Is Lloyd Carr Blocking Jim Harbaugh's Return?

Is Lloyd Carr undermining efforts to bring Jim Harbaugh back to Ann Arbor to be Michigan’s next coach? Is an under-the-radar candidate that no one (but is talking about getting hotter? Does the flight tracker being shut off for a private plane adorned with a block M have anything to do with Michigan’s search.

Lloyd Carr’s possible involvement in the Michigan coaching search has been the subject on constant rumor and innuendo in recent days.  The unflattering tone of those comments was a reflection of prevalent suspicion held by some in Michigan fan and alumni circles that Carr was working to sabotage the candidacy or certain targets, including presumed favorite Jim Harbaugh.  Those suspicions in part stem from the very public disagreement the two Michigan dignitaries had back in 2007 when Harbaugh offered up unflattering remarks that suggested Michigan inadequately educated its athletes. That spawned a war of words with Carr and Mike Hart. Carr and Hart shot back with terse retorts calling Harbaugh “arrogant”, “elitist”, and “not a Michigan Man.”

Well it turns out that time has a way of burying the hatchet.  Even if it hadn’t, Carr’s opinion on Harbaugh’s candidacy for the Michigan job would be the same. So when he was approached with my question earlier today about his rumored involvement in Michigan’s current search by common friend and author Craig Ross (Obscene Diaries of a Michigan Fan and The Search for the Unified Field Theory, Football Version), Carr sent the following message back to me.

“I am not involved in the coaching search in any direct way,” Carr said.  “However, I have been asked my opinion. My opinion was Jim Harbaugh would be my number one choice.”

And Down goes Frazier… I mean, dastardly rumors!

Though he hasn’t laid out a hierarchy of worthy candidates in his eyes, based on past conversations with Ross one name that he probably mentioned liking was that of Baylor coach Art Briles.

“He was very up front in saying Art Briles… that guy can coach,” Ross said reflecting upon a chat two weeks ago.  “I coached against him. He is one hell of a coach. He is one of the hardest guys I’ve coached against him.”

That said, the big news here is Carr’s endorsement of Harbaugh. That should end the egregiously false belief being perpetuated on blogs, message boards, and social media that Carr is the biggest barrier between Michigan and one of its favorite sons.

A Mystery Candidate?

Folks in Maize & Blue land are all abuzz over the following commentary from ESPN’s Colin Cowherd.

"So I know three of the college football agents…”

“…here's the story, and this is not in a message board.  You'll find it nowhere.  There's a name right now being circulated in the agent world for Michigan's head coaching job. You will like it if you're at Michigan. You have no idea it's coming. I think it's a really good call, I can't believe I didn't think of it and it will make sense."

Well those that follow this site know that we mentioned a number of new names Monday, the agents they’re connected to, and their sudden introduction into the equation at Michigan.  We laid them out in great detail in our Emerging Candidates piece right after posting our piece on the Already Established candidates. Feel free to catch up in case you missed them.

Now that you’re up to speed let’s focus on one of the recently emerging candidates that happens to be a client of super-agent Jimmy Sexton…UCLA’s Jim Mora Jr.
We previously highlighted the Michigan connection on Mora’s UCLA staff (former Wolverine offensive lineman Courtney Morgan).  In theory the Wolverine brass could use that connection to vet the sincerity of Mora’s interest if things ever progress between the two sides.  That certainly made the Bruin headman’s candidacy seem like more than just a throw in.  Well now let’s raise the level of intrigue a little more.

From 2007-2009 Jim Mora Jr. was the defensive backs/assistant head coach (‘07 & ’08) and then head coach (’09) for the Seattle Seahawks. Also on those Seahawks staffs serving as the assistant offensive line coach (’08) and tight ends coach (’09) was current Michigan sport administrator in charge of football Mike DeBord. Coincidence?  None of that means that Mora has rocketed up Michigan’s list… at least not yet... but it does mean that he is definitely one to keep an eye on.

Wet Blanket Time

That’s enough excitement.  Time to come back down to earth.

A private plane adorned with a block M has been the subject many conspiracy theories recent weeks.  In late October the travels of said plane spawned rampant rumors about the beginning of a coaching search.

Rumors that we debunked (Click the link for details on the owner and the plane).

Well now that a coaching search really has started, fans and media members are watching the plane again.  When online flight tracking for the plane was disabled speculation about why exploded. Surely the plane is ushering Michigan officials across the country to meet with candidates, right?


Well why then is the flight tracker turned off?

We reached out again to the plane’s owner (Jeff Cappo of Victory Automotive Group), this time through an intermediary.

Said Cappo to a source, “I decided to turn it off because I just didn’t want everyone to know where I was going.”

Turns out what was a bit comical at first eventually became an utter (and creepy) nuisance.

So without divulging exactly where Cappo is we can say the plane flew him somewhere out west for the purposes dealing with his massive car business.

It was not used for anything to do with the Michigan coaching search.

Sorry fans.

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