You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 5:30 p.m.

Rich Rodriguez 'absolutely' will be coach next year, Bill Martin says

By Dave Birkett

Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez said after Saturday’s 21-10 loss to Ohio State that he hasn’t been told anything about his job status for next year. Rodriguez’s agent, Mike Brown, said earlier this week that Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman gave Rodriguez a vote of confidence in a private phone call Monday. Rodriguez was asked if Coleman said anything to him about 2010. “No,” he said.


Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez yells to quarterback Tate Forcier on Saturday. (Photo: Lon Horwedel |

Rodriguez also said he’s not concerned about whether he’ll be Michigan’s coach next year. As Rodriguez was answering questions, associate athletic director for media relations Bruce Madej stood to his side and said, “He’s fine.” Rodriguez is 8-16 in two seasons as Michigan coach. The Wolverines won their first four games this year, but finished 5-7 and tied for last place in the Big Ten. Last year, they went 3-9.

The back-to-back losing seasons are the first in program history since 1962-63, and Rodriguez is the first Michigan coach to lose his first two games to Ohio State.

Michigan athletic director Bill Martin also endorsed Rodriguez on Saturday. “Rich Rodriguez is our coach,” he said. “I and the administration fully support him, and you’ll see him in the future.” When asked if that meant next year, Martin said, “Absolutely.” Even if Michigan is found to have committed NCAA violations regarding excessive practice time? “He will be our coach next year, today,” Martin said. Asked to clarify what “today” meant, Martin said, “Well then delete the word today.” “He’ll be here next year, no question,” Martin said. Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.



Wed, Dec 2, 2009 : 7:50 p.m.

Does anybody really care what Bill Martin has to say.

Brutis Buckeye

Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 8:18 p.m.

i would just like to say to all of the michigan fans up in ann arbor one thing...CAN I GET AN O-H!!!!????? rich rod can stay as long as he wants good luck with him as a coach for the next 4 years!!! haha


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 10:19 a.m.

Question, isn't Billy Martin retiring after this so called season? So do we really take his word Rod is there or the boosters for next season? Go Boosters!


Mon, Nov 23, 2009 : 12:09 a.m.

DTone A contract? He should stay because he signed a contract? You have to be kidding me. If that's the case, he should still be at WVU, cause he signed an extension the year before he conned us. Nope, contracts mean nothing to him, so it shouldn't mean anything in determining his fate. HCS Best offense in the Big10? Really? Really? They scored more than 30 twice, but also scored only 10 twice and 13 once. Inflating stats against a high school team doesn't count. Walterp I'm as "True Blue" as any RR supporter. I'm an alumnus and I bleed maize & blue. What you guys can't seem to get through your heads is that you can support the team but not support the coach. The two are NOT mutually exclusive. Take off the blinders and you might understand that. VoR Nice to meet cha!


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 10 p.m.

I wish this website had a filter for people with strong knee-jerk reactions, limited football knowledge, and compromised ability to reason. People like these are why anxiety drugs are a multi billion dollar business in this country........


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 6:51 p.m.

I am as TRUE BLUE as any Michigan fan. And I want to win as badly as anyone. We all wanted a NEW system for the football team. RR is the first coach since Bo who wasn't in the system. As much as frustration has set in WE ALL must respond as TRUE MICHIGAN supporters and get behind the football team and RR and show we are strong and the team will be back. Remember, a lot of people complained about Beilien and he has done a great job turning the basketball program around. I think we all will see a much improved MICHIGAN football next season and we will be back where MICHIGAN football is accustomed to being.

Thick Candy Shell

Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 6:19 p.m.

I can give one thing RR did to deserve at least one more year. He had the most prolific offense in the big 10. He did make a mistake with his first defensive coordinator, but now has one of the best defensive coaches around (2 Super Bowl Rings, with two different teams). The defense lost this season, because they had 4 coordinators in 4 years. And, yes most of that falls on Lloyds head. If any one believes the transition to Bo was easy, watch the U of M vs. OSU special on HBO and listen closely to what they say. Many players said 3 to 4 guys left every day....just walked away. This was in a time where they did not have to worry about scholarships. RR has lost several, but not nearly as many and if you look at Lloyd's record, he lost about half as many anyway. This year they had 70 out of 85 scholarships filled with recruits. Several starting players were walk ons. Lets face it, we had sub standard recruiting classes for years because every one was out for Lloyd's head and the recruits saw that. What do you think is happening now?


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 4:04 p.m.

What has Rich Rod done to EARN another year at Michigan? I don't know the fact that he is in his 2nd year of a 6 year contract that he signed. What did the old Michigan system do to EARN another 20 years of being overrated every year with top recruiting classes? Their 12 Rose Bowl losses under that regime? How about you give Rodriguez a chance to play out a recruiting classes full tenure at the school before throwing him under the bus. Because if you fire him, change the program now, you are going to have another 2-4 years of mediocrity with your old-style Michigan system getting put back into place.

big things 77

Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 3:35 p.m.

goodbye rich bring in kelly or harbaugh we need to make sure devin gardner stays with us he is no joke better than tate denard is fast but by no means should be our qb at michigan


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 3:27 p.m.

Of course RR needs another year - good grief, what if Vanderbilt didn't give ol' what's his name a third year? Look where they'd be.........another revolving door for coaches. And then there's Rice - those Owls gave their guy a third year( I think, right?). And what about Duke? They stand by their man!. A third year is just what UofM needs. Hey, you can trust me, I'm a doctor..............


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 2:37 p.m.

What has this guy done to EARN another year as Head Coach? I keep asking this question and none of the RR supporters ever give an answer. They make excuses, but never give a reason why he should stay. I suspect its because they have no good reason for him to stay. He's been an abomination as head coach, has done everything wrong and yet you want to give him more time. I'd like for all you RR guys to remember this: There was no need to rebuild anything, until RR arrived. Now, we have a program in shambles and a dim future. Nice work if you can get it.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 1:51 p.m.

And to all of these Michigan fans who think this football program is the greatest thing ever. Michigan football has won 1 national Championship in 60 years and are below.500 in Bowl games. They are statistically one of the most overrated college football team in the history of College football. The Schembechler system was 15-20 in Bowls, one National championship with the top recruits in the country. That system was 4-12 in the Rose Bowl. So what does Michigan do? Go 100% in the opposite direction of that overrated system. They have no players that fit Rich Rod's new system, he has a team lead by true freshman and has the best offense in the Big Ten. He was left nothing on Defense outside of Brandon Graham and it showed. Your defense is supposed to be led by Juniors and Seniors not Freshman and Sophmores. And the Upper-Classmen in Michigan's system are Lloyd Carr's "Michigan Men" So before we start tearing Rich Rod apart, lets look at the full picture.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 12:56 p.m.

That billy martin is a hoot. He represents everything that UM stands for, arrogance in the face of incompetency. How about that Matt Millen on Nat'l TV telling everybody what UM needs to do to improve. Thats like the pot calling the kettle black! This guy is a complete joke. Maybe UM should make him the next AD. He's already got the experience of running a team into the ground.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 12:51 p.m.

Sounds like the same stuff I heard at the end of last year. 9-3 in 2010 and a bowl? The best o lineman and d lineman are gone next year. UM needs to try and win 3 big ten games next year. The schedule is not nearly as easy in 2010 as it was in 09.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 12:19 p.m.

grow up boys. how did u like your buddy les miles coaching prowess yesterday?


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 11:51 a.m.

These Rich Rod haters need to get a clue. The guy comes in with a completely different system, 100% different, than what Michigan had before and you expect the guy to go to a National Championship right away. He didn't have any players for his system last year and this year the players and talent he has is young. And let's not kid ourselves, Michigan was 8-4 in Carr's last year and left him an empty cupboard on defense. GIVE IT TIME. Rome wasn't built in a day. They should have finished better this year, but if you look at it realistically, the team had 85 Freshman and Sophmore out of about 115 players. If one play goes differently against MSU, Iowa, Purdue and Illinois and this team is 9-3.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 11:22 a.m.

Ride with em' when they win,ride with em' when they loose!Either way,GO BLUE!!!


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 10:46 a.m.

Hey Buckeye Alum.. You just showed your intellegence.. It's Brian Kelly not Mike Kelly! LOL I like Chicken and GonavyGoBlue: You two are absolutely right, We have seen a transformation in the last two years, granted it hasn't been in the win column but RR needs time to transform to his system. He really has had only one full recruiting year, plus I hear there is a couple guys that are red shirts that are ready to step up and make an impact on the defensive side next year. AllIn: I'm with you... Support RR or give up your tickets and find other clothes to wear. We will get better. As the Michigan slogan say's :THOSE WHO STAY WILL BE CHAMPIONS!

scooter dog

Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 10:41 a.m.

I'd give him a 5 yr extension just to hear all you cry babys complain.Look in the mirrior if you want to blame someone.All you winers keep supporting big blue.If you want to show your displeasure with them BOYCOTT the big house for a yr or so and when you hit them where it hurts,$$$$$$$ you will get your wishes.My sixth grade kid came up with that idea.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 8:51 a.m.

Stop all the RR bashen he is a good football coach and will turn this around no doubt. GO BLUE and RR keep your head up.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 2:34 a.m.

Wouldn't it be great if we could all do this. "I am not doing my job because I didn't get to pick who to work with. Let me hand pick everyone I work with and maybe in four years I'll be doing a good job" Oh and the whole time be raking in BIG BUCKS!! We need a MICHIGAN man. Hey, does anyone know for sure... WILL there be alcohol allowed in the money suites at the Stadium. I am told they are not selling well because alcohol is not allowed..?? Just curious.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 1:16 a.m.

The offense has had its moments this season, mostly prior to Tate's hand injury and resulting fumble-itis. Today the defense was respectable, with the exception of Graham who was superb. RR didn't grossly mismanage the clock this game. The problem must be our schedule...can we play Delaware State eleven times next season? We'd probably get our six wins and be bowl eligible. BTW-please don't put the entire onus on Tate for winning games...yes, he has lost the ball a lot the last few games (and had a hand injury that may have been a factor in a lot of that), but a freshman shouldn't be required to lead the team...THAT is a coaching deficiency.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : 1:09 a.m.

Uminks Weren't you koolaid drinkers promising 9 wins this year? Heck, the Idiot was supposed to have us in the NC game in 2010, according to you guys. Now, you're saying we'll get 9 wins in 2011??? LMFAO!!!! So, we go through 2 years of crap, probably 3 years of crap, just to get back to where we were when LC left!! If I didn't love my school so much, I'd think this was the biggest practical joke in the history of college sports. There is NO WAY this idiot gets 4 years. He won't have a winning record in 2010 and the new AD will toss him out on his azz. Count on it.


Sun, Nov 22, 2009 : midnight

I've read some LSU blogs and many fans have turned against Miles. Many now wish he would have left for UM. Oh well, but it does prove how losing can have fans turn on the coach. The big difference is that Miles is losing with loads of talent.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 11:56 p.m.

No dah! How should he not get at least 4 years to improve the bare cupboard of talent he was left with. I think RR will get us to a bowl game next season and than have a big year, 9 wins or more, in 2011.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 10:49 p.m.

blueinsc, The short answer is no; we don't deserve this. That's why I was so baffled when he was hired. I knew that the changes he would have to make to coach the way he coaches were so drastic that they may as well as change the name of the school!! I blame this all those involved in bringing him to Michigan. I thought, much like most people seem to, that we should've brought someone in more consistent with the style of football that was already in place. Not being in the know, I convinced myself that they were not satisfied with "competing" in the B10 every year and they were looking for someone that they thought would compete for a NC every year and they thought it required a different course than the one Michigan has been on for well over 100 years. My problem is that I have been, am, and always will be a huge WOLVERINES fan. In other words, I drink the maize and blue kool-aid. Thoughts?


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 10:28 p.m.

"Best" know something...I laughed out loud at your comment for a moment until I came back to a disturbing question....if the "BM" was the one who made the decision to inflict RR on us...then is it really so far-fetched that your "new math" is actually what drives him?!!


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 10:14 p.m.

If it's all about economics (BM is a terrific businessman) then I've figured out UM's angle. Based on RR's $2.5M annual salary, each "W" cost UM $500,000 this season ($800,000+ last year). BUT, we paid RR only $357,000 per loss (a mere $277,777 last year). BM has figured out that UM makes more money if loses than if it wins. If the stadium is sold out each Home game regardless of a win or loss, then UM makes more money if it loses. That's why BM says RR's job is secure: It's all about money.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 9:23 p.m.

Mary Sue hire the new A.D asap then you can get the arrogant lame duck Martin out of office and then let him make the decision on the need to stick with fundraising and ensuring our kids are given the best education and find a way to freeze tuition hikes....Leave the football program know nothing about it


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 9:22 p.m.

ChelseaBob You make some really good points, particularly about voting with our dollars. However, you are dreaming if you think this team will go.500 next season. Next year's schedule is more difficult, with a lot of the "patsies" on the road. We'll get 4 wins, thanks to UMass being on the schedule, but that's about it.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 9:07 p.m.

Who cares. I am glad the season is over and we are in for more of the same next year. If the university is stupid enough to keep RR around for another year they deserve what they get. I can't believe people are still paying to see crap football at the big house. Stop going and maybe the new AD will get the message. Last place in one of the worst football confrences in America. $2.5 million a year for this crap. WOW, talk about not getting value for your money. At least we have 9 more months before we see another loss by Michigan.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 8:59 p.m.

gonavyblue, point taken. Yet, the crux of this that eats away at us is the fact that back to back losing seasons have occurred for the first time since the early 60s. Has Michigan's talent / recruiting classes just prior to RR been so "unfit" for his system that we deserve these results?


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 8:47 p.m.

I did not see the game today, I did keep up with it online. I don't understand how University of Michigan can put up with a coach who is boviously not able to get the results he was hired to get. My job description gives me clear goals with defined projected outcomes. I am sure Rodriguez wa hired with definate GOALS and projected outcomes. Granted he has only been here 2 years but-sometimes that is enough. Rodriguez is not prepared to coach this caliber of a program against this caliber of teams. I am no fotball expert but, he seems to be outplayed, outclassed and out maneuvered. It is time to cut their losses-no pum intended-and find a coach who can get the job done. This is what ahppens when you jump on the first horse before finding one who can go the distance. I am not a Michigan fan but I really would like to see a game worth watching.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 8:36 p.m.

Quite frankly, you couldn't expect anything else from Martin or his assistants. He's not calling the shots at this point and he knows it, so standing behind his guy is really all he can do. I can only hope that MSC quickly finds an experienced AD with a strong track record to replace the abomination that is Bill Martin and that person can get to the task of repairing the Michigan football program.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 8:36 p.m.

There two issues, and two only. First, does this man have the character to lead this team? I already know the answer, and so does everyone that isn't wearing blinders. I'm not sure how he got here in the first place. Second, can he coach? This team has steadily regressed. The funadamentals (blocking and tackling) have gotten worse as the season went on. The play calling has been abysmal (you thought the offense was predictable under Carr?). The final nail in the coffin for me, has been the constant complaining by RR that he doesn't have the talent he need. That's pathetic. Does TCU recruit better talent than Michigan? How about Cincinnatti? They'd kill for our roster. I'm tired of this and will not buy another ticket until he is gone. There will be few, if any sellouts next year. We alumni will vote with our $$$. RR is finished. The only question is do we start over now, or slog though a.500 season next year and fire him then.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 8:33 p.m.

Shaw didnt elbow an equipment guy....the guy he elbowed was Grant Schwartz, a back up wr at osu. Shaw went by 2 buckeyes in full pads but waited for some small guy to mouth off to and try to bully....that is bush league.....and if Desmond calls it that Im sure he would know more than some fan who probably didnt last in pee wee football


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 7:51 p.m.

blueinsc, you're right. I overstated the "3 yds and cloud of dust". Moeller was much more balanced and could/would throw the ball down field. Carr on the other hand...his idea of balance was 2 runs, 1 pass, and a punt. As for great coaches adapting to the talent of their players, I the pros where you don't have as much say so in the players you get/inherit. I don't claim that RR is a great coach. In fact is inability to do anything else except the spread indicates he's not a great coach. And, no, I was not talking sub 10 sec 100M...I was talking sub 10 sec 40. We've been slow and plodding for as long as I can remember. Admit it, that doesn't get it anymore! You have to have speed on both sides of the ball to win. Defense does not win championships anymore. Fast athletic defenses win championships. Regardless, my point is that the day they hired RR, Michigan committed to SWEEPING changes in it's football program and those types of changes take more than 2 years. It remains to be seen whether those changes will equal championships. The other point is that for the last 3-4 Carr years, these same RR haters wanted Lloyd's head for being too predictable and hard careful what you ask for.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 7:46 p.m.

mlive, You're in the blind minority. By the way, Howard DID defend RR, he just said Shaw elbowing an equipment guy has no place at Michigan and is bush league. I agree. FYI, so did the entire ESPN GameDay crew. You go on and blindly allow EVERYTHING that was once sacred at Michigan, including class, to fly out the window. Bo would have taken Shaw to the woodshed.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 7:42 p.m.

Well... another year with RR goes down the tubes. Guess he once again didn't build an offense, defense or special teams around the players strengths. Hmmmmm Maybe he only knows one system and has brought coordinators that only know his system??? I know... we can't get 4 & 5 star players at Michigan anymore. My bad...


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 7:41 p.m.

ahh great, i always wanted michigan to end up being just a speed bump for OSU as they head to a bowl that matters and we struggle to make the pizza bowl...


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 7:38 p.m.

I saw the video of the OSU equipment guy. It was not bush league. My advise to the guy is to get the hell out of the way for the players. To Desmond Howard: How about defending your school and players. They certainly need everyone they can get. But then maybe you're in the group that doesn't support RR.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 7:21 p.m.

I'm not a RR lover but try to look at things in reality.We have to commit to RR and his staff(because ultimately,he is our coach).And we MUST give him time!!! I HATE losing(especially to the SUCKEYES)but Stevie Wonder can see that they are better than us.It hurts now but hopefully,Michigan will turn this ship around and get back to what we all are used to.......WINNING!!! The more we play "The Best",believe me,WE WILL BECOME THE BEST!!!Good game today Wolverines.See ya next season.As always,GO BLUE forever!!!


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 7:10 p.m.

so mr character theo....did you live up to your word and drop the 1000 bucks off at the corner of stadium and main since your prediction was...shockingly wrong...again????


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 7 p.m.

I'm fed up with the RR lovers who spew the same rhetoric : "he needs more time, he needs more time.... the players are young, the players are young..." Folks, look at this objectively. Great coaches don't tailor everything around them to such tight specifications in order to have success. RR's "system" doesn't seem to have much tolerance. It requires a certain kind of "talent?" Give me a break. Great coaches ADAPT certain aspects of their coaching philosophy to fit their personnel, not the other way around. As far as someone mentioning that this offense is a first in that it's not 3 yards and a cloud of dust... hmmmmm... must not have watched much Michigan football the past 20 years, eh? Gary Moeller installed a very balanced attack with a drop back pro style qb, and Lloyd continued that tradition.. Also, I believe you're referring to sub 10 second 100 meter runs? It's wonderful to have that kind of speed among more than 1 person on the team... the track team, that is. This is football. Speed does not win championships.... DEFENSE wins championships (ex : 1997) IN MICHIGAN WE TRUST


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 7 p.m.

this is an absolutely horrible day for UM football if Martin is being truthful how can this idiot keep his job hopefully the new AD will have more common sense


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 6:54 p.m.

"What if ND stayed with TW? Worst talent, no. Most inexperienced, yes. Ok, fire him. Put in the old Michigan regime. Then I can go back to hearing all of you complain about the run, run, pass and out way of things. It's easy to complain when change hurts." yeah, because the run run throw an interception of today is SOOOOOOOOOO much better.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 6:52 p.m.

this time next year michigan will be a "who's that" in college football and will be relegated to being just like MSU, our biggest rivals don't even really care about us now....

I like Chicken

Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 6:50 p.m.

What if ND stayed with TW? Worst talent, no. Most inexperienced, yes. Ok, fire him. Put in the old Michigan regime. Then I can go back to hearing all of you complain about the run, run, pass and out way of things. It's easy to complain when change hurts.

Buckeye Alum

Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 6:49 p.m.

Did the University of Michigan overlook Mike Kelly when they hired RichRod? He was right in your back yard. I am glad you missed him-he has done a great job at Cincinnati.

Blueman Rick

Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 6:43 p.m.

What else is Martin going to say? His reaction is nothing more than lame duck self-preservation. He's left a hell of a legacy.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 6:41 p.m.

What if Weis hadnt given Charlie a 4th year? Come on.....comparing Rich Rod to any other coach is a joke. He has failed miserably in 2 years here. Miserably. You koolaid drinkers must think that Michigan has the worst talent in the Big Ten???? well...come on....

I like Chicken

Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 6:37 p.m.

As much as I will take a hit here...the coach needs 2 more years. Defensive will improve, offense (skill positions) will be more experienced, give it time. I know it hurts now. What if Duke didn't give Coach K a 4th year?


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 6:36 p.m.

Bill Martin is arrogant and he refuses to admit his error. He is putting himself in front of the best interests of the program. Better to cut bait now and end this disaster.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 6:33 p.m.

I think Tate needs to go back and play in some warmer weather in California. Not sure he can handle the cold weather. Sure can't handle the ball in cold weather...Devin Gardner can though. He has been playing high school ball in Michigan for 4 years...and is faster...and will be able to run the read option a whole lot Pryor did today...and get up field. Tate is too slow...and small.

Man in the Mirror

Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 6:31 p.m.

Well alrighty then.....Rich Rod is our man!

Brutis Buckeye

Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 6:28 p.m.

Rich Rodriguez should get a contract extension so that he can have ample time to build a quality program.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 6:20 p.m.

And Martin, therefore, is an idiot! Just get used to being the doormat of the Big Ten.


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 5:53 p.m.

you are the one that needs to go, billy.... the total mismanagent...the dispicable treatment of staff and students...the unmistakeable and unacceptable arrogance.... go now!!!! we'll send you some pics of your new skybox/pigstye. please...


Sat, Nov 21, 2009 : 5:49 p.m.

For some, this is the worst news of today.