From Thorns to Roses
Lloyd Carr won five Big Ten titles and a national championship in 13 seasons at U-M.

Dec. 7, 2011

Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press

The start of Lloyd Carr's head coaching career was tenuous. There were no promises at Michigan.

He was the stopgap when he began the 1995 season after replacing Gary Moeller. By the time he was given the permanent job in November that year, he had proven worthy but had only a letter of appointment and a verbal promise for four years from U-M athletic director Joe Roberson.

Unfortunately, Roberson didn't make it that far and, under new athletic director Tom Goss, Carr felt the heat early in the 1997 season after two four-loss seasons. If there was a slow start, he feared he might not make it to end of the year.

It worked out. The Wolverines went 12-0, winning the Rose Bowl and national championship. Carr was a hero and got a real contract.

He laughed about it Tuesday, his journey from that tipping point to 14 years later being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York.

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