The Next Michigan Man

Share |

For the better part of the last seven years, Michigan football has been a punchline. The post-Lloyd Carr era in Ann Arbor has been defined by disappointment. First Rich Rodriguez stomped on the label “Michigan Man,” and turned every man, woman, and child in the Mitten against the spread offense. Then it was the presumptive local hero Brady Hoke, who went from superstar leader to bumbling buffoon in the time it took him to realize that Shane Morris couldn’t tell the sky from the ground. There will be all kinds of time in which to debate which of these coaches was worse, and why. For now, it’s on interim Athletic Director Jim Hackett to determine who will be next.

Recently, reports circulated that Duke head coach David Cutcliffe had been offered, and turned down the position. By doing this, he chose to remain at the helm of a program once famous for winning a lawsuit by proving that it was the worst team in America.

The Cutcliffe reports were later revealed to be unsubstantiated, as both Michigan and Duke denied any contact between the two parties. The rumor did raise an interesting – and, for Michigan fans, understatedly frightening – question: who would want to coach at Michigan? For one of the storied programs in the sport, the question was suddenly and starkly not only who the school would get, but who it could convince that the job was worth taking.

In a practical sense, Michigan needs a new head football coach; in a broader sense, it needs a leader who can drag it out of the gutter. Pat Narduzzi, who played a big part in dropping the team down there in the first place, should be that coach.

***

Michigan, naturally, is hunting bigger game than Narduzzi at the moment. Rumors of Jim Harbaugh leaving San Fransisco for a pay raise and total control have floated around for most of the year, as have rumors of Les Miles finally abandoning the bayou (though we’ve heard that before). The problem for Michigan is that neither of these big-ticket coaches seem all that likely to take the job. Yes, reports suggest that Harbaugh is unhappy in San Francisco, and has been at odds with the front office, but the chance of a successful NFL coach leaving his job to rebuild a college program is miniscule, even if that task seems preferable to Harbaugh’s most likely NFL gig, in Oakland. Les Miles would be a great get for Hackett, but if he were willing to leave LSU for Ann Arbor, it would have happened in 2008.

The truth is, the Wolverines are looking in the wrong place. Narduzzi’s office is 62.5 miles down the road. He’s had his fair share of success in the Big House, and has produced one fine defense after another as Michigan State’s defensive coordinator. There is no better candidate for the job, and that’s before the thrill of stealing away an in-state rival’s coach comes into play.

Narduzzi has been one of the hottest names on the coaching carousel over the last two off-seasons. After leading the Spartans to a Rose Bowl victory over Stanford in 2013, the defensive maestro was linked to Connecticut, but turned the job down to remain in East Lansing. Now, after a fourth consecutive season ranked in the top 12 in points allowed per game – MSU was third in 2013 – it looks as if Narduzzi is ready to move on to bigger and better things. That doesn’t necessarily mean he needs to move out of state.

At Michigan, Narduzzi would get to try his luck as the head coach of one of the truly national programs in the sport. Yes, Michigan has fallen on hard times, but the talent is there. They continually boast top-20 recruiting classes, and would give Narduzzi the opportunity to continue working with future stars, such as Jabril Peppers.

If they want to return to national prominence, Michigan should ask Narduzzi what he wants to be paid, and then double it, and for no greater reason than this: If the Wolverines manage to steal him, it would be the biggest slap in the face to their in-state rival since Mike Hart named them “Little Brother.” Narduzzi is a great coach, and is ready to take charge of a top flight program. If that program is Michigan, the move would be about more than just X’s and O’s; it would be about re-asserting the Wolverines as the team in the state. What is a bigger power move than swiping your rival’s crown jewel?

The move would bring Michigan’s swagger back, both on, and off the field. Narduzzi would be their proverbial Justin Timberlake, their Chairman of the Board. He would bring the kind of program-wide confidence boost that’s normally reserved for European soccer teams that have been acquired by Russian billionaires.

***

Michigan’s last two coaching hires have been embarrassing, with one being more immediately so than the other. The selections reflect a program on the downslope, while the search reflects the denial of its crumbling empire. Before signing Rodriguez and Hoke, Michigan was turned down by Les Miles, Jim Harbaugh, and Greg Schiano. It is worth taking a moment to consider that the head coach of Rutgers turned down a position at one of the self-proclaimed royalty of college football to continue working in central New Jersey.

The Wolverines feel like they could have done better than who they got. That’s why they’re still chasing Harbaugh and Miles all these years later. They’re (justly) ashamed of their recent history, and the old Michigan Man vanity means the program can’t bear the thought of giving the keys to their castle to anyone with less than superstar status. Because of this, they won’t consider Narduzzi as a candidate, although they should.

After a century atop the Pantheon of collegiate programs, Michigan is on the outside, and the risk inherent in hiring another gamble has forced them to throw all of their chips at Harbaugh and Miles, praying that one of them takes the bait. Unlike Harbaugh, and Miles, Narduzzi isn’t a retread. He’s never been a head coach. Yes, he’s been instrumental in organizing Michigan State’s ferocious defense, but he hasn’t experienced the day-to-day struggles that a veteran head coach is used to.

The most apt example as to why Michigan won't hire Narduzzi lies down I-96 at Comerica Park, in Detroit. Last year, the Detroit Tigers parted ways with their Hall of Fame coach, Jim Leyland. His replacement was the veteran catcher and first time manager Brad Ausmus. Ausmus, like Narduzzi, was regarded as a future star; Ausmus, like Narduzzi, may one day be just that. But as the baseball season wore on, Ausmus fell victim to rookie mistakes, as expected, and the Tigers were eliminated by the Orioles in the ALDS. While Ausmus was lauded by many for a strong first campaign, there were others who believed that a seasoned touch might have carried the team to their first World Series win in three decades. This was almost certainly not the case -- a manager, like a head coach, can only do so much -- but this is Michigan’s fear. It’s a fear profound enough to ensure, most likely, that Jim Hackett will not hire an untested coach like Narduzzi, who might come up short when someone else could lead them to glory.

As time passes, we’ll hear more coaches linked to the maize and blue. Narduzzi, sad to say, isn’t likely to be one of them. It would be very Michigan, in the least flattering sense, if Hackett failed to notice that the best fit for the program’s next Michigan Man In Chief is already in the state. It could change everything if he realizes it.

Share |

Comments

Here you will learn what is important, it gives you a link to an interesting web page: cilindro motoscooter

I prefer merely excellent resources - you will see these people in: Zoekmachine optimalisatie

Hmm… I interpret blogs on a analogous issue, however i never visited your blog. I added it to populars also i’ll be your faithful primer. SEO

Welcome To The World Of SATTA MATKA RESULT {S M R} Group, Here You Get Latest Information About Satta Matka Guessing, Satta Matka Kalyan And Much More. Today We Have Seen That Peoples Are In Search Of Kalyan Matka Result And Matka Results Today So We Are Here To Provide You Results As Fast As Possible. Also Peoples Make Guessing Of Many Lottery Games On The Basis Of Charts Like Mumbai Matka Chart And Kalyan Matka Chart. SATTA MATKA

I use only high quality materials - you can see them at: Terrasoverkappingen

Listed here you'll learn it is important, them offers the link in an helpful webpage: Webdesign

I am always searching online for storys that can accommodate me. There is obviously a multiple to understand about this. I feel you made few salubrious points in Attributes moreover. Detain busy, awesome career! Vault App Download

In this particular article, you will see a summary, satisfy browse this post. Zwembaden

Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need, thanks to offer such a helpful information here. garage doors Denver

These websites are really needed, you can learn a lot. Erotische massage

The blog depicts how hard the writer has worked on this.
Best Licensed Moneylender

The author has so delightfully enraptured the consideration of crowd by this radiant blog.
Hedge wal

it's really nice and meanful. it's really cool blog. Linking is very useful thing.you have really helped lots of people who visit blog and provide them usefull information. 918Kiss

Listed here you'll learn it is important, them offers the link in an helpful webpage: ACCESSORIES CAR

Interesting and interesting information can be found on this topic here profile worth to see it. buy toffee stevia drop amazon

This is very appealing, however , it is very important that will mouse click on the connection: kitchen remodeling san francisco

I just thought it may be an idea to post incase anyone else was having problems researching but I am a little unsure if I am allowed to put names and addresses on here. Wordpress webdesign

I prefer merely excellent resources - you will see these people in: SEO

This is exciting, nevertheless it is vital for you to visit this specific url: Wordpress webdesigner

I read this article. I think You put a great deal of exertion to make this article. I like your work. Webdesign

Thank you for the update, very nice site.. Security Company Shrewsbury

Thank you for the update, very nice site.. Security Company Shrewsbury

Thank you for the update, very nice site.. Security Company Shrewsbury

Me and my companions have completely delighted in this blog.
كلمات سر سان اندرس

Here you will learn what is important, it gives you a link to an interesting web page: property inspection report

At this point you'll find out what is important, it all gives a url to the appealing page: web agency Nice

Thanks for writing such a good article, I stumbled onto your blog and read a few post. I like your style of writing... organic cotton bath towels

Among one of the finest pieces on the web, refreshing in its specificity.
delicia virtual campinas

There is so much in this article that I would never have thought of on my own. Your content gives readers things to think about in an interesting way. Business Travel Memes

I propose merely very good along with reputable data, consequently visualize it: location vacances Tanger

I simply want to tell you that I am new to weblog and definitely liked this blog site. Very likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You absolutely have wonderful stories. Cheers for sharing with us your blog. Apartment Builder

Please open link and order now feel free I will provide high quality dofollow blog comments... -> Muzzi12

There you can download for free, see the first of these data. Webdesign

Amazing, this is great as you want to learn more, I invite to This is my page. Zonnepanelen

This is really a nice and informative, containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Thanks for sharing it, canlı bahis

Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have. Zonnepanelen installateur

All the blog works are exhibit of what we call, Brilliant.
delicia

Can nicely write on similar topics! Welcome to here you'll find out how it should look.
construction loan

You know your projects stand out of the herd. There is something special about them. It seems to me all of them are really brilliant! Russian girls

After reading the blog writings, a spiritual relation is made between reader and writer.
Werking warmtepomp

Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can't wait to read lots of your posts.
salgadinhos para festas

On this page you can read my interests, write something special. Hair Transplant Montreal

The best article I came across a number of years, write something about it on this page. Magento POS Extension

The post is written in very a good manner and it contains many useful information for me.
Zonnepanelen kopen

Now that is the thing that I call a colossal blog. Wonderfully composed.
http://cascadebusnews.com/get-know-used-motorbike/

I am looking for and I love to post a comment that "The content of your post is awesome" Great work! bepanah episode

This is very educational content and written well for a change. It's nice to see that some people still understand how to write a quality post.! See More Information

I admit, I have not been on this web page in a long time... however it was another joy to see It is such an important topic and ignored by so many, even professionals. I thank you to help making people more aware of possible issues.
casumo bonus code

Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work.
Tivoli casino

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.
Thrills casino