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MICHIGAN MAN?
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Whenever there is a job opening, and an employer is looking for a qualified replacement, one would think that they would interview and ultimately hire someone that has the skills that are required to do the job at hand. I thought that is usually how it goes, right? It shouldn’t matter what the job is. If a company is looking for someone to work in the advertising department, they will probably hire someone that is skilled at that job. The same goes for football coaches, doesn’t it?

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It doesn’t if you are talking about the University of Michigan’s football program. Lloyd Carr announced that he was going to retire nearly on month ago, and U of M is still searching for a head coach. Athletic Director Bill Martin probably knew about Carr’s impending retirement some time before it was announced, so you would think that he would be more prepared for a coaching search, but the lack of preparedness isn’t the primary reason why there is no successor in line after Lloyd Carr.

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Arrogance is the reason why Michigan doesn’t have someone to lead their program. It is a word that is tossed around a great deal when referring to the University of Michigan, and there definitely a reason why.

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It seems as if Bill Martin is conducting a search for a football coach where the requirements for a candidate has nothing to do with football. So much is being made about hiring a “Michigan Man”.

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What exactly is a Michigan Man? Is it someone that will bow to the rich alumni, and not have a mind of their own? Or is it a coach that takes superior talent and loses 2-4 games every year against teams that don’t have as many NFL prospects as they have, and loses big games out of conference?

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First things first, Les Miles is a good football coach and I think that he would be a good coach for Michigan. The problem is everyone involved with the university is not on board with the hiring of Miles. The only reason I believe Bill Martin has pursued Miles is because of pressure from former players. The reason why the anti-Miles faction doesn’t want him leading the U of M has nothing to do with football. Some of the things you might hear are that Miles personality doesn’t fit at Michigan and that Lloyd Carr himself doesn’t want him there. Why wouldn’t Lloyd want his successor to be a better coach than him, because that’s what Miles is? Miles rubs people the wrong way is probably the biggest excuse that you might hear. That is actually a good thing for Michigan. They need change, and they need it fast or they will slide into mediocrity.Â

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They need someone that will change the lame, stiff culture in Ann Arbor. Michigan State hired a coach that changed the culture here and excels at x’s and o’s, and the program will be better for it. It looks as if Michigan wants to hire a coach that they can pay $600,000 to $1,000,000, and control. Someone like one of Lloyd’s boys, Mike DeBord, Ron English, or Brady Hoke. They assume that they can offer someone millions of dollars less than what they are getting paid, and expect them to jump because their Michigan.Â

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Cincinnati’s Brian Kelly is a proven winner. He won championships and built a powerhouse at Division II Grand Valley State. After leaving GVSU, he went to Central Michigan and led them to a MAC Championship in just three years. Who was Kelly’s predecessor at Central Michigan? Mike DeBord, who went 12-34 during his stint in Mt. Pleasant. Kelly has done a good job thus far at Cincinnati as well, posting a 9-3 record. I read an article in the Detroit News today that mentioned that Brian Kelly had no chance at getting the job. Why is that? What is the reason for it? It makes no sense. It will be hilarious to see Bill Martin try to convince the Michigan faithful that Brady Hoke was the best possible candidate for the job.

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The next candidate that U of M should look at WAS a “Michigan Man” until he came out and spoke the truth about the university. Jim Harbaugh would be an excellent hire for the Wolverines, but his comments earlier this year may have taken him out of the running.Â

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Harbaugh’s comments were in the realm of saying that the university pretty much forces their football players to have general studies majors in order to stay eligible and focus on football, but when those players leave the university, the alumni that cheered for them on Saturdays and the university that acted as if they cared for the kids turns it’s back on them. Â

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Michigan’s extreme arrogance is in danger of hurting a celebrated, tradition rich program. The search for a football coach has turned into a search for a “Michigan Man”, even if it puts the program’s status at risk.

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