Rich Rodriguez Fired: 10 Mystery Coach Possibilities For Michigan Wolverines

Justin EisenbandCorrespondent IApril 11, 2017

Rich Rodriguez Fired: Ten Mystery Coach Possibilities For Michigan Wolverines

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    Michigan Wolverines athletic director Dave Brandon officially fired Rich Rodriguez after much speculation over the last 24 hours that it was merely an eventuality.

    Rodriguez's tenure with Michigan was one of the worst in school history, compiling a record of just six wins to 18 losses against the Big Ten and a .500 winning percentage at home.

    Now Brandon and the Wolverines will look towards the future and the variety of coaching candidates out there to replace Rodriguez. The obvious ones have already been mentioned.

    Jim Harbaugh and Les Miles both played at Michigan and have been mentioned as candidates; however, both seem very disinterested in taking over a program in complete disarray.

    ESPN's Joe Schad mentioned that Brandon is talking to coaches that no one has mentioned publicly. Here are ten mystery coaching candidates for the Michigan Wolverines.

Brady Hoke

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    The former Michigan assistant and current San Diego State coach Brady Hoke has called the head coaching job at Michigan an "ultimate career goal."

    Hoke has some terrific experience at turning programs around. Hoke led Ball State to a 12-1 season in 2008 after taking over a program that was clearly struggling.

    In his second season at San Diego State, Hoke led the Aztecs to a victory in the Poinsettia Bowl over Navy and a 9-4 record.

    Hoke may not be the biggest name, but he could be Michigan's best realistic option.

Ralph Friedgen

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    Friedgen has a decade of experience as head coach of the Maryland Terrapins. When Friedgen took over at Maryland in 2001, the Terrapins had not been to a bowl game since 1990.

    Over the last decade, Friedgen has led Maryland to five victories in bowl games and a 75-50 overall record.

    Friedgen, despite an 8-4 record last season, is not returning to Maryland next season. While he may not be the best coach, Michigan may have to take what they can get.

Mike Leach

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    Leach, the 2008 Big 12 Coach of the Year, last coached for Texas Tech.

    He was fired for a controversial incident in which Leach was alleged to have mistreated a player named Adam James by making him stand in a darkened garage.

    While Leach is a controversial figure, his record as a coach is certainly a lofty one. Leach went 84-43 at Texas Tech including an 11-2 record in 2008. His recruiting and offensive coaching skills are sorely needed at Michigan.

Greg Mattison

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    Mattison currently serves as the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens. Dave Brandon would be wise to check out some of the games the Ravens' defense has played this year.

    Mattison has some history with the Wolverines, coaching the defensive line from 1992 to 1994 and serving as defensive coordinator in 1995 and 1996.

    Mattison may not have the experience as a recruiter, but his talent in defensive play-calling cannot be questioned.

Chuck Heater

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    Heater is a former Michigan running back and current co-defensive coordinator for the Florida Gators. With Will Muschamp coming into Florida as the new coach, Heater may be available.

    Heater has 34 years of coaching experience, although he has absolutely no experience as a head coach. However, his experience at the college level has garnered him a reputation as an excellent recruiter.

Bud Foster

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    Foster has served as defensive coordinator for Virginia Tech for the last 15 seasons, but it may be time for a change. Rumored to be interested in vacancies at West Virginia in 2007 and Clemson in 2008, Foster may be ready to take the leap to the head coaching position.

    Foster already has a Frank Broyles Award under his belt given to the top assistant in college football.

    Foster's defenses have always been near the top of college football while he has been at Virginia Tech. His ability to recruit and defensive schemes could make him an attractive option.

Jon Gruden

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    Gruden has been in the NFL since 1992. His last experience in the college game came as wide receivers coach for the University of Pittsburgh.

    At the same time, Gruden is the type of high profile candidate that could renew interest in a program that has undergone some major struggles. Gruden could bring back the legitimacy that has been lost in recent seasons.

    Gruden was rumored to be a candidate at the University of Miami as a replacement for Randy Shannon, but ultimately turned down the position. Michigan could offer the prestige that Gruden is looking for in a college coaching job.

Dan Mullen

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    Mullen has had a very impressive record in his short tenure with Mississippi State. Consequently, his name was thrown around as a likely candidate to replace Urban Meyer at Florida.

    While that job was given to Will Muschamp, Mullen remains a hot commodity in the coaching community. Mullen turned around the Bulldogs from a 5-7 mark in his first year to a 9-4 record this year. He capped it off with a victory in the Gator Bowl guessed it...Michigan.

    Dave Brandon got a good look at what Mullen could do in that game. Now he just has to convince him to come to the other sideline.

Chris Petersen

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    It's only a matter of time that Chris Petersen moves to a more prestigious program. During his tenure with Boise State, Peterson has amassed a 61-5 record and two Fiesta Bowl victories. He has been named the Paul Bryant Coach of the Year twice over the last five seasons.

    Petersen just received a new five year contract; however, that contract pays him just eight million dollars over the next five seasons. If Michigan is desperate enough, they could try to buy out his contract.

Skip Holtz

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    Skip Holtz led the USF Bulls to an 8-5 record and a victory in the Meineke Car Care Bowl this year. While his experience as head coach for major programs is limited, Dave Brandon may be impressed by the coaching pedigree in which he comes from.

    Lou Holtz, famed coach of Notre Dame, Arkansas and South Carolina is Skip's father.

    Skip may not have the experience that is needed to handle a big, prestigious program like Michigan, but then again, his strong showing as first year coach at USF may be enough to convince Brandon to give him a chance.