Former Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr will retire from associate A.D. role in September
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
After three decades at Michigan, Lloyd Carr is retiring.
The longtime Michigan football coach, who retired following the 2008 season, will officially retire Sept. 1, the university announced on Tuesday. Carr, who turns 65 later this month, has worked as an associate athletic director for the past 2 1/2 years since stepping down as Michigan's 17th coach.
"I knew I would need a transition from coaching and I always felt when I was a coach I wanted to know when it was time (to retire) and so I kind of used the same process with this," Carr said in a phone interview Tuesday night. "I'm extremely happy with the direction of Michigan athletics. So I felt very good about leaving.
"I knew this was a transition time and I knew there would be a time when I really wanted to step back and do some other things."
Carr led Michigan to a national title in 1997 and retired from coaching after leading Michigan to an upset win over Florida in the 2008 Capital One Bowl. Carr posted a career record of 122-40 (81-23 in the Big Ten). Under Carr, the Wolverines won five Big Ten titles and he was one of three Michigan coaches to win more than 100 games, joining Schembechler and Fielding Yost.
Carr was the second Big Ten coach to post an undefeated regular season in his third year of head coaching. He also was the seventh coach in NCAA history to reach 29 wins in three seasons.
But with Carr, success extended well beyond football.
"When you look back at his career at the university, what I'll remember him as is being one of the great leaders in the history of the university - not just the football program, but the university itself," former Michigan quarterback Brian Griese told AnnArbor.com Tuesday afternoon. "He embodied so much more than just being a football coach.
"He has been able to transcend the game of football and become a leader of men and a leader of the university."
In his role as co-chair, Carr and his wife, Laurie, - along with Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon and his wife, Jan - have helped raise $75 million for the hospital project. As passionate as he is about football, it's Carr's passion for helping others, specifically at C.S. Mott, that will remain part of his legacy.
"He is unbelievably passionate about helping our children's hospital and it is driven from one of his core values of giving and giving back," C.S. Mott Hospital executive director Pat Warner said in a phone interview Tuesday.
"It's a gift that is very special. He's so giving and every time I hear him speak, his passion just (comes out) and that's invaluable. His commitment to Mott, the time he volunteers and the enthusiasm and energy he generates in others is a gift and you can't put a price tag on that. It's invaluable."
Warner said Carr has led by example, encouraging his players to make weekly visits to Mott, where they'd spend time with patients. He also runs an annual car wash, which benefits the hospital, adding to his long-lasting legacy within the Ann Arbor community.
“Lloyd Carr's legacy is an impressive and important part of Michigan's rich history and tradition of excellence in football,” Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman said in a statement Tuesday “He has served the university as well through his advocacy and passion for a number of philanthropic causes. We are grateful for his long and successful service and wish him well in retirement.”
Added Brandon: "Coach Carr is a man of integrity. I admire and appreciate his love for all of our student-athletes and his many contributions to not only our University, but his work on behalf of numerous charitable causes throughout the State of Michigan."
Jeff Arnold covers sports for AnnArbor.com and can be reached at (734) 623-2554 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jeffreyparnold.