With the Michigan basketball team primed to miss its 9th-straight NCAA Tournament, it's hard to ignore the fact that one of our most treasured programs has become truly irrelevant. Our mission here, put simply, is to make Michigan basketball relevant again. But how do we - the Michigan alumni, students and fans - accomplish this? We do what we were taught during our years in Ann Arbor. We do not talk; we act. We do not run with the crowd; We make the crowd follow us. We do not sit back and allow Michigan to become the next major-conference school to hire the next hot mid-major coach. We help the Michigan athletic department see its destiny more clearly, and we do that by introducing an idea that is obvious once you've considered it: Make Rudy Tomjanovich the next Michigan head basketball coach. It should be duly noted that this is NOT a “Fire Tommy Amaker” site. He is a class act that has lifted the program out of the Ed Martin scandal and taken it to the cusp of respectability. Our program is clean. It says and does all of the right things. In history, Amaker will be viewed as a bridge from the bad times to the great times. Thanks to Amaker, the program is ready to be great again. But there is only one man who can restore the glory to Michigan basketball, and that man is Rudy T.
WHY WE WANT RUDY:
First off, it's a complete no-brainer. Tomjanovich is the epitome of a “Michigan Man.” Hard-working and gritty, he is one of the greatest players in school history and has his number hanging from the rafters to prove it. He also has unparalleled coaching credentials: back-to-back NBA world championships in 1994 and 1995 as head coach of the Houston Rockets to go along with a gold medal from the 2000 Olympic Games. But there's one thing the greatest basketball coach ever to be affiliated with our university hasn't done. Rudy T hasn't coached college basketball, and who better than Michigan athletic director Bill Martin to give him that opportunity. And don't give us this BS about a lack of a recruiting network. How many recruiting ties did Pete Carroll and Charlie Weis have before they got their jobs? You just show them the bling bling from those NBA titles!!! Join us and open your imagination for a moment: It's the first exhibition game in the fall of 2007, and it's sold out. The Maize Rage is packed, and, as game-time approaches, they start chanting, “Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!” Even the old-timers begin to join in, remembering the days when Tomjanovich was a 20-year-old on the path to greatness. And he struts out of the tunnel, the crowd at a fever pitch, and he waves. A new era has begun.
WHY RUDY WANTS US:
Does anyone know what Rudy T is doing these days? He was recently named the USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team Program Director of Scouting. That's quite a long title, and while it sounds prestigious, what it really means is that Rudy T is spending his days breaking down tape of Team USA's opponents. That's how much he still loves the game and wants to be involved. Granted, he has health issues, namely bladder cancer, which is in remission. He also claimed to leave the Lakers job due to health issues, although it's widely believed he just hated his job. It's our opinion that Rudy T would catch a second wind to move back to Ann Arbor, coach up-and-coming college kids and leave behind the prima-donna NBA players that tired him in L.A. in the process. And he's only 58 years old. To put that in perspective, he is younger than Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and Wisconsin's Bo Ryan. Most importantly, the pitch to Rudy T isn't hard to make. In the end, don't we all just want to come home?
Before you let the excitement overcome you, realize there is one huge catch: Rudy T never graduated. If you've ever noticed, this is the reason why Rudy T had his jersey retired, but not his number. No matter how much we all love Rudy T, no one will EVER coach a Michigan basketball game without a degree. Period.
There is precedent for hired coaches to go back and get their degrees before the first game. Just last year, N.C. State's Sidney Lowe completed an unspecified number of credits after getting hired at his alma mater. Correspondence classes make it feasible for Rudy T to be ready to coach Michigan in the aforementioned opening exhibition game. And if you're doubting Rudy T's desire to go back to school and get his degree, let us remind you of one thing - “Never underestimate the heart of a champion.”