I choose this image to represent former ]V[ichigan Wolverine coach Lloyd Carr because honestly, the man looks beat.
And if you look close enough, you might even see a bit of regret for things left undone.
I see a man who knew at the end — as exited the hallowed grounds of The Big House for the very last time as head coach of the team he so dearly loved — an era was over.
Coach Carr was not perfect and recently I’ve come to realize there are some out there that do not hold him in such high regard as most. It’s their opinion to do so and I respect that. I’ve also heard stories of Carr’s ability to be, well, a bit selfish. But who could blame him?
Yet, in Lloyd’s 13 seasons as leader and best of the leaders and best, he did what he did for ]V[ichigan. He guided his Wolverines to 5 Big Ten titles and won 122 games. In a way coach was a victim of his own success.
Winning a share of the national title and going undefeated in his third season with one of the greatest ]V[ichigan teams ever was a tough accomplishment to repeat. Bo never won a national title and he is considered the greatest ever. I’m just saying.
Lloyd Carr was a great man for a great school at the right time. In the end I truly believe he was more “forced” to move on then he would ever admit. The pressures to win games against ohio state and the Wolverines failures to finish seasons by earning victories over the nation’s elite programs in Rose Bowls was more than a fan base and nation of supporters could stand. Carr felt this pressure and did what he did for ]V[ichigan by electing to step down.
If you look closely into Lloyd’s eyes, you see a signs of a man who was in fear. Not the kind of danger fear, but fear of what life was to offer him next…fear of the unknown. Everything he knew was about to change and the next chapter was only moments away.
Watching Lloyd Carr’s Wolverines beat Florida in the 2008 Capital One bowl is one of my personal favorite ]V[ichigan memories. Seeing coach’s victory ride off the field on the should of his players was a fitting end for a man who knew the value of the ]V[.
In 13 days, I’ll be looking for another such ride…