Rich Rodriguez is, and has been, on the hot seat. Many believe that Rich Rod should be fired, and others believe that Michigan should give him another year. So the big question is, What Would Bo Do? Here are Michigan Athletic Director, Dave Brandon's, top six options for the 2011 Michigan Football head coaching job.
Rich Rod has one of the best offenses in Michigan football history, with possibly the youngest team in Michigan football history. The Michigan offense returns 10 of 11 starters next year. Rodriguez has shown improvement in his years at Michigan—he was 3-9 in his first year, 5-7 in his second, and 7-5 in his third. If this improvement continues, RR can return Michigan to the elite status that Michigan fans have become accustomed to.
What better candidate could there be for the Michigan job? He is a "Michigan Man," as he quarterbacked U of M for Bo Schembechler. After college he went on to play 15 years in the NFL. Not only does he have the playing experience, but he has strong coaching credentials.
After retiring from the NFL he was an assistant coach for the Oakland Raiders, then went on to become head coach for University of San Diego. After 3 good seasons at San Diego, he took the Stanford head coaching job. Harbaugh's first three years at Stanford were very similar to Rich Rod's three years at Michigan. Harbaugh went 4-8 in his first season, 5-7 in his second, and 8-4 in his third.
This year, Harbaugh's fourth year, Harbaugh had a breakout season with a record of 11 and 1. The question is not whether Jim Harbaugh is a good candidate, the question is will Harbaugh be interested?
Brady Hoke may not be a big name in the college football world, but he would be a good candidate for the Michigan job if it were to open up. Hoke also has a pretty impressive resume. He coached a solid Michigan Defensive Line for eight years, he was the Head Coach at Ball State for six years, earning a 12-1 record in his last year. From Ball State, Hoke left for San Diego State where this year he led them to an 8-4 record, with their largest loss coming from #3 TCU by a measly 5 points. Brady Hoke has said that his ultimate goal is to be the head coach of Michigan, but will it happen?
Les Miles is a Michigan Man and was one of the leading candidates in the 2007 coaching search. Miles played for Bo as well, winning two Big Ten Championships. After graduating, Miles became a Michigan assistant under Bo, then left to become the offensive line coach at University of Colorado. At Colorado, Miles helped his team achieve bowl bids in each of the two seasons he coached.
Miles then came back to Michigan, where he served as assistant over an eight year span and eight bowl appearances. Miles left Michigan to become the Offensive Coordinator at Oklahoma State, but then jumped to the pros (Dallas Cowboys).
Miles' first head coaching position followed at Oklahoma State. From Oklahoma State Miles replaced Nick Saban at LSU, and he leads the Tigers to this day. Miles has had a successful career at LSU, winning a National Championship and multiple SEC West Titles over his six year reign.
With his impressive resume, it would take a great deal of money to lure Les Miles from LSU. But if he were to bring his success to the Michigan program, he would be worth the money.
Another one of Bo's players, Chuck Heater was the star running back for Michigan and won the Big Ten Championship in each of his three years, amassing an overall record of 31-3-1. Heater has a great deal of coaching experience with 34 years under his belt, despite being only 55 years old.
Heater is currently the Defensive Coordinator for the Florida Gators, and has been known for his recruiting. Chuck Heater has had assistant coaching jobs in many prestigious programs, including Notre Dame, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Utah, Washington, and Florida. Is he ready to make the jump to head coach at the most storied program in college football history?
Mike Trgovac played for Michigan from 1977-1980, for none other than Bo Schembechler. Mike started his final three years at Michigan as a guard, and was an All-American as a senior. He began coaching at Michigan as an assistant for two years, and had stops at Navy and Notre Dame, before going to the NFL to coach the Defensive Line for Philadelphia, Green Bay, and Washington.
Trgovac became Defensive Coordinator at his next stop, the Carolina Panthers, where he stayed for six years. Trgovac is currently the Defensive Line Coach for the Green Bay Packers, and would bring a much needed presence to a weak Michigan Defense.
So, What Would Bo Do? Actually, it is an unfair question because Bo would not have hired Rich Rod to begin with, as he is not a Michigan Man. That being said, Harbaugh is and Bo would probably tell him to get his butt on the next plane to Ann Arbor!