Carr: "Harbaugh is a Special Guy" (Part 1)

Former Michigan headman Lloyd Carr was front and center for the introduction of Jim Harbaugh as the Wolverines' 20th football coach. Afterward Carr took time out to share his thoughts on the news with members of the media. In part one he reflects upon the search process, Harbaugh's days as a college player, and gives his expectations for what a Harbaugh-coached team will look like. **With Video**


Question:  How proud does it make you with Jim taking this job?

Lloyd Carr:  “I’m deeply respectful of what he’s done.  You look at what he’s done at Stanford.  This guys gets it.  He’s a great motivator.  He’s very smart, very tough, very competitive and he is excited, passionate about what he has a chance to do here and all of us that have known him are excited that he’s back.”

Question:  Were you a little shocked that he took the job?

Lloyd Carr:  “I said before this whole process began, I said to myself, I think there is an excellent chance that he’ll come back.  He’s always had great love for this place.  Nobody from the outside really knew a lot of the things that were going on behind the scenes.  I think that’s hard to do in the environment that we live in and I think it’s a credit to Jim and the way he put it together.  I think we’ve got great leadership there in Jim Hackett.  I think Jim Harbaugh is a great leader as well, so if leadership means anything, which I think it does, then we’ve got a great start here.”

Question:  From the inside, is it a more unified approach to go get Jim Harbaugh than maybe past coaching searches?

Lloyd Carr:  “I wasn’t really involved in the past searches to any real in depth way, so I can’t compare.”

Question:  What are you most looking forward to seeing with a Jim Harbaugh team?

Lloyd Carr:  “Well I know what I’m going to see from a Jim Harbaugh team is great competitiveness.  That’s how you win.  You may lack this, you may lack that, but if you are competitive and Jim Harbaugh’s teams when you watched them at Stanford…that game against USC, they were 42 point underdogs and found a way to win.  You don’t do that unless you are competitive.”

Question:  With everybody that was behind it, was it an offer that he couldn’t refuse?

Lloyd Carr:  “What I heard him say today, he didn’t make a list, it was about what was in his heart.  That’s why he’s here.  That’s the bottom line.  I think the always talked about being here three different times coming here with his family, for his college career, so I think this decision was not about money, but it was about his heart and his family.”

Question:  There is something to be said that you know that you’re wanted.

Lloyd Carr:  “Absolutely.  There is no doubt, no doubt about that.”

Question:  How important was it for you to make sure that you were here?

Lloyd Carr:  “I think we all feel the same way about Jim Harbaugh.  My memories go back to when he was 18 years old.  I was on the staff then and that meeting he talked about, his first meeting as a Michigan football player he was late and Bo threw him out of the room.  He told him that he would never play there.  Some guys would have gone home right there, but Jim stayed and we are happy he stayed.  He’s funny and he’s bright and he’s competitive.  He’ll do great.”

Question:  You had only been with Bo a couple of years by that point. 

Lloyd Carr:  “Yeah.”

Question:  Were you kind of stunned, like ‘woah, he’s saying this to a coaches kid?’

Lloyd Carr:  “Well you know….yeah. I don’t know if he was ten minutes late, but it was only a minute or two and he told him to get out, get out!  I’m glad he mentioned that today because those of us who were there, it is really something to look back to see.  That was his first action as a player and he didn’t do very well, but he persevered.”

Question:  Today is a day of winding roads, the honeymoon is not going to last long. That’s just the nature of college football.  What qualities do you think he has that are going to make it work right away?

Lloyd Carr:  “I think to me, when I go into that stadium to watch a game, there are certain things that I hope to see and I do know, I do believe that next fall when Jim Harbaugh’s first Michigan team takes the field, they’re going to like what they see.  They’ll be some disappointments, but he’ll bring kids here that he believes in.  He’ll make good decisions and he’ll put a product out there that makes Michigan people proud, most of them (laughter).”

Question:  From his days as a player, did you see this kind of coach building up in him?

Lloyd Carr:  “I met his dad well before I met Jim.  Jack Harbaugh was a great football coach in his own right.  So Jim every night of his life went home to live with his dad and his was a football coach.  I think anybody who knew Jack and knew what a great coach he was, knew, as they got to know Jim that he has the same qualities.  He is a bright guy, a great sense of humor, really a special guy.”

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