First-year Louisiana-Monroe football coach Terry Bowden is enlisting the services of a well-traveled power conference coach to direct his offense as he takes over a Warhawks program that finished 0-10 this past season. The program announced Tuesday that Rich Rodriguez has been hired to serve as offensive coordinator at ULM, marking a return to coaching for Rodriguez after he took the 2020 season off following a one-year stint as the Ole Miss offensive coordinator.
Rodriguez, who's previously served as head coach at West Virginia, Michigan and Arizona, will be officially introduced by ULM on Monday, Jan. 18. This move doesn't mark the first time that Rodriguez has served as offensive coordinator for one of the Bowdens. The 57-year-old West Virginia native worked as the offensive coordinator under Terry's brother, Tommy Bowden, when Tommy was the coach at Tulane and Clemson.
Though Rodriguez's offense at Ole Miss under former Rebels coach Matt Luke largely fell flat in the 2019 season, he was once regarded as one of the sport's top offensive minds. Prior to his stint at Ole Miss, Rodriguez compiled a respectable 43-35 record in six seasons at Arizona before his tenure there ended following an investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct.
Rodriguez's best years as a head coach came between 2005 and 2007 when he compiled a 32-5 record at West Virginia, his alma mater, before accepting the Michigan job and getting fired after going 15-22 there in three years.
Louisiana-Monroe also announced that Rodriguez's son Rhett Rodriguez, a former quarterback at Arizona, will transfer to the school and have two seasons of eligibility remaining. The younger Rodriguez, a graduate transfer, threw for 578 yards and three touchdowns in four seasons with the Wildcats.