Persons attending the University Of Michigan’s annual postseason football banquet were no doubt disappointed when Jim Harbaugh failed to emerge from the wings, clobbering lame duck head coach Rich Rodriguez with a folding chair, but at least they were graced with another dignified display from the latter. The Detroit Free Press’ Mark Snyder was a witness to the spectacle testimonial.
Rodriguez quoted Hebrews 11:1: “Faith is being sure what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see.”
That led to his explanation of how he got into coaching to “raise up” his players.
“That’s what I’m most proud of, that these seniors will call me 4-5 years from now and say, ‘Coach, thanks for helping raise me up,’ ” he said.
Now, in turn, he said, players and coaches — even the longstanding ones — walk into his office to see how he is doing.
“There’s a song called ‘You Raise me Up’ by Josh Groban,” Rodriguez said. “This may seem kind of cheesy. Kind of sappy. I’ve been listening to (it) the last couple weeks, and it kind of fits the mood we’re in right now and the thanks I have for the people that have raised me up.”
He proceeded to read some lyrics, have the song played throughout the Laurel Manor ballroom in Livonia and grab his wife Rita’s hand, then broadcaster Frank Beckmann’s hand on the other side of him and raise them overhead, swaying.