Michigan AD backing Rodriguez in wake of upset loss

Updated: October 15, 2008, 6:17 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan Wolverines athletic director Bill Martin says football coach Rich Rodriguez has his full support, despite a 2-4 record and three home losses -- including an upset loss last week to Toledo.

"There's absolutely no question I'm totally supportive of Rich," Martin said Tuesday. "Was I surprised with the loss last Saturday? Sure I was, no question about it. But I think he's the right man for this program at this time.

"You always have to, when you're sitting in my seat, look at long term. You can't look at instant gratification."

The loss to Toledo was Michigan's first in 25 games against Mid-American Conference teams. And the upcoming schedule offers the Wolverines no favors; next is a trip to No. 3 Penn State, followed by a meeting with rival No. 20 Michigan State.

But Martin called for patience, noting that another first-year coach, Alabama's Nick Saban, endured a loss to Louisiana-Monroe last season.

"And where is he now? [No. 2] in the country? Second year," Martin said of Saban. "So things turn quickly."

Rodriguez on Tuesday said that the team's transition to his system has been more difficult than he imagined.

"Most coaches will tell you in the first year they expect a few bumps in the road, some places maybe larger than others. Honestly I didn't think we'd have this many bumps," Rodriguez said.

"Unfortunately we haven't helped ourselves in some of the things late that have happened in games [because of] crucial errors," Rodriguez said. "But it's nothing we don't think we can overcome. And I certainly don't think there's anything the players don't think we can overcome."

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