Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Picking captains

Coach Schembechler established a...pattern (I don't want to overuse the word "tradition") about picking team captains after his first season as Head Coach. In his first year as Head Coach in 1969, tight end Jim Mandich served as the lone team captain. Thereafter, Coach Schembechler established the pattern of having a minimum of two senior players serve as captain each year with at least one player coming from the offense and one from the defense. Coach Moeller and Coach Carr followed the same guidelines. Following are the team captains since 1970:

1970
Don Moorhead Henry Hill

1971
Frank Gusich Guy Murdock

1972
Tom Coyle Randy Logan

1973
David Gallagher Paul Seal

1974
David Brown Dennis Franklin

1975
Don Dufek Kirk Lewis

1976
Kirk Lewis Rob Lytle Calvin O'Neal

1977
Dwight Hicks Walt Downing

1978
Russell Davis Jerry Meter

1979
John Arbeznik Ron Simpkins

1980
Andy Canavino George Lilja

1981
Kurt Becker Robert Thompson

1982
Anthony Carter Paul Girgash Robert Thompson

1983
Stefan Humphries John Lott

1984
Doug James Mike Mallory

1985
Brad Cochran Eric Kattus Mike Mallory

1986
Jim Harbaugh Andy Moeller

1987
Jamie Morris Doug Mallory

1988
Mark Messner Jon Vitale

1989
J.J. Grant Derrick Walker

1990
Jarrod Bunch John Milligan

1991
Erick Anderson Greg Skrepenek

1992
Corwin Brown Chris Hutchinson Elvis Grbac

1993
Buster Stanley Ricky Powers

1994
Steve Morrison Walter Smith

1995
Jarrett Irons Joe Marinaro

1996
Jarrett Irons Rod Payne

1997
Jon Jansen Eric Mayes

1998
Jon Jansen Juaquin Feazell

1999
Tom Brady Steve Hutchinson Rob Renes

2000
Steve Hutchinson Anthony Thomas James Whitley Eric Wilson

2001
Eric Brackins Shawn Thompson

2002
Bennie Joppru Victor Hobson

2003
Grant Bowman Carl Diggs John Navarre

2004
David Baas Marlin Jackson

2005
Jason Avant Pat Massey

2006
LaMarr Woodley Jake Long

2007
Jake Long Mike Hart Shawn Crable

Coach Rodriguez, however, is going to be changing the pattern established by his predecessors. As Coach Rod stated during his meeting with the press yesterday, he has a different philosophy when it comes to picking team captains. Coach Rod stated the following:


I don’t pick permanent captains before the season. It’s just my philosophy. I
want to see them lead throughout the year and pick permanent captains at the
end. Sometimes you pick a permanent captain and he winds up not being one of you best leaders and you’re stuck with him. So we will have game by game captains, seniors and at the end of the year, the team, the players themselves will pick the permanent captains at the end of the year. We will also have honorary
captains that are former Michigan greats. For every game, we’ll have one or
two
.”

Having the honorary captains that are former Michigan greats is a smart P.R. move that will help ease the transition to Coach Rod's way of doing things. Change is never easy but there is a new sheriff in town and things are going to be done his way. Besides, as Chad Henne proved last year and Rick Leach proved in the '70s, you do not have to have the title of captain to be a team leader. Go Blue!

2 Comments:

At 1:16 AM, Blogger Max said...

I've seen this a few times now, and I still don't get it.

At first, I took it to mean that in just his first year, Coach Rod will alternate captains by game in order to ultimately pick his permanent captains from last year.

But if I'm correctly understanding the way you're framing it, it sounds like he's going to do this every year. Would this mean the team would pick the captains at the end of the year to serve as captains for the time leading up to the bowl game... or that they'll be chosen retroactively just for the sake of giving the title... or am I just missing it completely?

 
At 9:55 PM, Blogger David said...

The assumption that I have is that he doesn't know the players well enough on the field (or have enough seniors) to choose permanent captains for this year. So the captaincies will be more provisional until he can make a determination for next about who the permanent captains for 08-09 will be.

 

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