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January 06, 2011 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-01-06

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, January 6, 2011 - 9A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Thursday, January 6, 2011 - 9A

Brandon reveals his
. criteria for next coach

Players talk about
Rodriguez's firing

By JOE STAPLETON
Daily Sports Writer
Though the press conference
yesterday was called to relegate
Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez to
the past, Athletic Director David
Brandon fielded mostly questions
about the future - specifically, who
would be the next coach.
Several names have been floating
in and out of the conversation. Jim
Harbaugh of Stanford, Brady Hoke
of San Diego State and even North-
western's Pat Fitzgerald have been
suggested as possible replacement
candidates. And though specula-
tion about Rodriguez's job status is
over, speculation about who will be
his replacement is just picking up
steam.
Brandon addressed only Har-
baugh specifically, saying it was
his opinion that Stanford's coach
will end up in the NFL. Bran-
don didn't offer much in the way
of naming who would probably
replace Rodriguez, but he did talk
about what he is looking for in a
replacement.
"This individual is a very high-
profile person who becomes, to a
large degree, a name and a face
that's very important to the Uni-
versity," Brandon said. "This indi-
vidual has to be able to compete at

the highest level. The expectations
here are extraordinarily high ....
(and) that puts a coach in a position
where they have to have the abil-
ity to stand up to that pressure and
perform against it."
He added that the head coach of
the football team becomes a "sig-
nificant spokesperson for the Uni-
versity."
Another thing Brandon made
clear was that he feels no pressure
to find a coach who runs a similar
offense to Rodriguez - though he
is looking for a coach who is will-
ing to modify his schemes to fit the
players available.
"One of the things I look for
is a coach who can modify their
approach and their attack based on
the personnel they have," Brandon
said.
"We know who our players are,
and we know what we have, and
we know what they're used to, and
we know what their experience has
been."
One of the knocks on Rodri-
guez has been his inability to do
just that. Many fans have pointed
to the transfer of quarterback and
potential NFL first-round pick
Ryan Mallett to Arkansas, soon
after Rodriguez came to Michi-
gan, as an example of a coach who
couldn't adapt his system to the tal-

ent around him. Mallett is not seen
as a run-option quarterback.
That seems to indicate one major
change. The other: Brandon wants
defense.
"Is there a thought of getting a
defensive-minded head coach?"
Brandon said. "There's a thought of
getting a defensive-minded every-
thing. I want the ball boys to be
defensive-minded."
This would be a sharpbreak from
Rodriguez, a coach who focuses
almost exclusively on the offensive
side of the ball.
Michigan's defense statistically
was one of the worst in the country
this year.
Brandon went on to say that he
feels the candidate must have head
coaching experience.
"My personal belief is that the
requirements of this job really lend
themselves to someone who's led
a team," Brandon said. "And who
has head coaching experience and
who has recruiting experience and
recruiting roots."
When asked if he thought the
coach had to be someone from a
BCS school, Brandon said he didn't
think so and replied, "Is (Ohio State
coach Jim) Tressel a bad coach? I
think he seems to be doing pretty
well down there, at least against
us."

By TIM ROHAN publicly said that they would like
Daily Sports Editor to have Rodriguez back as their
- - coach next season. As junior wide
Ryan Van Bergen and Kelvin receiver Darryl Stonum sees it,
Grady stood behind a sea of tele- the players lost their father.
vision cameras and reporters, "It was pretty emotional, but
waiting to hear what Michigan he was like our dad. We were his
Athletic Director David Brandon kids," Stonum said of Rodriguez on
had to say about the fate of their Wednesday. "He told us to all stay
coach, Rich Rodriguez. in contact ... We're like all family,
Brandon announced soon after and we're going to miss him."
that Rodriguez would not be back The whole family atmosphere
to coach their senior seasons. The that Rodriguez preached couldn't
players were losing their leader. have been more exemplified
The Michigan athletic direc- than his relationship with Brock
tor did have the players in mind Mealer, the brother of Michigan
based on the timing of his evalu- offensive lineman Elliott Mealer.
ation - he waited until after the Rodriguez was close to Brock as
bowl game to give the players he rehabilitated himself after frac-
their best chance at winning on a turing his spine in a car accident.
national stage on New Year's Day. "I think he's always been just
But Rodriguez didn't survive shown as a villain, and he's noth-
his third season. Then, with ing like that," Brock said. "He's
the program's future in limbo one of the greatest guys I've
without a coach, Brandon told ever met in my life. And I wish
the players of his decision dur- people would acknowledge that,
ing a team meeting at 4 p.m. on and whether or not he works out
Wednesday afternoon. Rodriguez as Michigan's coach is maybe a
also addressed the team. totally different story. And as
Players started exiting Schem- little as I know about football, I
bechler Hall about 45 minutes know his character is much dif-
after the meeting was sched- ferent from what people played
uled to start, and most declined him out to be."
to comment on the fate of their For as much as the players
coach. Previously, some of the may have liked Rodriguez, they
players, like Van Bergen and learned first-hand that big-time
junior nose tackle Mike Martin, college football is a business.

"They do whatever they can
(that's) best for the program,"
senior cornerback James Rogers
said. "I mean, of course, every-
one's down on themselves and
stuff like that. They're a little
mad, I mean, as we found out as
players it's abusiness."
Added Stonum: "(Brandon)
told us why he did it. He told us
his reasoning. What he's going
to look forward to - what we're
moving forward to. And for us to
continue what we've been doing
- working hard, going to class
and being 'Michigan Men.' So
that's all we're going to do."
With Rodriguez gone, ques-
tions started about whether the
players he recruited will stick
around.
Stonum said there had been no
talkoftransferringand addedthat
all of the players were Michigan
Men who would stick together,
even as the program potentially
faces upheaval. And as they did
after the Wolverines' 38-point loss
in the Gator Bowl, the players took
responsibility for their poor per-
formance this season.
"We just didn't get it done,"
Stonum said. "So we just got to
keep working hard. It's on us, we
talked about itbeingonus. Every-
body wants to blame the coach,
it's on us."

EVALUATING MICHIGAN'S POSSIBLE

COACHING CANDIDATES

BY RYAN KARTJE
DAILY SPORTS EDITOR

After firing head football coach Rich Rodriguez, Athletic Director Dave Brandon officially opened the Michigan football program's second coach-
ing search in three years. And with high-profile, highly popular candidate Jim Harbaugh likely off to the NFL, the Wolverines are looking at an
even shorter list of possible coaching candidates. Here's a short list of possible candidates for Michigan's newly vacant coaching position:

BRADY HOKE. SAN DIEGO STATE COACH

GARY PATTERSON, TCU COACH

San Diego State coach Brady Hoke is a former Michigan assistant coach and has said Michigan is his dream ob

Why Michigan would want him: Hoke seems
to be the name on everyone's radar as far as Michi-
gan's head coaching position goes. He's definitely
a "Michigan Man," having coached under Lloyd
Carr as his defensive line coach and associate head
coach from 1995-2002. Hoke took two relatively
irrelevant teams in Ball State and San Diego State
and transformed them into competitive teams. The
Aztec coach loves defense, and wouldbring a defen-
sive mind to Ann Arbor. He also employs a spread
offense, which would mean less of an adjustment
from Rodriguez's system to the new scheme. It's
also a breath of fresh air that Hoke has spoken on
end about how Michigan is his dream job.
Why Michigan wouldn't want him: Hoke
doesn't exactly unite a fan base like Harbaugh

would have, and the reaction around Ann Arbor
seems lukewarm atbest when it comes to hiring the
San Diego State coach. Hoke hasn't really done that
much as far as his coaching pedigree goes - he's
just 47-50 in his career. The jump from San Diego
State to Michigan is a pretty hefty one, and Bran-
don may be better off hiring a more proven coach.
Likelihood that he's Michigan's next coach:
Tough to tell. There's no reason why Hoke wouldn't
take the Michigan job, having turned down the
Minnesota job a few weeks ago and speaking pub-
licly on his hopes of coaching the Wolverines. Bran-
don made it clear that the coach should be a proven
one, preferably from a better pedigree. However,
until any other names come out of the woodwork,
Hoke looks to be the favorite.

TCU coach Gary Patterson led his Horned Frogs to a 2119 Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin on New Years Day.

LES MILES, LSU COACH

Why Michigan would want him: Patterson is
fresh off a Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin, and
he'll probably be one of the hottest commodities
in the country after his Horned Frogs finished
the 2010 season undefeated. Patterson is a defen-
sive-minded coach - one of the most respected
on that side of the ball - who will surely garner
some respect from his players, and the work he's
done at TCU is hard to ignore. Michigan's job
could be an impressive next step for Patterson,
where he'd get a few more shots at beating Big
Ten teams, like he did in the Rose Bowl.
Why Michigan wouldn't want him: Not
much. Patterson is an all-around great candidate

and would probablybe welcomed with open arms
in Ann Arbor. He's not a "Michigan Man" per se,
and he doesn't have many Midwestern ties. But
Patterson's head coaching experience and ability
to recruit quality athletes out of Texas to a small
school like TCU is a significant detail.
Likelihood that he's Michigan's next coach:
A long shot. Patterson has turned down jobs
before, including rejecting an offer from Min-
nesota to coach in the Big Ten. He doesn't have
Midwestern roots, and he'd be going to Michigan
because he thought it was strictly abetter job and
had more money than TCU. But at this point, he
might be better off just staying put.

KYLE WHITTINGHAM, UTAH COACH

Why Michigan would want him: Whitting-
ham has been part of the same list of mid-major
candidates destined to move up for a while now
and for good reason. He has a 58-20 record at the
helm of the Utes and has coached in a BCS bowl.
He's done a great job of continuing Urban Mey-
er's recruiting excellence at Utah, and he could
bring some of that to Ann Arbor. Whittingham,
a defensive-minded coach, would definitely amp
up the Wolverine defense, as the Utes always
rank pretty high nationally on that side of the
ball.
Why Michigan wouldn't want him: The Utes
started to struggle down the stretch this year,
and they've definitely had some rough patches.

He doesn't have many Midwestern ties, and as
far as recruiting goes, he might not bring the
most attractive pipeline pedigree. Whittingham
is a pretty well-accomplished coach though, and
Michigan wouldn't be in dire straits with him as
coach. He might not do much to incite a passion
in the fan base.
Likelihood that he's Michigan's next coach:
Not likely. Whittingham has stayed at Utah for a
while now, and with the team moving to the Pac-
12 next season, Whittingham has plenty of reason
to stay. Again, the Michigan job may not be that
much of a forward move for the Utes' coach, and
there aren't many reasons he'd take the job aside
from it being a wealth-inducing career move.

Why Michigan would want him: Fonrmer Ath-
letic Director Bill Martin wanted Miles and he
wanted him badly when the Wolverines were look-
ing to find a vacant coaching spot in 2008. Miles has
won a national championship, and he's a "Michigan
Man" by any definition of the phrase, having played
and coached in Ann Arbor. Miles is an inventive
play-caller to say the least, and his defenses at LSU
have always been the strength of the team. Giv-
ing him a quarterback like Denard Robinson could
open up his playbook in very exciting ways. Miles is
also a notably good recruiter.
Why Michigan wouldn't want him: He may
be an inventive play-caller, but he's also made a lot
of head-scratching calls as coach at LSU. There's a
reason they call him "The Mad Hatter," and Miles

could cause an awful lot of heart attacks in Ann
Arbor. A great deal of people think Miles is over-
rated, and they may be right. For a program that's
having an awful lot of problems with gaining sup-
port, Miles could anger a lot of fans and higher-ups,
and for Brandon, that might notbe worth the risk.
Likelihood thathe's Michigan's next coach: A
decent shot. If Miles is willing to leave the Bayou,
then Brandon would probably jump at the chance
to hire his fellow Schembechler product. Michigan
fans seem to be pretty leery about Miles, especially
after he spurned the University and made the Wol-
verines into a laughingstock the last time around.
We won't know anything until after Miles' bowl
game on Friday, but Michigan would probably take
him if he's willing to move.
t e

OTHER POSSIBLE CANDIDATES:
Chris Petersen, Boise State; Mike Trgovac, former Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator; Dan
Mullen, Mississippi State; Jon Gruden, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach; Mark Bradley,
Penn State defensive coordinator.

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