Rich Rodriguez: You don't coach your job; you live it
Posted by: Chris Vannini on September 20, 2012
Rich Rodriguez is always trying to prove himself.
Sure, he wants to prove himself after being let go at Michigan and ending up at Arizona, but it's a mindset he's had everywhere he's been. Rodriguez explained to The Jim Rome Show that he's not working any harder at Arizona than he did in Ann Arbor.
"To hit it harder would be hard, because as hard as coaches work anyway, you put everything (into it)," he said. "I've always said, you don't coach your job; you live your job. Certainly, I was in with both feet and my family and everybody else was (at Michigan), so we were living the job. It didn't work out, but I do think I'm highly motivated, but I've always felt that way.
"It always bothers me sometimes when an athlete or coach says, 'I don't have anything to prove.' Well, as long as they're keeping score, you do. I feel like I've got a lot to prove. I hope my players always feel the same way, but I felt the same way at the end of the time at West Virginia when we were winning and going to BCS bowls that we still had something to prove. I hope I keep that. If I ever lose that and that competitiveness, it's time for me to get out of the profession."
As for that time at Michigan, Rodriguez says it's easy to think he'd regret the time at Michigan given how it finished, but he learned how to be a better coach.
"It's easy to look back now," he said. "I probably mentioned it - when things are going so well for us at West Virginia with a real great team coming back. The old thing of hindsight being 20/20, I think certainly you look at that and say it probably wasn't the best move and it didn't work out.
"Having been there, I met a lot of great people, I think I got to see some things and learn some things that maybe I would have never learned had I not left. Hopefully, I think it has made me a better coach and helped us build a better program now, here, in my next place."
The undefeated Wildcats will take on Oregon this weekend. (Video below is not mobile-friendly)
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Chris Vannini is a lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to email@example.com