June 24, 2024

Michigan’s illustrious past was further enhanced with its 2023 national championship. In the contemporary age, the majority of head coaches who have wandered the sidelines have achieved success.

Head coaches of Michigan football had a history of success even before that. The Wolverines are the only collegiate football team with 1,000 victories for a reason. In addition, U-M has 12 declared national titles and 45 conference titles.

Based on his accomplishments, in my opinion, Harbaugh established himself as the greatest Michigan football head coach of all time.

In light of the fact that Sherrone Moore was brought on as his replacement, we examine the three worst appointments in program history—Moore is not among them, incidentally. (We adore that motion).


1. Rodriguez Rich (2008–2010)
Given that Rich Rod’s hiring caused the Michigan football program to regress for almost ten years, he was one of the most significant hires in program history.
Les Miles was mentioned as Lloyd Carr’s replacement when he announced his retirement. Although there was the Kirk Herbstreit debate, John U. Bacon has consistently maintained that Miles was not given the position.

However, LSU did win the national championship, which more than anything else ruined Michigan’s coaching hunt. West Virginia native Rich Rodriguez, a rising star, led the spread offense. He was never given the assistance he required and was not a “Michigan Man”.

Rodriguez did not fare well either. His defenses were terrible, but his offenses were good at moving the ball and scoring points. Despite the fact that he brought some highly-regarded recruits to Ann Arbor, he turned Michigan football into a joke.
However, a 3–9 season in 2008 made it evident that things would be difficult. In 2010 Michigan won seven games; the following season they won five. It might have gone differently if Michigan had taken action against Rich Rod and provided him with the necessary assistance.
All is well that ends well, though. Even though Hoke and Rich Rod were awful, they eventually produced Jim Harbaugh, who won the most recent national championship for Michigan football this season.


2. From 2011 to 2014, Brady Hoke
There has only been one losing head coach for the Michigan football team since Fielding Yost took charge in 1901. Less than 60% of the games have been won by just three.

Coach Brady Hoke is not one of them. It’s likely that some Michigan supporters would prefer not to remember his record. With an 11-2 season, a win over Ohio State, and a victory in the Sugar Bowl in 2011, he was 32-20 overall and had an outstanding debut with the Wolverines.

He seemed to have Michigan headed in the right direction. However, the next season, the win total fell to eight. By the end of the Hoke era, the Wolverines were having difficulty drawing crowds to their games despite having won 12 games during the previous two seasons.

Why Bump Elliott is ahead of Hoke despite having a lower winning % may be questioned by some. Elliott did, however, win 51 games and the Big Ten title.

Hoke and Elliott both agree that Bo Schembechler and Jim Harbaugh, their successors, are the two best head coaches in Michigan history. Moore should be as successful as Lloyd Carr and Gary Moeller were after replacing Bo.

There, history favors the Wolverines.


3. Tad Wieman, 1917–1928
Since Michigan football has had few head coaches over the years, I had to look all the way back to Tad Wieman, who succeeded Fielding Yost, to determine who should be ranked third on our list.

Fielding Yost was the first coach in Wolverine history to win 204 games. However, Tad Wieman was only a starter for one season, so his successor wasn’t exactly up to par. In 1927, the Wolverines finished 6-2 in his first season after taking Yost’s place.

However, Michigan football finished the 1928 season with a 3-4-1 record without Bennie Ooserbaan. Prior to revealing that Wieman would continue to serve as head coach before the season, Yost had really hinted that he might be coming out of retirement.

In spring, Wieman was replaced. Despite being 46-26, Harry Kipke was the winner of four conference crowns and two national championships.

Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez looks on against Ohio State, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010 in

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