A day later, ex-Michigan coach Lloyd Carr remains emotional about his big Saturday night
The clock by his bed read 5 a.m., and former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr couldn’t sleep. He had already had a big night Saturday as his Hall of Fame announcement became public, he had the seventh floor of the new C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital named after him and he visited with numerous former players.
So he thought he’d be tired, especially since he was out much later than normal following Saturday’s Brian Griese/Steve Hutchinson/Charles Woodson Champions for Children’s Hearts gala Saturday night.
But there he was, unable to sleep.
“I ran a lot of replays of that evening,” Carr said Sunday morning. “I normally can express myself, but it’s difficult because it’s emotional.”
Alan Warren | The Ann Arbor News
Moments after the Hall of Fame announcement Saturday, Carr said his phone started going off. It didn’t stop until the battery died when he arrived home early Sunday morning. He heard from countless Michigan alumni and friends he made throughout a coaching career that included his 13-year head coaching stint at Michigan from 1995-2007 when he went 122-40, won five Big Ten titles and the 1997 national championship.
Carr said he hasn’t responded to all the text messages he received yet, but he has to answer them “so I get to read them again.”
He also said he needed to reach out to one former player who did not show up at this weekend’s festivities — former Michigan quarterback Tom Brady.
Brady donated at least $50,000 to the ‘Coach Carr Mountaintop Fund.’ Entering Saturday night, former players raised $750,000 to start the fund.
“I’ve got to call him,” Carr said. “That, yeah, unbelievable gift he made. You know, that’s hard to put into words what that means.”
While Carr still struggled Sunday to put his emotions into context, former players had no problem doing so.
Carr recruited or coached almost every Michigan player who returned for the weekend — a number that was approximated at 100 former Wolverines.
“Just the way his demeanor is, you know him by now, he does all the right things and we all try to model each other after him,” said former Michigan punter Zoltan Mesko, who was recruited by Carr. “I will always fall short of what he is because he’s a great guy.”
From 1900-2007, Michigan had a head coach who is in the College Football Hall of Fame or will be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a player or coach for all but five seasons.
Carr becomes the sixth Michigan coach to enter the Hall. Five former Wolverines coaches — Fielding Yost (1901-23, 1925-26), George Little (1924), Tad Wieman (1927-28), Fritz Crisler (1938-47) and Bo Schembechler (1969-89) — are already in. Four other former Michigan coaches, Langdon Lea (1900), Harry Kipke (1929-37), Bennie Oosterbaan (1948-58) and Bump Elliott (1959-68), have been inducted into the Hall of Fame as players.