Commentary

Wolverine coaching search not limited to Michigan Men

Updated: November 19, 2007, 6:45 PM ET
By Ivan Maisel | ESPN.com

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan athletic director Bill Martin said Monday that he had a list of 30 names of possible replacements for head coach Lloyd Carr and that he hoped to hire a new coach by the end of the year.

Beyond that Martin revealed little but his dire wish that Carr would remain as coach.

"I'm very, very sad," Martin said.

[+] EnlargeLes Miles
Marvin Gentry/US PresswireLSU's Les Miles is on Michigan's list of potential replacements.
Both Martin and Carr fielded questions about the hiring process in general and about LSU head coach Les Miles in particular. Neither Martin nor Carr answered with any specificity, although Carr seemed to be particularly careful when discussing his relationship with Miles, a former Wolverine player and assistant coach.

"I'm not going to get into the search," Carr said. "There are a lot of things out there that are distorted. I'm not going to try to answer them all."

He did say, "I coached with him, yes."

Martin said only that Miles is on his list of 30, and Martin added that he has not begun to winnow the list.

"What I'm doing is what you [the media] should do, and that's let it rest," Miles said in Baton Rouge, La.

Defensive coordinator Ron English's promotion two years ago sparked a revival of the Wolverine defense. When asked if he felt ready to move up, as Carr did when he replaced Gary Moeller in 1995, English said, "There is some growth any time you change positions, but yes, I would not be intimidated by being the head coach at the University of Michigan, or any other institution, particularly with coach Carr to lean on and all the people here. I think it would be foolish for anybody to not want to be the head coach here."

Among other names that will be discussed amongst the public is Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe, a Midwesterner who believes in physical football. Grobe's teams are known for playing hard for 60 minutes, and he is greatly respected by his peers.

Grobe, however, is not a "Michigan Man." Asked whether the next coach should have that quality, Carr said, "Well, you remember a guy named Schembechler? He wasn't a Michigan Man. Fritz Crisler wasn't a Michigan Man. Fielding Yost wasn't a Michigan Man. I know this: Bill wants to hire the finest coach in the country."

Ivan Maisel is a senior writer for ESPN.com. Send your questions and comments to Ivan at ivan.maisel@espn3.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report..

Ivan Maisel | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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