Former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr reacts to the hire of Warde Manuel as U-M's new athletic director.

Former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr reacts to the hire of Warde Manuel as U-M's new athletic director.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Warde Manuel is Michigan’s new athletic director, and his job is more than just sustaining a winning tradition, but to graduate his student athletes, says former U-M football coach Lloyd Carr.

“It still comes back to making sure that you have guy or woman in that position who understands what those athletes are going for,” Carr said. “Our job as coaches, as athletic directors (is) to make sure that we look out for the welfare of the student athletes, by doing everything we can to make sure that when they leave here – they have a degree. Because that’s the big deal.”

During his 13 years as Michigan’s head coach (1995-2007), Carr compiled a 122-40 record, won the 1997 AP national championship, also won five Big Ten championships. So he knows a thing or two about graduating players.

And his connection to Manuel, was noted by the new A.D. in his introduction speech.

“I’m glad to see coach Carr in the room,” Manuel said. “The year I started was his first year as defensive coordinator. I want to apologize to you now that we lost those four games. You had great success after that.”

Yes, Carr did.

And if  Manuel wants the same success, then he’ll have to put together the right “team,” says Carr.

“That’s the other thing, you want to hire coaches that care about their athletes getting their degrees,” Carr said. “So it starts with the coach. It starts in recruiting. It starts in having a good relationship in admissions. So if the admissions office thinks a guy can’t compete academically, he can’t succeed academically, then we don’t want to recruit him. We want to recruit people that have the potential to graduate.

“Because if all your athletes leave here with a degree, then they’ve been really successful.”

As far as the coaches, well, Carr noted that Manuel already has a good working relationship with the softball, football and track & field coaches to name a few.

“They all know Warde,” Carr said. “So I think he’s going to be comfortable. They’re going to have a good idea of what he believes in.”    

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