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Posted on Mon, Nov 21, 2011 : 9:03 p.m.

It's official: Former Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez hired by Arizona

By Kyle Meinke

Previous story: Former Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez taking over at Arizona, reports say

It was only a matter of time before Rich Rodriguez landed on his feet.

Turns out, it took him less than a season before finding his way to the desert.

The former embattled Michigan football coach, who was fired by the Wolverines last winter shortly after completing a tumultuous three-year stint with a 52-14 loss to Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl, was hired by Arizona on Monday night.


Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne announced the hiring of Rich Rodriguez by distributing this photograph via Twitter.

Wildcats athletic director Greg Byrne announced the hire by tweeting, "And the new Arizona football coach and his family is......" The post included a photo of Rodriguez, donning an Arizona hat, and his family with Byrne.

There will be a 4 p.m. news conference Tuesday to introduce Rodriguez, who replaces Mike Stoops. He was fired on Oct. 10 after going 41-50 in seven-plus season, including a 1-5 start this year.

Defensive coordinator Tim Kish served as interim coach.

Rodriguez was 15-22 during three miserable seasons at Michigan — a tenure that included school records for worst season (3-9 in 2008) and worst defense (35.2 points allowed per game in 2010).

The Wolverines also were tagged with their first four NCAA violations in school history under Rodriguez's watch, which net three years of probation. Rodriguez was not found guilty of failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance, which is a major violation.

He was fired in early January by Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon and replaced by San Diego State's Brady Hoke, who is 9-2 in his first season in Ann Arbor.

Rodriguez has worked as an analyst for CBS Sports this year, which included an interview of Hoke during his first week on the job.

Michigan declined to comment on the hire.

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 9:53 p.m.

This is a good thing for Rich Rod and for Arizona....he was a nice man that was treated like a leper by the "michigan faithful". Hopefully he will have a smoother transition and experience at Arizona, where he will get better staff and fan support which he never received while he was at UM.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:50 p.m.

For us Michigan fans who think we had it bad under RR, let me tell you about my good friend. He's from Michigan and is a huge UofM fan. His alma mater is UofA. Yeah, not only did he have to watch the debacle in Ann Arbor, he'll get to watch who knows how many years of this guy in Tucson. Truthfully, RR can and I hope he will find success @ UofA, but they need to keep him away from the defense.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:52 p.m.

Rumors abound that Lloyd Carr jumped on the first Southwest flight out west this morning. He's planning to have a team meeting before RR gets to town. Before leaving, Lloyd practiced his signature and made sure he had plenty of pens in his carry on.

Blu n Tpa

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:40 p.m.

This has been a nice trip down memory lane with all those who loved the lost and can not move on. Just like a divorce, you can talk about the ex couple until one of them gets remarried. Well, both have moved on to someone else. Michigan has found happiness with Coach Hoke and staff and U AZ has taken the damaged goods, for better or for worse. Michigan paid a incredible cost, $15-20 million for the three years of the WCiMFH, and he took a lot of that with him. If you find yourself visiting the Arizone web sites, then you have the problem. would be wise to restrict it's content regarding the WCiMFH because it serves no useful purpose. You get a lot of posters but to what end? Michigan has what it needs and if this site can't generate interest based on who's here, then that's on them. TiM Go Blue!


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:21 p.m.

Doesn't it take an Arizona Man to coach in Arizona?

Billy Bob Schwartz

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:18 p.m.


David Paris

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:07 p.m.

" ...Rodriguez, who replaces Mike Stoops. He was fired on Oct. 10 after going 41-50 in seven-plus season, including a 1-5 start this year." Obviously, Arizona has patience for mediocrity, Rich-Rod should do well there! Go Blue!!!


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 1:28 p.m.

Good for RR, I wish him success. Michigan was just not a good fit for him, but he is a good coach. Atlanta wasn't a good fit for Bobby Petrino either but he has done a great job with Arkansas. Good luck in Arizona double R!


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 1:28 p.m.

Congrats to you RR. Hope you are not surrounded by backstabbing sob's like you were here. Yes you did need to field a defense and win more games but to endure all the back door bs that you did here was outrageous. Many of these backstabbers call themselves Michigan Men which surely gives the moniker a bad name. All you haters out there remember the wins for quite some time will come at the hands of the guys RR brought in.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 6:36 p.m.

preposterous, the wins now are because of Hoke and Staff. All we heard was how young we were on Defense, well take a look at the roster, looks pretty young to me. Simply, the man was full of excuses, blamed others and was too stubborn. We're not haters, we just liked having a winning program, in like forever, that was torn down in a matter of months, that's what we hated.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 1:03 p.m.

Best of luck to RichRod, he never had a fair chance here with key people wanting to see him fail. He deserves another chance. Meanwhile, we are better off with Brady Hoke, he's simply a better fit. Against Nebraska, we ran RichRod-style plays about half the time. With the spread personnel left behind by RR, I think Al Borges has had his eyes opened quite a bit as to just how powerful an offense can be when it can run both pro and spread. Hopefully, going forward we recruit quarterbacks that can do more than just stand in the pocket or hand off. Ask any defensive coordinator, a quarterback who can run & pass is like having 12 men on offense.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:17 p.m.

Isn't it great that our current coaches had the sense to take what was there and give it a try, while doing something else, too?!! If Rich Rod hadn't been so sure his spread offense would always win, he had lots of stuff there to work with. He didn't. So long, ole paint.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 12:42 p.m.

we love you richrod.......


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 12:38 p.m.

So, what's the over-under for the first NCAA sanctions in RichRod's new program? How long until he gets his new employer in trouble with the NCAA?


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 12:30 p.m.

The only place that would have surprised me less would have been Texas. AZ you can have him. He never was and never will be a MICHIGAN man.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 12:26 p.m.

While not a fan, I do wish RR and his family success.

Wolf's Bane

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 12:12 p.m.

One word: Suckers


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : noon

Oh,oh. There's a Theo relative that has also been let loose From the asylum. It looks like he's a paranoid sociopath like Theo and likely other members of this deeply Disturbed and intermarried clan. Unfortunate. I say " lock 'em all up again." don't let them interbreed!


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 11:58 a.m.

Congrats, RichRod. I hope they are competitive in the PAC whatever. They could be fun to watch(as long as they aren't my team.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 10:21 a.m.

First off, I do wish Rich Rod well at U-AZ. I will be curious to see how his defense progresses over the next few years. The Pac-12 is another major conference. He again, will not be the biggest fish in the pond. Rich Rod was in over his head at Michigan and my sense is that he is in a similar situation. 1) Let's see how long it takes him to bring AZ to a bowl game. 2) How will his defense look. 3) How well he will recruit and from where. 4) How much well his team will do in Pac-12 games.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 6:40 a.m.

Hey Theo's Brother, how did Theo become such an great poet? It must be an interesting story. Chuckle Also, you can make glass out of sand, that's the only crystal the WCIMFH will taste.

1st Down

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 6:27 a.m.

Rich Rod's been through the desert on a horse with no name It feels good to be out of the rain In the desert they will remember his name cause there aint no one for to give him no pain la la laaa laaaalalalalla lalalalla alallala


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 6:46 a.m.

On the 1st part of the journey I was looking for all the life, there were birds and rocks and plants and things........ On the 2nd part of the journey, the desert had turned to sea......and the WCIMFH actually drowned in the desert, who knew?

Theo's Brother

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 6:16 a.m.

For those of you all asking about my brother and why he hasn't posted yet: He's in the midst of looking for work and residence in the Tucson area. Not to be an Arizona fan but to convince the King to come back to Michigan after he lines up crystal in the desert.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:06 p.m.

The only crystal he'll line up will come from a Mikasa store at the outlet mall.

Don Eggen

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:44 a.m.

One small correction to the story: 2008 was not the worst season in Michigan history. The worst seasons were 1934 and 1936 when Michigan had a record of 1-7-0 (0.125). 2008 is the season with the most losses (9), but 3-9 has a win pct of 0.25. For the record, 1962 (2-7-0, 0.222), 1936, 1934, and 1881 (0-3-0) were worse than 2008 and 1958 (2-6-1) tied 2008.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 5:03 a.m.

And the thing was it was all so unnecessary. Had Rodriguez come in and treated the existing talent as a given, he might have decided to incorporate elements of his spread in a hybrid fashion over time. He had a 5-star QB in Ryan Mallet. That 3-9 season did not have to happen.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:49 a.m.

Most losses. Not worst winning percentage. But either way, not an "honor" I'd want if I were claiming to be a good coach.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:34 a.m.

Below is an excerpt from the NY Times article in today's paper: "Greg Byrne, the Arizona athletic director, flew to Michigan to consummate the deal, which was expected to be made official late Monday. Rodriguez took a year off after a disastrous three-year stretch at Michigan during which he clashed with the program's culture and fielded bad defenses. Byrne is hiring Rodriguez off the promise stemming from his 60-26 record at West Virginia, where he had the Mountaineers one victory from the national championship game in 2007." 1. Why would the AZ AD fly to MI to seal the RR deal? I thought RR moved away from MI after being fired and selling his house. 2. Good luck to AZ with the "promise stemming from his 60-26 record at West VA." It didn't work at UM, so why would that "promise" work at U-AZ?


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:09 p.m.

"Greg Byrne, the Arizona athletic director, flew to Michigan to consummate the deal, which was expected to be made official late Monday." While this is grammatically correct, and certainly meets the Grey Lady's editorial standards, it's still an icky sentence.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 5:28 a.m.

The NY Times ROFL!


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:21 a.m.

Baa Haa Haa Hee Hee ho hum. What in the world is that AD thinking? Talk about a fish out of water!! So, Stoops was not good enough down there, but they think the person responsible for the worst collapse of a proven football team(Michigan) in a half century can get it turned around there (Arizona)??? In a state that he never coached in, recruited in, or a stadium he has never stepped foot in? Where have I heard this before? If Hoke's success and his righting the ship did not teach Arizona's AD and President just how bad the former coach screwed it up, then they are destined to repeat history. Nice hearing about you. Please now, stop showing pictures of that coach wearing Michigan gear. PS: can I make a RSVP for 3 years from now to buy those hats at the next auction of hundreds of unused college gear?


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:19 a.m.

big yawn and then eye roll.... crickets all i hear is crickets.. I kinda enjoy watching a blocking full back,Tight ends and Fitz running down hill..and expecially watching Michigan Defense play solid football GO BLUE and beat that school down south..

Billy Bob Schwartz

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:09 p.m.

Oh, and don't forget something new that has been added this year: the tackle!

Chase Ingersoll

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4 a.m.

I see that many of you are going your best Statler and Waldorf impression. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Let us know when the &quot;peanut throwers&quot; are finished and let's hear from the likes of Denard Robinson and Zach Novack five years after they have graduated.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:59 a.m.

Good riddance. RR sure took the money and ran do not forget this. Took a ton of Michigan money with him. Left michigan team in shambles. Made every mistake possible here. He hired his defensive coach no one else lets see if he hires him in arizona. Wanna bet No. Let's see how much he cries in Arizona.

Blu n Tpa

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:19 p.m.

Coach Borges' ability to use the players he has correctly is just another example of how the WCiMFH couldn't do the same. The problem will be finding a DC who will risk his future hooking up with him. It didn't go so well for the last two.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 5:25 a.m.

Shambles may be a bit harsh. Took less than a season to get 9 wins from essentially the same players. Plus some of the same plays have been used. I submit a lot of success is due to a different philosophy and an emphasis on execution.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:57 a.m.

Kind of sad Mr. Brandon would not even wish a coach he fired good luck in his new position. ( class? ) Perhaps... in the interest of generating revenue .... Mr. Brandon will propose a game. ... maybe a night game? Might be fun. He could have each team wear special uniforms for the occasion. :+}

Billy Bob Schwartz

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:07 p.m.

Dave Brandon is a class guy. He just knows how to find out where things stand, figure out where they should be going and how best to go there, and then do the hard things to get going in that direction. What a welcome relief from the previous folks. Dave even understood something RR didn't: you can't win games without a defense. You should be able to win any game in which you have 35 points or more. And yet....


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 6:31 a.m.

Brilliant comment Robo


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 5:20 a.m.

Mr. Brandon did not hire RR, only had to clean up the mess he made and bail M out of NCAA problems which he did well. Why should he send RR flowers and kisses? My sadness was watching UM football the previous 3 years. I'm sorry you are so emotional over a failed coach. BTW, the night game was a great success against an opponent that is in the top 25. Why don't you hold your breath until AZ is rated?


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:23 a.m.

As the former coach himself used to say, I'm sure Mr. Brandon only has comments for current Michigan players and coaches.

Stephen Landes

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:43 a.m.

The first Rose Bowl between Michigan and Arizona should be.........interesting.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 6:29 a.m.

M in the Rose Bowl, yes UA not so much me thinks, very doubtful


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:37 a.m.

Brady Hoke is doing a great job and has the Wolverines at 9-2. However, if RichRod had been allowed to stay for his fourth year, I believe we would also be 9-2 or better. In fact, if Dave Brandon would have allowed him to spend the same kind of money he gave Hoke to hire a Defensive Coordinator like Greg Mattison, the Wolverines would likely be 11-0 right now. Lloyd Carr left Rodriguez a decimated roster and now RichRod's recruiting is finally paying off. Rich Rodriguez is a good guy with a brilliant football mind. Unfortunately, the Detroit Free Press and a group of backstabbing former players (who have no right to be called Michigan Men) made sure he would fail in Ann Arbor. If you don't know the true story, read John U. Bacon's &quot;Three and Out&quot;. Hopefully, Rodriguez will get a better reception in Arizona. As for Team 132, all of us should support our new coach. That's what a true Michigan Man (or Michigan Woman) should do. Go Blue and Beat Ohio!!

lindsay erin

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:35 p.m.

I'm sorry but considering what we saw the last 3 years prior to Hoke, there is no chance Rich Rod would have went 9-2 this year. Have you seen the improvement that the defense has made? As stated by others, Rich Rod is a brilliant offensive mind. Don't think RichRod could have done what Hoke has with the defense, and we couldn't have competitively played many teams without our improving defense. Not to mention, Hoke recruited a few up-and-coming defensive players last year and there has been tremendous improvement by some of our current defensive players (JT Floyd for example). Anyways, Rich Rod is neither here nor there and there's no point in continuing to speculate what he could have done. Hoke is showing a lot of promise for the future of the Michigan football program so let's hope we'll get back to regular winning seasons like we're used to! FOREVER GO BLUE. Beat the Buckeyes!


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:25 a.m.

Compare stats with this year's team and you'll see that his &quot;brilliant football mind&quot; actually did no better, if not worse. When the going got tough in his three years here, his teams (and staff) got going big time. No mental toughness, no ability to weather storms, no defense, no wins. That to me is definition of the opposite of a brilliant football mind.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:05 a.m.

I disagree he does not have a brilliant defensive mind in football. Yes, offensive but not defensive. He hired the wrong defensive coach here face it.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:51 a.m.

Not a chance. 8-4 at best, but probably more like 7-5 or 6-6. My personal belief is Rodriguez could still be here *if* he had sat down with Brandon and laid out a credible path to success. The defense obviously had to be addressed. I doubt RR had a going-forward plan to relieve Robinson of his duties and bring in a proven DC. I honestly believe had Rodriguez mapped out a credible strategic plan -- not merely pleas for &quot;more time&quot; -- Brandon would have given him the benefit of the doubt and funded the plan. Brandon is first and foremost a business CEO ... they'll take risks and lay money on the table IF there's a good business plan behind it. I get the very distinct impression Rodriguez didn't have a plan in mind. Other than &quot;more time.&quot;


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:20 a.m.

Why is this front-page material?


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 1:40 p.m.

There is only one page. Everything is front-page material.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:14 a.m.

Hopefully for him he won't have a Lloyd Carr floating around the athletic department doing his best to make things difficult for him.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:44 a.m.

He'll have the spectre of Sean Miller hanging over his program.

1st Down

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:11 a.m.

Cool. Good for Rich Rod....and good for us here because we now know who Theo's favorite team is. Expect Theo to join a Desert Storm message board soon, if he has not already. Rich Rod will do OK there. He should thank Bacon for writing a favourable book about him which helped diminish the stink that he left around our program. Hopefully everyone can move on now. Michigan is better with Coach Hoke. AZ will be a work in progress no matter who is the Head Coach. Et tu Theo?


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:27 a.m.

Where's Tater at a time like this?


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:05 a.m.

I live in Tucson. A buddy of mine just texted me ... &quot;Go to the first open practice wearing a Michigan shirt.&quot; Brilliant! I think I will. :-)


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:59 p.m.

Maybe UofM will charter a plane for the practice and we can all show up?! Then we can all start with Hail to the Victors (really loud) as soon as he steps out on to the field. :) That ought to make him feel right at home. Haha!


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:21 a.m.

Don, I lived in Tucson in the late 80's, if I was still there I would join you in a heart beat.

Silly Sally

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:58 a.m.

He was a poor choice for Michigan, but what did Michigan expect? THey hired a &quot;man&quot; who QUIT on his team prior to a bowl game, showing the spine of a jellyfish. Anyone who wopuld do that stank from the get-go. The LSU coach had the morals to say, &quot;wait until the season is over&quot; But not Rich Rod.

Haran Rashes

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:58 a.m.

For someone who so badly wanted to be a &quot;Michigan Man&quot;, isn't it ironic that he is headed to the same state that Bill Frieder was headed to when Bo famously stated &quot;A Michigan man will coach Michigan, not an Arizona . . . man.&quot;


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:43 a.m.

@Billy Bob ... yes, good catch ... my bad for reading his post without enough care. Apologies Haran ...


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:41 a.m.

You Michigan People still think Bo's alive.He's Dead and Gone.GIVE IT UP.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:40 a.m.

DonAZ...I think Haran said &quot;the same state that Bill Frieder was headed to....&quot; I didn't specify a school. If AZ likes to take our discards, they are welcome to them.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:12 a.m.

Well, that was Arizona State, but your point is still valid. Most people outside of Arizona don't see a distinction between U of A and ASU ... because most people outside of Arizona don't think of Arizona when they think of football.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:57 a.m.

Good for him. He is a tremendous offensive coach and if he is smart enough to get a good defensive coordinator he has a really good chance to succeed. UM ran a lot of his spread on Saturday and it works pretty well. I can't believe he won't really focus on a good defensive coach, the PAC 12 has some high powered offenses in Stanford, USC, Oregon, etc


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:11 a.m.

Agree that the key to RR's success is going to be getting a good DC. The spread can work ... never questioned that ... provided (a) you have multiple offensive weapons and not just one, (b) you have a ball control element in the event of bad weather, and (c) you have a defense that can get you the ball back without having to trade scores. (b) from above is particularly true up north, but less so here in Tucson. So his up-tempo spread-the-field offense should work relatively better for home games and fair weather games around the Pac 12. He'll have some success recruiting to U of A but it won't be a gimme ... U of A is a basketball school first and foremost. Arizona doesn't have a lot of top talent. He'll have to go to California and Texas to get that. And he'll face stiff recruiting competition in both places. It'll be interesting to watch his progress. I predict he'll be a steady 7-5 to the occasional 9-3 coach here. That's probably good enough for a long career here in Tucson.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:53 a.m.

Who really cares? I'm just glad he's not in Ann Arbor anymore. He set our program back and was an idiot in doing it. He isn't 1/4 the coach of the new staff. God bless Brady Hoke and the 2011 Michigan Wolverines!

Terry Star21

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:49 a.m.

Hard to wish the man good luck, but I feel this is a much better fit for him. Oh sure, every time he does something (good or bad) it will make our local news - we expect that. But we're Michigan, things are going great and will continue to get better - so we've moved on. MgoBlueForTim..........moving forward, not looking back.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:29 a.m.

Way to go Coach Rod. You have landed on your feet indeed and I wish you nothing but great success in Arizona! Thank you for your 3 years in Michigan - though you didn't get the fan support and administrative support you deserved, you made the most of it and you gave your all to Michigan. You were and are a true Michigan Man! Go blue and good luck in Arizona!

lindsay erin

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:01 p.m.

Rich Rod was not a true Michigan Man.

Usual Suspect

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:13 a.m.

Yeah, it was all our fault. The fans.


Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 4:02 a.m.

must not of been watching the same Michigan team I was watching in those 3 years.

Buster W.

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 3:16 a.m.

Phew...I guess I haven't been hanging out here enough.

Terry Star21

Tue, Nov 22, 2011 : 2:47 a.m.

Buster - he's joking, it's pretty funny !