No matter your profession, being fired is never easy. Coaches live with the possibility every year, especially those employed in places where winning big is expected. Rich Rodriguez was fired at Michigan on January 5 but he turned the disappointment into a good thing for needy people in the state.
Rodriguez boxed up some of his memorabilia and apparel from his three years in Ann Arbor and drove it to the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Wayne, Michigan, about halfway between Ann Arbor and Detroit. There were over 400 items–shirts and jackets he wore during games, autographed caps and even helmets.He delivered them personally and then left with instructions to use them however the charity saw fit.
Publicity over the coach’s gesture led to plenty of interest and the Salvation Army decided to hold an auction over the weekend. Over 300 fans showed up to bid on 161 items with the rest going into a sale.
The auction lasted two hours and generated nearly $13,000 in bids.
“It’s a real blessing,” said a representative from the Salvation Army.
The auction drew a lot of media attention including this story and video from AnnArbor.com.