Morgantown, West Virginia – Make no mistake about it, Rich Rodriguez had incredible success as the Head Coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers. During his time in Morgantown from 2001-2007, Rodriguez went 60-26 overall and 32-5 in his final three seasons with the Mountaineers. In addition, Rodriguez won 4 Big East Championships and was named the conference coach of the year twice (2003 and 2005).
Since then, it has been disastrous for Rodriguez. After leading the Mountaineers to a near national championship berth in 2007 before losing to Pitt in the final game of the season, Rodriguez bolted to Ann Arbor to coach the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan fans had huge expectations for Rodriguez when he became coach and he failed to live up to their hopes.
Instead, Rodriguez went 3-9 in his first season, 5-7 in his second and 7-6 in his final season before being fired. In his three seasons at Michigan, he led the Wolverines to only one bowl appearance, losing in the Gator Bowl to Mississippi State 52-14. This blowout loss was the final nail in the coffin for Rodriguez.
Rodriguez was fired after three seasons, took one year off as a color commentator/studio analyst for CBS Sports Network, and then was hired to to coach the Arizona Wildcats in 2012. While there, Rodriguez had minimal success, finishing 43-35 with 5 bowl appearances in his 6 seasons there.
However, it was his time in Michigan that was truly a disaster. In fact, Mike Farrell, the National Recruiting Director for Rivals.com, considers Rich Rodriguez one of the most disastrous coaching stints in recent college football history.
Farrell ranked Rodriguez #2 in worst coaching performances in recent history behind only Willie Taggart’s time at Florida State. Charlie Strong of Texas was #3, Mike Riley of Nebraska #4, Will Mushamp from Florida #5, Butch Jones from Tennessee #6, Ty Willingham of Notre Dame #7, Al Golden of Miami #8, Brady Hoke from Michigan #9 and Mark Helfrich from Oregon #10.
Conspicuous by his absence from this list? Dana Holgorsen.
10 recent and somewhat recent disastrous coaching hires. Thoughts?
— Mike Farrell (@rivalsmike) July 17, 2020