Question: What is it about this job that has made it difficult for other to succeed but you were able to get past that?
Lloyd Carr: “I had great people around me. The most important decisions that the football coach makes are the players that he recruits and the coaches that he hires. I had great support and the program…when I became the head coach we had really good, young promising players and we recruited well. I think that’s the difference.”
Question: Jim said he’s going to rely upon you for some advice and call upon you. What is he actually stepping into as Michigan’s head football coach?
Lloyd Carr: “First of all, the answer depends on what his questions are. Jim has been through this. He has been through it. What he did at Stanford, he had a great learning experience there. He took a program that was way down and took them to the Rose Bowl and PAC12 Championship. I think he’s got a good idea. I think the most important thing that any coach has to do is, he embraces the expectations. He’s not intimidated by the crowd and the alumni body here that expects to win every game. He wants to win every game. If you can do that then…the thing I know he’ll do and I’m excited about is that he learned from Bo and he learned from his dad, he going to run a program of integrity that is fair to the players. There is no doubt in my mind that he’s going to be successful.”
Question: When he was a player here, was it difficult to get him to settle down?
Lloyd Carr: “When he made that prediction, he kind of eased over that today. The question was, well I’ve learned one thing about making predictions and that’s make sure you back it up. When he guaranteed that win over Ohio State, Bo, that’s not Bo’s deal, but at some point Bo did something that I thought was really smart. When he went into the team meeting he said, ‘okay, Harbaugh went out there and shot his mouth off and we’ve got to back him up.’ Rather than criticize him and get mad at him, he turned it into a positive and we went down there and Harbaugh played lights out that day and he said it’s the only prediction he made, so he’s batting a 1000 there.”
Question: How do you anticipate the players responding to that intensity that he brings?
Lloyd Carr: “I think those guys who are really competitive will love him because he’s at heart…he’s a jock. When he was kid he was always playing basketball in the winter and baseball. He loves competitive things in life. I think the great coaches are that way. I think our players will learn a lot from him and in the end they’ll love him. He’ll demand their best and any time you are doing that out of a 100 and some guys, there are some that don’t learn as fast as others. He’ll get them going.”
Question: Over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of talk especially from the NFL writers that he’ll never leave the league and he’ll never go back to college. What did they not know about this place that they should have?
Lloyd Carr: “His playing career here…he played on some great teams, he played for a great coach and the difference between professional football and college and it is a difference even though some people would deny it is…the difference is that the NFL, pro football is a business. College football has moved that way but it is still at heart a game that kids are playing because they love the game. A lot of kids would play without a scholarship. I think that’s the difference. I think his dad was a great coach here and Jim learned a lot of who he is from things that he learned at home. He had a great family, mother and dad. So his DNA is coaching.”
Question: Talk about the job that Jim Hackett has done in this process. He said four weeks ago that he would go out and get his guy and 28 days later he is back with his guy and he did exactly what he said.
Lloyd Carr: “Well he did a great job and to do it…you know what impressed me was the manner with which he did the job. There were no leaks. I kept thinking, well someone is going to find out what’s going on and they never did. I think that is a direct result of what Jim’s attention to detail. He put together a good team. He made good assignments and in the end he did one heck of a job. I think Jim always had an interest in coming back as a coach, but financially to get a deal together of that magnitude, it just doesn’t happen. It means somebody knows what they’re doing.”
Question: How much did you have in that process, did he talk to you quite a bit in that process?
Lloyd Carr: “A very minor role, but as I said, I’m delighted with the result and that’s really the name of the game. It is just the right time and he had the right piece putting it together, it was the right time for Jim.”
Question: Is it time to remove interim from in front of his title?
Lloyd Carr: “I’m not the president of the university as you know (laughter), but I think it would be hard pressed to do a better job and to create…look at the enthusiasm and this is only going to build as we go forward.”