Michigan gets its man, and he's not even from Michigan Print
Written by Admin   
Monday, 17 December 2007 11:57
NCAAF Headline News

 ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -Rich Rodriguez walked through a flashlight-lit locker room, down a darkened tunnel and stepped onto the Michigan Stadium field for the first time.
``It's beautiful,'' he said with snow covering his dress shoes.
A new era began at Michigan on Monday. The winningest program in college football ended its first coaching search since hiring Bo Schembechler nearly four decades ago by luring Rodriguez and his spread offense from West Virginia.
The process probably lasted longer than the school wanted and it might not have landed its first choice. Yet, Rodriguez didn't have a problem with getting the job after LSU's Les Miles and Rutgers' Greg Schiano turned down reported opportunities to replace the retiring Lloyd Carr.
``(I) might have been my wife's third choice, too,'' Rodriguez joked.
He is ending a seven-season run at West Virginia, a year after turning down an offer to be Alabama's coach.
Rodriguez said it took an opportunity of Michigan's caliber for him to leave his home state and alma mater.
``It was a very difficult decision to leave a place where I grew up,'' said Rodriguez, who was born in Grant Town, W.Va., five miles from the birthplace of famed Michigan coach Fielding Yost and about 20 miles from the West Virginia campus. ``It was going to take a very special opportunity and a very special place, and I think that's what this is.''
Rodriguez doesn't expect to coach West Virginia when it plays Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.
``My focus is going to be on the University of Michigan,'' he said. ``I don't think it best serves West Virginia if I'm thinking about the Big House.''
Rodriguez, who was to fly back to West Virginia on Monday, hopes school officials agree that letting him leave right away to assemble his new staff, recruit and evaluate the Wolverines with eligibility remaining is best for both parties.
Rodriguez is the first head coach to come outside the ``Michigan family'' as athletic director Bill Martin put it, since Schembechler was hired away from Miami of Ohio in 1969.
``Do you have to be a Michigan man to be a Michigan coach?'' Rodriguez asked. ``Gosh, I hope not.''
Even though the Wolverines didn't bring back one of their own in Miles, who played at Michigan and coached under Schembechler, they landed a coach who is much more than a consolation prize.
The 44-year-old Rodriguez built West Virginia into a Big East power, winning the conference championship this year for the fourth time in five seasons and going 60-26 overall. He helped the Mountaineers earn six straight bowl bids and made them one of the most potent offensive teams in the country.
Rodriguez is considered one of the Godfather's of the spread offense that's become the rage of college football. The spread will be a dramatic change for Michigan, a school that's been locked into a more traditional offense and relied on drop-back passers for years.
``I think it's a great hire,'' said Carr, whose 13th and final season as head coach at Michigan will end Jan. 1 at the Capital One Bowl against Florida. ``He's a young guy with great passion and enthusiasm.
``I think everybody that loves this place is excited.''
Rodriguez's hiring marks the second time in eight months that Michigan lured a coach away from West Virginia, following basketball coach John Beilein's Morgantown-to-Ann Arbor path.
``There are intangibles in some coaches that make them win wherever they are, and he has them,'' said Beilein, who lived three houses away from Rodriguez in West Virginia. ``Rich was born to be a football coach.''
Michigan athletic director Martin and Rodriguez's agent, Mike Brown, said they still have to work on contract details before a deal is signed.
After Carr announced his retirement Nov. 19, Martin said he was prepared to roughly double what Carr made annually by giving the new coach as much as $3 million a year.
Alabama's interest in Rodriguez last year wore on the Mountaineers for several days before he agreed to a one-year contract extension through 2013. The deal included a $4 million buyout clause if he leaves before next September.
Like Beilein, Rodriguez will make enough money at Michigan to cut West Virginia a big check.
``The lawyers are working on it,'' Rodriguez said.
Michigan is paying Beilein $1.3 million a season, plus bonuses, as part of a six-year contract.
When Michigan lured Beilein away from West Virginia last April, his contract had a $2.5 million buyout clause. Under an agreement with West Virginia, Beilein agreed to pay $1.5 million to the WVU Foundation.
Martin and university president Mary Sue Coleman talked with Rodriguez, his wife and agent Friday in Toledo, Ohio. West Virginia athletic director Ed Pastilong met with Rodriguez on Saturday, saying they talked about general issues within the program.
Pastilong had said he was unaware Rodriguez went to Toledo and declined to disclose whether he had given Michigan permission to talk to the coach.
``We're not going to talk about the process at all,'' Martin said.
West Virginia's defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator Tony Gibson is certainly pleased with the end result. He's committed to join Rodriguez in Ann Arbor and he already sounds like a local.
Gibson hummed ``The Victors,'' as he took a tour of Michigan Stadium's locker room with Rodriguez and his wide-eyed contingent from Morgantown.
 

NCAAFB Team Pages

Top NCAAFB Public Bets

#1 322 Virginia 91%
#2 301 Penn State 89%
#3 102 UL Monroe 86%
#4 197 Florida State 86%
#5 346 Florida 83%
#6 506 Louisville 80%
#7 313 LSU 75%
#8 208 Colorado 75%
#9 177 Alabama 75%
#10 502 Tennessee 71%
View All: NFL |  NBA |  NCAAF |  NCAAB |  MLB |  NHL

Recent NCAAFB Discussions

NCAAFB Futures

NCAA FOOTBALL TEAM BCS CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS CURRENT
FLORIDA STATE 11/2
ALABAMA 6/1
OREGON 8/1
AUBURN 9/1
OHIO STATE 10/1
OKLAHOMA 10/1
UCLA 14/1
GEORGIA 16/1
LSU 20/1
USC 25/1
View All

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on TheSpread.com website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: TheSpread.com is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.

©1999-2013 TheSpread.com