After three years as head coach of the University of Michigan Wolverines, Rich Rodriguez has been fired according to Fox 2 TV in Detroit. The news comes just hours after Rodriguez met with Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon.
Rodriguez, who was successful in making West Virginia the best team of the Big East, brought the Mountaineers within one game of the BCS title game in 2007 but a loss in the backyard brawl to rival Pittsburgh kept them from college football’s biggest stage. After the loss Rodriguez decided to leave his alma mater that had given him so much, to make the move to Michigan despite having recently renegotiating his contract.
He found little success as the team’s coach, however he finished with an overall record of 15-22 after the Wolverine’s 52-14 loss to Mississippi State on New Year’s day. After the loss, Rodriguez said he was “disappointed and frustrated, but not discouraged.” The loss left the Wolverines 7-6 this season and an awful 1-11 against ranked teams during his tenure.
The 47-year-old Rodriguez was just 1-13 against teams which finished the year ranked in the Associated Press poll, with their only win coming at the start of this season when they beat the Connecticut 30-10 at home. A promising season where they started 5-0 turned ugly pretty quickly. Michigan gave up 137 points in it’s final three losses to Wisconsin, Ohio State and Mississippi State.
Now that the Wolverines have given Rodriguez the boot, what is next for Michigan?
The school has admitted that they are interested in Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh but in a recent turn events that seems unlikely as Harbaugh could be heading to the NFL. Harbaugh’s stock has grown rapidly since taking Stanford from 1-11 to 12-1 in four years, which makes him the hottest coaching candidate around. If not Harbaugh another replacement could be San Diego States’ Brady Hoke, who is a former Michigan assistant coach.
Expect one of college football’s most successful programs to waste no time finding a head coach and we will just have to wait and see how it plays out and who they will target.