Michigan president admits Rich Rodriguez hire was mistake

There are some responsibilities better suited for athletic directors. One such thing is discussing the past hiring and subsequent firing of a football coach.

Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman did not abide by this unwritten law, and on Friday she told members of Flint, Michigan's, local Rotary Club that it was a mistake to bring in Rich Rodriguez.

It brings back the thoughts of loyal Michigan fans who were quick to announce their support for the Arizona Wildcats after Greg Byrne hired Rodriguez in November.

Her supposed reasoning for calling it a mistake brought up a complex question.

How deeply does local culture affect a football program, if at all?

From the The Flint Journal:

At the time, Coleman said, many were criticizing former coach Lloyd Carr's style as being too old fashioned, outdated next to the flashy, spread offense-style play gaining popularity.

"We though, OK, well let's go hire the guy who invented the spread offense," Coleman said.

And it was the wrong call, she told members of the Rotary Club of Flint following a question on the topic from the crowd.

"He was a hot, young coach with a different approach," Coleman said of the decision to hire Rodriguez.

The kicker? She said current Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke "has more of the kind of Midwestern ethos."

Again, we have at least a few years to see Rodriguez's football system in place at Arizona.

Time isn't really an issue in Tucson as it was in Ann Arbor because of culture, and the fact that Rodriguez didn't fit in with the culture at Michigan like he might in Tucson was pointed out by Coleman with her comment on Hoke's ethos.

But was it the lack of a Midwestern ethos that created failure in the locker room? Or was it that Midwestern ethos that put pressure and impatience around the program from the start?

Probably the latter.

And in Tucson, is there anything that's culturally imperative to succeed? The thought here is that a culture is only important in the locker room, an emphasis that Rodriguez has already been pressing, as we read in Kyle Kensing's piece about Rodriguez building on Mike Stoops' tenure.

Still, Coleman's remarks aren't incorrect, and they hold weight in that Rodriguez wasn't set to last at Michigan.

It does give hope that the hire at Arizona will work out well, because in Tucson it'll simply come down to Xs, Os and creating, simply, a locker room culture.

And it'll come down to all that without any worry about Rodriguez's roots.

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