Saturday, January 12, 2013
Frieder regrets announcing he was taking over Arizona State
When former Michigan basketball head coach Bill Frieder took the Arizona State job, to him it seemed like a good idea. Arizona State was said to be a sleeping giant (the same thing still is said about the program), nice weather and an easy sell to southern California high school basketball players. So Frieder, who was a good recruiter, figured he could build up Arizona State like he had built Michigan up to that point.
However, there was a problem along the way to the desert. For starters, Frieder announced that he was taking the job on the eve of the 1989 NCAA tournament. Number two, the media knew this before then athletic director, Bo Schembechler. So Schembechler fired Frieder, uttering the famous phrase "A Michigan man will coach Michigan". Top assistant Steve Fisher took over and the rest is history.
A report in the Detroit News says that Frieder regretted announcing that he was leaving for Arizona State too early.
"I came out of practice that Tuesday and there were media there starting to ask me questions," Frieder said Thursday. "I didn't want to lie to my team, I didn't want to lie to the media and I didn't want to lie to the community, so I thought at the time that I'm just going to be honest (and say), 'When the season's over, I'm going to Arizona State.'
"That was a bad mistake and I shouldn't have done that. I was honest."
"The bottom line was I put myself in that position," he said. "What I should have done is just not announced that I was going. I said at the time that if that's the worst thing that happens to me, I'll have a great life. I've had a great life and I've got no complaints."
Personally I think Frieder sees some similarites in his 1985-86 Big Ten championship winning team and today's team which is ranked number two and is undefeated (16-0) and feels that he should've won the championship that year.
I've always felt that Frieder was a good recruiter and a not so good game coach who couldn't get two of his better teams (1985,1986) out of the second round of the tournament. I really don't think the Wolverines would have won it all had Frieder remained.
It's a decision he has to live with and he sounds like he realized that he made a mistake in leaving Michigan.