Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Comments from Athletic Director Dave Brandon

Selected comments from David Brandon's press conference to discuss the dismissal of football coach Rich Rodriguez and the future of U-M's football program.

On his decision:

"I believe this is the best decision for the future of Michigan football. Now I don't intend to do a public performance review of our coach or our football program here today. I don't think it's the time or the place. I will simply say that Coach Rodriguez has faced many challenges and difficulties over his three years here, and I want to state for the record that I appreciate the hard work and effort that he and his staff have put forth. Rich Rodriguez is a good man. None of us are pleased with the results that we have achieved over the last three seasons, but I don't believe this was a result of lack of effort."

View a video of Athletic Director Dave Brandon's press conference Wednesday regarding the future of U-M's football program.
Read a transcript of the press conference.

On how soon a new coach might be in place:

"The faster we can bring a new leader in, the better, but I'm not going to be motivated by those circumstances. I'm going to be motivated by making sure that I get exactly the right person to come in and be successful."

On the prospective pool of candidates:

"I do not believe we will have a shortage of interested candidates. I think that this program is still one of the most premier programs in the country, when you look at the facilities here, when you look at the fan base here and the passion that exists here for Michigan football."

On the importance of fans and alumni getting behind the next coach:

"We have been divided to a large extent and we continue to be divided based on all of the various opinions and inputs that I get. … If we want to be successful as a football program, as an athletic department and we want our university to really represent what we are all about, we need to rally around our new coach, don't find fault, don't make hasty judgments before they arrive on campus."

On whether the new coach should be someone with a high profile or head coaching experience:

"My personal belief is the requirements of this job really lend themselves to someone … who has led a team and who has head coaching experience and who has recruiting experience and recruiting roots. I think that's a significant advantage to any candidate for this job."

On the goal of the Michigan football program:

"First and foremost the goal of the Michigan football program is to win the Big Ten championship and go to the Rose Bowl, every year. My experience has been that if you win the Big Ten championship and go to the Rose Bowl every year, all kinds of good things are going to happen nationally."