. Week at www.espnallamerica.
"I had an idea in mind defen- com. Voting ends tonight at mid-
sively, and we made a change after night. ... The Detroit Free Press is
last year and I'm happy where reporting that Forcier will appear
we're at," Rodriguez said. "But I on the top right corner of Sports
know he's got a lot of friends here, Illustrated this week.

i

I

Eastern Michigan coach Ron English is one of five African-American head football coaches in Division-I football's FBS division.
Before taking his current job, he spent three years as a defensive coordinator, two at Michigan (2006-'07) and one at Louisville ('08).

An open letter tofirst-years: Don't take
the football team's fast start for granted

Recent Constitutional
Developments
SIX EMINENT LEGAL SCHOLARS
FROM MICHIGAN LAW
EXAMINE CURRENTLY DEVELOPING
CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN LAW SCHOOL
HUTCHINS HALL, ROOM 250
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17
4 -5:30 P.M.
SPONSORED BY U-M OFFICE OF THE PROVOST

D ear Freshmen,
You're spoiled. There's no way to
sugarcoat it.
Your first two football games really couldn't
have gone better. A blowout home opener win
-the first one I've experienced, too, and I'm
a junior. A last-minute,
come-from-behind victory _
behind a true freshman
quarterback. And against
larger-than-life Charlie
Weis and his Fighting Irish,
no less.
Hell, the last time I saw
Michigan beat Notre Dame,-
a matchup of two 0-2 teams NICOLE
with little dignity left AUERBACH
to lose, it was more of a -
relief than anything. And
last year, after a three-and-a-half hour trek
to rainy South Bend, my friends and I were
rewarded with a six-fumble performance by
the Wolverines.
For two years, we Michigan students have

found ourselves the butt of college football
jokes.
We've been sent YouTube videos of the
Appalachian State game, received the doz-
ens of "LOL Michigan football" texts and sat
through last year's Toledo disaster.
You probably think Saturday nights are
the best party nights of the week. Everyone's
happy, everyone's singing the fight song.
That hasn't always been the case. Last year,
people would limp out of the Big House with
frowns on their faces until Tuesdays. You're
familiar with the postgame singing and smiles
in the student section? Imagine the exact
opposite.
To make matters worse, the Wolverines
haven't beaten Ohio State since you were in
seventh grade. And Rich Rod lost that recruit-
ing battle for Terrelle Pryor, even after Green-
wood hosted a block party in his honor. But I
guess those are things you might realize that
third weekend in November.
For now, relish what you've so luckily been
given - wins. I only saw three of them last

year, so you're two-thirds of the way there
already.
So, where do you go from here, young Wol-
verines?
Well, on paper, there are two "easy" games
coming up, and both will have noon starts. But
that doesn't mean you should get lazy.
Wake up. Put onyour maize student T-shirt.
Go to the game, and don't miss kickoff. Maybe
even paint your face.
(Side note: Girls, I don't care how large those
T-shirts are. They are shirts, not dresses. It's not
time to impressboys. Do you really think they're
focusing on girls when it's a Football Saturday?)
And I'll repeat this: Go to the game. It
doesn't matter if you can't pronounce Ypsilan-
ti or that you didn't know Indiana had varsity
teams other than basketball. Just go.
You'll only get eight home games this year.
And if you're lucky - which you obviously
have been thus far - you'll get about 30 Foot-
ball Saturdays as an undergraduate at Michi-
gan. Winning makes them better, and you
shouldn't miss a game that could end in sing-
ing "The Victors."
A few more precious pieces of
advice:
Don't stay in to do homework.
This is especially true in Sep-
tember. All your 100-level intro
classes and one-credit mini-
courses won't get tough, well,
ever.
Don't ever complain about
waking up at 7 a.m. to tailgate.
How often can you grab a beer
before breakfast, really?
And last but not least (and I'm
not trying to sound like the ridic-
ulous paragraph on the back of
the student T-shirts, but it's good
advice), don't leave the games
early - for any reason.
I'once lost my ticket, forgot
money, blistered my feet and got
sunburned on half of my body.
(And walked uphill in the snow
both ways, of course.) It was still
worth staying till the very last
snap.
And that was the App State
game, too.
-Auerbach is pumped to
watch Michigan beat a directional
school, something Michigan State
couldn't do last week. She can be
reached at naauer@umich.edu.

6
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LIKE SPORTS?
LIKE WRITING?
THIS IS A
MATCH MADE
IN HEAVEN.
WRITE FOR
DAILY SPORTS.
E-MAIL
ANDYREID@
UMICH.EDU

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