Rich Rodriguez: How Hiring Rich Rod Will Resurrect Arizona's Program

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor INovember 22, 2011

JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 01:  Head Coach Rich Rodriguez of the University of Michigan Wolverines during the Gator Bowl at EverBank Field on January 1, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida  (Photo by Rick Dole/Getty Images)
Rick Dole/Getty Images

Don't let what happened at Michigan blind your perception of Rich Rodriguez.

That was a situation that seemed destined to fail from the start, and fail it did. Rodriguez won just 15 games as the Wolverines head coach before being fired a few days after Michigan's Gator Bowl loss against Mississippi State.

Again, don't be fooled. Rich Rodriguez is still a very good coach and is still a very good hire for this Arizona Wildcats Program. 

Remember this is a guy who resurrected West Virginia's program and turned the Mountaineers from a three-win team to a nine-win team in just one year. 

Remember he runs a similar-style offense to that of Oregon, a program that has had tons of recent success in the Pac-12. That same offense should also work well with the Wildcats, a team that has lots of speedy receivers and running backs.

Remember that Rodriguez was a prized coaching recruit just a few years ago, and was even offered the head-coaching position at Alabama.

Remember that he continued to bring in Top 10 recruiting classes at Michigan even when the Wolverines were struggling.

One bad stint doesn't make Rodriguez a bad hire. Arizona fans need to remember how good Rodriguez was at West Virginia, and just how effective he can make an offense.

Rodriguez will certainly have to play catch-up regarding recruiting this year, but the Wildcats smartly made this hire early enough. He still has plenty of time to recruit for the 2012 class while coaches who get hired after the bowl season won't have that benefit. 

When it comes down to it, Arizona is a good fit for Rodriguez, and Rich Rod is a good fit for the Wildcats.

It will be tough to look past his struggles at Michigan, but fans will soon forget about that once Rodriguez starts bringing in wins to Tuscon.

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