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June 16, 2008 - Image 11

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2008-06-16

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Monday, June 16, 2008
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

SETTLING IN

Academy reveals
aperfect match

"Do you have to be a Michigan
man to be a Michigan coach?
Gosh, I hope not."
-Michigan football coach Rich
Rodriguez at his Dec.17 introduc-
tory press conference
Although Rodriguez
didn't understand what
the term 'Michigan man'
meant when
he was hired,
his message
was clear
- he wanted -
to do things
his way.'
There's
been a give- DAN
and-take FELDMAN
between the-
Michigan way and the Rodriguez
way ever since.
Rodriguez fired each of for-
mer Michigan coach Lloyd Carr's
assistants - point Rodriguez
way.
Then he rehired running
backs coach Fred Jackson,
- point Michigan way.
Both were smart moves.
Rodriguez needs his guys to
teach his schemes, but keeping
some continuity and a fine coach
like Jackson is sensible, too.
Now, six months in, the Rich-

Mich. partnership is settling into
equilibrium.
Rodriguez was the offen-
sive coordinator at Clemson in
2000 during the first Tommy
Bowden's Ladies Football Clinic.
Rodriguez told the women about
the Tigers' plan to wear white
jerseys at home to beat the heat,
but their opponents had to agree
to wearing dark jerseys.
"There's one team that said
they would do it - South Caroli-
na," Rodriguez said of Clemson's
biggest rival. "How stupid are
they?"
Clemson-South Carolina is
a heated rivalry, but itcprobably
needs a bit of stirringup every
once in a while if it's to attract
extra attention, and that's just
what Rodriguez did. (By the way,
the brouhaha led to Rodriguez
sendingthen-Gamecock coach
Lou Holtz a letter of apology.
South Carolina wore white.)
Rodriguez wisely avoided
knocking his team's biggest rival
this time around at the Women's
Football Academy on Saturday.
Michigan-Ohio State doesn't
need any fuel added to its fire.
People try all the time, but the
rivalry doesn't need a push.
In many ways, the same is true
See FELDMAN, Page 12

SAID ALSALAH/Daily
Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez helyed lead the 10th-annual Women's Football Academy an Satarday.
New-coach continues clinic

By DAN FELDMAN
Daily Sports Editor
After Lloyd Carr's retirement,
new Michigan football coach Rich
Rodriguez didn't
miss a beat. NOTEBOOK
At least when
it comes to the Women's Football
Academy. The event, which Rodri-
guez said he heard about soon after

being hired and wanted to contin-
ue, began under Carr. Originally a
benefit for the Coach Carr Cancer
Fund, it was held for the 10th-
straight year Saturday despite a
coaching change and construction
on Michigan Stadium.
The clinic raised more than
$101,000 for the University of
Michigan Comprehensive Cancer
Center. The event was put together

in just seven weeks this year. Usu-
ally planning begins in November.
Participants cycled between sta-
tions run by position coaches and
coordinators in Oosterbaan Field-
house and Ray Fisher Stadium.
They learned such things as how to
run a pass route from wide receiv-
ers coach Tony Dews and how to
read a quarterback and break on
See NOTEBOOK, Page 12

NE'S TRACK
Blue's relay team turns heads with record-breaking run at Nationals

By JOE STAPLETON
For the Daily
The Michigan men's track team
got into just one event in the finals
of this year's NCAA Outdoor Cham-
pionships.
But the team made it count.
Michigan's 4X400-meter relay
team took fourth place with a time
of 3:04.64, surpassing the 28-year-
old program record by more than a
second.
Accordingtoassociateheadcoach
Fred LaPlante, the relay team's goal
for the meet was to reach the finals.

"Midwest teams just don't make
the finals in the 4X400-meter relay,
and we got fourth place," LaPlante
said. "It was just a fantastic perfor-
mance."
Western and Southern teams,
such as Florida State, which won its
third straight national title, usually
dominate sprinting events.
"Other than the coaching staff
and the four guys on the team, I
don't think anyone expected us to
get in the final," LaPlante said.
Michigan's success in the event
didn't just impress its own coaches.
"I've never seen it in all my years

of coaching, a 4X4 from Michigan
look so good," said Tom Walsh, the
middle- and long-distance coach
at Southern California. "I think
the coaches at Michigan are really
unbelievable, the way they've taken
their talent and developed it at such
a high level. It's just amazing to
see."
The impressive showing at
Nationals capped a great turn-
around for the Wolverines after a
rough start to the season. After fin-
ishing sixth at the Big Ten Indoor
Meet and losing the outdoor version
of "The Dual" at Ohio State, they

finishedstrong, winningthe BigTen
outdoor title in May. It was their
first title under Michigan coach Ron
Warhurst and end a 15-year title-
less drought.
The 4X400 team's finish was
even more surprising, considering
it was ranked 15th heading in to the
finals.
The relay team included fifth-
year senior Stann Waithe, who was
the Wolverines' lone individual
competitor at the NCAAs, running
the 400-meter dash. Waithe failed
to qualify for the finals Friday, com-
ing in 15th overall and eighth in his

heat.
"I talked to my parents for like an
hour," Waithe said. "They kind of
calmed me down. I was frustrated
with the way the result went."
He had to put the disappointng
finish behind him quickly to ge
ready to run in the relay Saturday.
"He was able to block that race
out, even though he was very disap-
pointed," LaPlante said. "Great ath-
letes in all different sports are able
to do those kinds of things. Things
don't go your way, you just got to
forget about it and go onto the next
See TRACK, Page 12

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