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Monday, November 19, 2007

Carr calls it a career at Michigan

Congratulations to one of the premier college football coaches of the last decade. A tremendous coaching career.

Ann Arbor, MI (Sports Network) - University of Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr announced his retirement Monday.

Carr apparently informed the team of his decision on Sunday night and made it official at a news conference on Monday morning. He will stay on through Michigan's bowl game.

"On this week of Thanksgiving, no one has more to be thankful for than me," stated Carr, who will remain with the Michigan athletic department as an associate athletic director.

The Wolverines closed out the regular season with a 14-3 loss to arch-rival Ohio State on Saturday at Michigan Stadium. It marked Michigan's fourth straight loss to the Buckeyes, who claimed the Big Ten title with the victory.

Michigan could have captured the conference crown with a win Saturday, but mustered just 91 yards of total offense in its second straight loss to wrap up an 8-4 season.

There had been speculation that Saturday's game would be the last for Carr, who said he really didn't know when he finally made the decision to retire but added that he felt this would be his last year.

"I read I'm tired and all that," Carr joked. "I'm not tired. I may look tired. I still have a great passion for the game, for the players and the competition. I also know there are some things that I don't have anymore. It's time. That's all I can say."

The Wolverines had a roller-coaster final year under Carr, who came under fire after home losses to Appalachian State and Oregon to start the campaign. They followed with eight straight wins before losses to Wisconsin and Ohio State to close the season.

Carr has guided Michigan to a record of 121-40 with five Big Ten titles and the 1997 national championship in his 13 seasons. He did, however, drop to 6-7 all-time against Ohio State, including 1-6 against Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel. Carr has guided the school to a bowl game in each of his seasons as head coach at Michigan.

Carr is the Big Ten's active leader in conference wins, compiling an 81-23 conference mark. He has led the Wolverines to six 10-win seasons and trails only Fielding Yost (165) and Bo Schembechler (194) in career victories at the school.

"We're all going to be measured by Bo," Carr remarked. "Things have changed [in college football]. It's changed dramatically. Yet the expectations here are never going to change. That's what makes this a great job and a difficult job."

Incredibly, Carr has been a member of the Wolverine football staff for 28 years. Prior to being elevated to head coach, Carr was an assistant for 15 years under Schembechler (1980-89) and Gary Moeller (1990-94). Carr joined Schembechler's staff in 1980 as the defensive secondary coach, was the defensive coordinator for eight seasons, and then moved into the position of assistant head coach for the final five years before becoming head coach in 1995.

"For the last 28 years, I've spent my life at the greatest of places -- the University of Michigan," Carr remarked.

The university will begin a search for Carr's replacement, but many believe LSU's Les Miles will be among the top choices. Miles played at Michigan under Schembechler and served two stints as an assistant coach for the Wolverines -- in 1980-81 and again from 1987-94.


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