I've been in the college recruiting business for 30 years and Michigan coach Lloyd Carr is one of the classiest guys I've known. I can't say enough good things about him. In a business that could be cutthroat, he always kept himself above the fray. He never said anything bad about anyone--and I never heard a player or coach say anything bad about him.
In announcing his retirement, Carr maintained his dignity. It is like a changing of the guard. He was an old-school coach with great values. He kept Michigan as high as Bo Schembechler with prestige and integrity. He was a great recruiter and posted a great record. Remember, he won a national championship, something Schembechler didn't accomplish.
Over the last three decades, college recruiting has changed dramatically. The playing field is more level and the rules have changed to help the have-nots. Still, Carr dominated. And his program remained clean.
Only sportswriters seemed to dislike him. He was too close to the vest and unwilling to reveal anything to them, even injuries. But in reality, I found him to be a warm and funny guy. He was homespun and genuine. I still recall a few years ago when I visited the Michigan campus and was having lunch with assistant coach Mike DeBord, who might succeed Carr. Lloyd stopped by and he had so much fun telling stories. He was a terrific person to talk to.
He will be sorely missed in college football. There are no more Lloyd Carrs out there that I can see. The coaching profession is being turned over to a different breed, more aggressive, more willing to badmouth opponents, more willing to win at all costs. Lloyd always looked you in the eye and said what he had to say with no sense of urgency or pushiness.