In the grand scheme of things, Lloyd Carr's 13 seasons at Michigan was a relatively short span for a head coach. But Carr had been on Michigan's staff since 1980, and was a graduate of the Schembechler School of College Football Coaching.
A “Michigan Man” through and through, Carr always prided himself on his program doing things the “right way.” The words “Michigan football” and “sanctions” never appeared in the same sentence, and Michigan then, as now, avoided recruits who would bolt the program as soon as NFL eligibility came their way.
Carr's love for Michigan tradition was rewarded, and he guided his Wolverines to a 122-40 record, which included five Big Ten titles and a national championship—Michigan's first since 1948.
Michigan also finished 12 of Carr's 13 seasons ranked in the final AP Poll.
Despite all the success, Carr still takes some heat for his departure. Many thought Carr was losing steam as Michigan's head coach, and his retirement at the end of the 2007 was essentially an open secret for much of the season. To this day, there are still grumblings about the transition from the Carr era to the abortive Rich Rod years.
“[It's] poor recruiting, in my opinion,” former Ohio State Buckeye and Detroit Lion Chris Spielmen said in 2010. “I think Carr, to be perfectly honest, left the cupboard bare in his last few years.”
Michigan is still feeling the the repercussions today, and Carr probably wishes he had done more to ensure the future success of the program he loves so dearly.
Going for a field goal in the closing seconds against Appalachian State is likely right up near the top of Carr's regret list, too, but we'll leave that discussion for another day.