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Rich Rodriguez nearly went to Tulane, wants Michigan on schedule

Rich Rodriguez has been the head coach of the Arizona
Wildcats for a week now, though he was close to taking the
same job with Tulane.

In a speech given to Tulane
, John Curtis
School head coach J.T. Curtis said Rodriguez told him the
decision to take the job in Tucson was tougher than some
might think.

“My understanding is, in talking to coach Rich Rodriguez,
and I was involved in that just a little bit, is that it
a much closer decision than people realize between Tulane
and Arizona,” he said. “I think Tulane did all they could
to give him an opportunity to come there and a chance to
coach, and I think his expression to me was that he felt
like he had a better chance to win the national
at Arizona if he recruited properly and they promised him
they’d put Michigan on the schedule in three years.”

Curtis may have been trying to do a sales job on possible
boosters, giving the impression that the school is going
to do whatever it takes to win. Landing a coach like
Rodriguez — who was the school’s offensive coordinator
from 1997-98 — would have been a step in that direction,
and losing him to Arizona may have instilled some doubt.

However, this also spoke of where Rodriguez stood in
coaching circles (Tulane isn’t exactly a destination job),
as well as the fact that Arizona’s new coach really thinks
he can win in the Old Pueblo.